What’s wrong with increasing the block size limit? This is the question that a portion of the Bitcoin community has been asking almost nonstop since the controversy around this possible alteration to the protocol went into hyperdrive last year.
In a recent appearance at Bitcoin Meetup Switzerland, Bitcoin Core Contributor Jonas Schnelli covered at least one possible issue with raising the block size limit too quickly: the effect larger blocks have on wasted resources for miners.
It should be noted that Schnelli has decided not to take an official, public stance on the block size debate.
In Bitcoin Mining, Every Second Counts
A key point to understand about bitcoin mining is every second of hashing affects one’s ability to turn a profit. New blocks are not received by all nodes on the network instantaneously, which means miners are, at least at times, wasting resources by building on an old block that is no longer the most recent. After all, a miner can only build on top of someone else’s found block after he knows that block exists.
Schnelli explained this issue during his recent talk in Zurich:
“There are consequences with 2-megabyte blocks. Chinese miners — they are now