For those in the Bitcoin community, you likely saw the cyber war erupt on the popular Bitcoin subreddit. Users went into an uproar when several posts were removed that mentioned bitcoinXT (a potential Bitcoin client that allows larger blocks) and users cried foul that the subreddit was being censored.
What has happened? Mike Hearn, one of the developers of the alternative BitcoinXT client published a post about the first release of BitcoinXT. This client is a version of bitcoin, that allows for larger blocks. A short time later the news found its way to the popular “bitcoin” subreddit, where it quickly was upvoted on the top spot and was commented on by hundreds of people.
So far so good. But then moderators of the subreddit removed the post and deleted all comments and other postings related to it, arguing that BitcoinXT is an “altcoin” and the discussion was offtopic. This resulted in a huge outcry, and the moderators involved in this mess were asked by the community to step down (Theymos in particular).
There are several issues here, including censorship and lack of governance on the bitcoin level. However, the topic that is at its heart again is the block size increase debate. We have written about this important topic before, because it is relevant for all miners, i.e., YOU!
We from the Genesis Mining team had long internal discussions about the block size. There are a number of arguments for and against it, but we believe that the advantages outweigh the potential disadvantages. In the medium term we strongly believe that larger blocks are beneficial for the bitcoin economy as a whole and for every miner. We have also polled our customer base and over 90% agreed that increasing the block size is the right way going forward.
Where we stand on BitcoinXT
In the last couple of days, we were bombarded with emails from clients, media, and partners asking us what we think about the hardfork proposal.
As stated above, we believe that moderately increasing the block size is the right step forward and in the best interest of our clients. We think that increased usage by users and businesses will make Bitcoin stronger and that it will actually lead to an increase of decentralization.
We would favor a solution with which most developers could live. In particular, we like BIP 100 as proposed by Jeff Garzik. The solution is elegant and allows the market to adapt the block size. However, it is rather unlikely that a compromise is reached and the realistic alternative to being stuck with 1 MB blocks for a long time (forever?) is BitcoinXT.
We are currently in the process of testing the client and if we are done with it, we will most likely switch to BitcoinXT. Just to be clear: running XT means that our users will always be on the largest chain, regardless of whether a fork happens or not. We believe, this is in the best interest of our users. And we are not the only ones: almost all other Bitcoin businesses are supporting larger blocks.
We will carefully monitor the space, and keep you updated on the topic! There will be lots of debates, personal attacks, and disagreements, but in the end we need to take a step back and remember how amazing it is that this can happen at all. Never in history has the world of finance been available to the common man without the corrosive influence of governments and privately held banks.
The next few months will be an important time for the Bitcoin community. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you have a voice and an opinion. So while we defend, debate, and disagree, let’s enjoy the fact that this is possible.
Devs we are grateful for the amazing work you have done so far, but now stop being so stubborn – it’s Bitcoin, stupid!