Mike Hearn’s inconsistencies with respect to block size

By January 17, 2016Bitcoin Business
Click here to view original web page at www.reddit.com

From his "The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment" post:

"The reason the true limit seems to be 700 kilobytes instead of the theoretical 1000 is that sometimes miners produce blocks smaller than allowed and even empty blocks, despite that there are lots of transactions waiting to confirm — this seems to be most frequently caused by interference from the Chinese “Great Firewall” censorship system. More on that in a second."

"Because the block chain is controlled by Chinese miners, just two of whom control more than 50% of the hash power. At a recent conference over 95% of hashing power was controlled by a handful of guys sitting on a single stage. The miners are not allowing the block chain to grow."

"And the final reason is that the Chinese internet is so broken by their government’s firewall that moving data across the border barely works at all, with speeds routinely worse than what mobile phones provide."

"Right now, the Chinese miners are able to — just about — maintain their connection to the global internet"

So, established by Mike: Chinese miners are currently the largest players, at least 50% of the mining power and they have limited bandwidth which is barely able to operate at current capacity. What is his solution?:

"In August 2015 it became clear that due to severe mismanagement, the “Bitcoin Core” project that maintains the program that runs the peer-to-peer network wasn’t going to release a version that raised the block size limit. The reasons for this are complicated and discussed below. But obviously, the community needed the ability to keep adding new users. So some long-term developers (including me) got together and developed the necessary code to raise the limit. That code was called BIP 101 and we released it in a modified version of the software that we branded Bitcoin XT."

BIP101: "The maximum size shall be 8,000,000 bytes at a timestamp of 2016-01-11 00:00:00 UTC"

So his solution, increase capacity to 8MB 6 days ago. So what are we to assume would have happened then? I don't claim to be smart enough to accurately predict the result but I'm pretty sure based on the assumptions Mike laid out in his own words this would impact most of bitcoin's mining capacity. Does this seem like a prudent plan to you?

I found a ton of other amazing misrepresentations, like this one:

"it’s now common to be asked to pay more to miners than a credit card would charge". Common? Really? Perhaps if one is spending 1 BTC of collected dust, but that doesn't not seem like a common scenario.

There are plenty more misrepresentations but I'm trying to stay focused on the bandwidth issue, though this is the kicker to me:

"When parts of the community are viciously turning on the people that have introduced millions of users to the currency, you know things have got really crazy." Isn't that just exactly what Mike Hearn did with this medium post? Not only did he turn on the people who managed to bootstrap, maintain and nurture this system, he turned on all of the XT supporters and all investors.

Also notice the failure to mention he's now an R3 employee working on a competing blockchain? Perhaps if he really cared about the people he worked with and the community he represented, that he claims he was trying to help with XT, in the interest of fairness and knowing the broader public eye would be on this post due to the NYT article, he would have disclosed that. He should have.

IMO, all indicators are that this was simply a bitcoin hit piece in an attempt to benefit his personal stock and new employer.

So to my point, if 1 of the 2 leaders of the XT movement would do such a thing and was so influential as to precipitate this major rift, should we perhaps use more caution before trusting successors with easy solutions?

I hope this post serves to reopen the questions regarding bandwidth which seem to not be adequately discussed (thanks /u/Mike_Hearn for providing the valuable information), and to hopefully restore some faith in the more mature and cautious development and process of the core developers vs. the reactive and emotional responses of their detractors. Note, I believe what Theymos did with censorship was wrong and completely antithetical to the spirit of bitcoin, but we need to be collectively cautious rather than assume the logical response is to blindly follow a different path and a new charismatic leader. Especially when that path seems to be clearly dangerous based on the prior leader's own words.

"The reason the true limit seems to be 700 kilobytes instead of the theoretical 1000 is that sometimes miners produce blocks smaller than allowed and even empty blocks, despite that there are lots of transactions waiting to confirm — this seems to be most frequently caused by interference from the Chinese “Great Firewall” censorship system. More on that in a second."

"Because the block chain is controlled by Chinese miners, just two of whom control more than 50% of the hash power. At a recent conference over 95% of hashing power was controlled by a handful of guys sitting on a single stage. The miners are not allowing the block chain to grow."

"And the final reason is that the Chinese internet is so broken by their government’s firewall that moving data across the border barely works at all, with speeds routinely worse than what mobile phones provide."

"Right now, the Chinese miners are able to — just about — maintain their connection to the global internet"

So, established by Mike: Chinese miners are currently the largest players, at least 50% of the mining power and they have limited bandwidth which is barely able to operate at current capacity. What is his solution?:

"In August 2015 it became clear that due to severe mismanagement, the “Bitcoin Core” project that maintains the program that runs the peer-to-peer network wasn’t going to release a version that raised the block size limit. The reasons for this are complicated and discussed below. But obviously, the community needed the ability to keep adding new users. So some long-term developers (including me) got together and developed the necessary code to raise the limit. That code was called BIP 101 and we released it in a modified version of the software that […]

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