The World’s 6th Biggest Mining Pool Tests Bitcoin Unlimited

Chinese mining pool, ViaBTC, has made the decision to test Bitcoin Unlimited. This is a significant move on the part of the pool’s managers, as it could have implications for the Bitcoin block size debate going forward.

Also read: First Impressions: Hands on With the Bitmain AntMiner R4

ViaBTC: “We Support Big Blocks”

ViaBTC also happens to be the 6th biggest mining pool in the world, making the decision even more impactful. The mining pool is fairly new, having apparently been founded only within the last two months.

Despite its youth, ViaBTC has rapidly grown to obtain its position as one of the biggest bitcoin mining pools in the world. It seems that most of its growth has come within the last month.ViaBTC

In fact, according to a Reddit post last month, the pool saw an increase in size from 3 percent to 10 percent of the total hashrate — the amount of bitcoin mining power on the network — in just 24 hours. At press time, the pool has a maximum hashrate of 120 petahashes per second.

ViaBTC is in favor of big blocks as well — having publicly come out in support of increasing Bitcoin’s maximum block size on Twitter. However, while the pool has offered their support to bigger blocks, they are still running and primarily mining on the Bitcoin core client.

Good Times Ahead for Bitcoin Unlimited

This move by the mining pool shouldn’t be misconstrued as a vote for any other client other than Core, however. Nonetheless, ViaBTC’s trial run of Bitcoin Unlimited and support for bigger blocks seems to be good news for the alternative client.

This development follows more good news, as Bitcoin Unlimited recently received a $500,000 donation. The donation led the project’s team to formally register as a non-profit organization. 

The question of what Bitcoin’s block size should be has been one of the most polarizing areas of debate within the community. While the community has historically kept it safe and stayed with the 1 MB limit, the consensus has been threatened in recent months, as more people have come out in favor of larger blocks.

The debate over Bitcoin’s block size has become increasingly heated since 2014, with many seeing its resolution as essential to Bitcoin’s survival. Big block supporters argue that the current 1 MB limit on the block size will restrict Bitcoin’s scalability, leading the network to break down as demand for transactions grows. The small block camp, on the other hand, worry that an increase in the block size will lead to centralization, making Bitcoin less secure.

For more information on the block size, what it does, and what its scalability means for Bitcoin’s future, read this article.

ViaBTC’s decision to test Bitcoin Unlimited as a possible scalability solution marks another addition to the growing list of influential forces in the Bitcoin community supporting big blocks.

What do you think of ViaBTC’s decision to experiment with Bitcoin Unlimited? What will it mean for the Bitcoin block size debate?

Images Courtesy of Shutterstock, ViaBTC.