Ethereum Founder Supports Bigger Bitcoin Blocks

In a blog post, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin revisited the crucial Bitcoin block size debate that significantly divided the Bitcoin community between 2015 and 2017. Drawing insights from two authoritative books, Buterin explored the historical intricacies of this rift, offering his unique perspective as both a participant and a thought leader in the cryptocurrency space.

Buterin’s blog post, titled “Some Reflections on the Bitcoin Block Size War,” delves into the differing perspectives presented in Jonathan Bier’s The Blocksize War and Roger Ver and Steve Patterson’s Hijacking Bitcoin. These books highlight the pro-small-block and pro-big-block positions, respectively, shedding light on the ideological and technical divisions that defined the debate.

However, Buterin explained the small blockers’ viewpoint mainly by referencing Bier’s book. This group, focused on preserving Bitcoin’s decentralized and user-accessible nature, opposed significant increases in block size. They were concerned that larger blocks would require more powerful hardware for node operators, which could centralize the network by limiting it to those who could afford such equipment.

Big Blockers Advocate Bitcoin Utility

[If the block size were much bigger], you would need a big data centre to run a node, and you won’t be able to do it anonymously,” Buterin highlights in a critical comment that captures this fear. Furthermore, Buterin presented small blockers as having a strong stake in the Bitcoin governance structure.

They favored infrequent, consensus-driven changes to minimize the risks of centralized control and manipulation by a small group of stakeholders. The New York Agreement of 2017, which aimed to resolve the block size dispute through a compromise among major exchanges, miners, and other stakeholders, was considered anathema to small blockers’ governance ideals. Small blockers preferred governance by the general user base rather than a corporate consortium.

Conversely, Ver and Patterson’s work describes the narrative of big blockers, depicting them as advocates for Bitcoin’s utility as “digital cash.” This group criticized the shift towards perceiving Bitcoin solely as a “store of value” or “digital gold,” arguing that this perspective deviated from Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision as outlined in the whitepaper.

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Furthermore, the author’s views are for reference only and shall not constitute any investment advice. Please ensure you fully understand and assess the products and associated risks before purchasing.

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