A web conference this week found a notable selection of industry thought leaders exploring lesser-publicized challenges and solutions for bitcoin scaling.
Following a longer conference in June, Tuesday’s “encore edition” of OnChain Scaling saw presentations from Bloq co-founder Jeff Garzik; Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer; and Berger Singerman counsel Andrew Hinkes. A byproduct of the long-running block size debate, the event has emerged as a way to highlight proposed technical changes designed to be made to the bitcoin blockchain directly, rather than through a top-layer solution.
Though a topic of controversy, the latter path to expanding the network has proved the preferred choice for Bitcoin Core, the network’s largely volunteer developer group. To date, these members of the development community have largely promoted and prioritized efforts such as sidechains and the Lightning Network, which would move transactions off of the main blockchain to achieve greater transaction capacity.
In this light, it was perhaps Garzik who criticized Bitcoin Core’s approach most strongly, arguing it goes so far as to be undemocratic. By not proposing changes to network participants in a way that allows them to select from two versions of the blockchain, he asserted that Bitcoin Core