Coinbase CEO Armstrong: I’d Like to Increase the Block Size in December

By October 14, 2015Bitcoin Business
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Coinbase CEO Armstrong: I'd Like to Increase the Block Size in December

The Bitcoin debate of the year has been about how the blockchain block size matters. Whether to increase block size, how to do it, and when to do it, everyone seems to have an opinion. Now, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who has been mostly silent on the issue, has weighed in with a personal desire for growth, seemingly aligning with other Bitcoin corporate leadership.

To BIP or not to BIP, that is the question

BIP 100, crafted by noted developer Jeff Garzikc is the current favorite amongst miners and the voting majority when it comes to block size upgrades. With BIP100 the power to set the block size limit is transferred from the Bitcoin development community to mining pools, up to a roof of 32MB. BIP101 would have the block size grow to 8MB starting this December, and is widely supported by the Bitcoin corporate ownership. Proposed by Core developers Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen, BIP101 has not gained much traction amongst voters, partially because this proposal was also tied to a fork called Bitcoin XT.

BIP101 had a manifesto that was signed as a vote of confidence by many of the leading businessmen in the Bitcoin community. The Chief Executive Officers include Stephen Pair of BitPay, Peter Smith of Blockchain.info, Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville of Circle, Sam Cole of KNCMiner, John McDonnell of Bitnet.io, Charles Cascarilla of itBit, Wences Casares of Xapo, and Mike Belshe of BitGo.

Brian Armstrong was a glaring omission, but he seems to have aligned with BIP101 on his Twitter account Monday, linking to the document in a Tweet.

We needs a solution in place sooner rather than later. Proposals I've seen are reasonable, low enough risk, now we just need code.

— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) October 13, 2015

The corporate leaders do not seem to have galvanized any support for BIP101, and the 8MB block size itself has only seen a tepid interest. Maybe Armstrong sees a great influx in Bitcoin use for the holiday season, but the 8MB increase may be too much to ask for at this time.

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Bitcoin Block Battle: Top Corporations Support BIP 101 as Debate Rages On

The battle rages on within the Bitcoin community on how to move forward with potential hard fork changes designed to accommodate larger block sizes. Jeff Garzik’s BIP 100 proposal has taken the mining industry by storm, gathering a majority of support of those currently voting. Meanwhile, Bitcoin corporate leaders have formed a united front around the proposal by Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen called BIP 101.

Which side are you on?

On Tuesday, August 24, the leaders of many of the largest Bitcoin companies in the world signed off on BIP 101 as their revision of choice. They crafted a manifesto declaring a solid vote of confidence of BIP 101. For details on how BIP 101 works, click here to see the details on GitHub, posted by Gavin Andresen.

The Chief Executive Officers include Stephen Pair of BitPay, Peter Smith of Blockchain.info, Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville of Circle, Sam Cole of KNCMiner, John McDonnell of Bitnet.io, Charles Cascarilla of itBit, Wences Caseres of Xapo, and Mike Belshe of BitGo. An excerpt reads:

We support the implementation of BIP101. We have found Gavins arguments on both the need for larger blocks and the feasibility of their implementation, while safeguarding Bitcoins decentralization, to be convincing. Our companies will be ready for larger blocks by December 2015 and we will run code that supports this.

As our community grows, it is essential, now more than ever, that we seek strong consensus to ensure network reliability. We pledge to support BIP101 in our software and systems by December 2015, and we encourage others to join us.

This high level of corporate support has not been shared by the voting mining community. In fact, quite the opposite, as those who are voting over the last month have flocked towards Jeff Garzik’s BIP 100 proposal, as we have reported here.

Bitcoin Block Size Debate Reaches The Alex Jones Show

Other community leaders have spoken out on this issue. Julia Tourianski of BraveTheWorld.com was the guest host on the Alex Jones Show on Friday and responded to a caller’s question about this issue directly.

“Bitcoin XT is a terrible idea, and I would take the other core engineers and developers much more seriously,” Tourianski replied on air. “(They) are organizing an event in Montreal (“Scaling Bitcoin”) in September to have an open dialogue about the changes, and how we can implement them incrementally, and what is the best way of going about it.”

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