Does size matter? In many things it does.
Whilst the bickering and chest pounding that does go on between Crypto communities could be described as a ‘who’s got the biggest dick’ contest this is a rather more techy article on block size. Sounds boring, maybe to the newbie, but I assure you that you should have a basic understanding of this.
The team and I are in post-production (that’s editing) of the first episodes of our series ‘The Real Cryptos’. Check out the trailer here. Neha Narula who is the Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, took a bit of pressure off us with her description of Bitcoin when she froze on 60 minutes with Anderson Cooper on Sunday night. She, like many in Bitcoin, found herself stumbling when asked ‘what is Bitcoin’. Actually, I feel more pressure to get it right now. The goal of our series is to educate a wide audience on what Bitcoin is and that is a monumental task! We are throwing in plenty of entertainment as well to help grow an audience and introduce more people to Bitcoin.
When I first started learning about Bitcoin it was Internet money exchanged peer to peer, that’s between two people without a third party involved. It was also a price on an exchange that just kept on going up and that I am sure, is what it is for most of you reading this. I then progressed to understanding it as a new monetary system. Things were going ok in my understanding of Bitcoin then trouble hit within the Bitcoin community and a Hardfork happened. Some members within the Bitcoin community wanted to see Bitcoin be more usable for everyday purchases. They felt the blocks needed to be bigger to enable fast transactions. This article, like the website, is designed for people new to the crypto space so I will keep it high level.
The Hardfork created a new Bitcoin Blockchain, Bitcoin Cash. I had to learn a whole new language as terms like Segwit, UASF and user-activated soft fork, arrived to confuse me. A lot of screaming and yelling amongst the Bitcoin community flooded in and an intense debate took place. I was fixated on what I could find on the then limited Crypto websites and on YouTube. It was during the hardfork of mid-2017 that I became completely hooked on Bitcoin. It had everything, drama, excitement, fast financial gains and big characters. You are going to meet these characters in this video series so make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel.
If you’re a newbie, the main thing you need to understand about this Hardfork is that some people from within Bitcoin did not like the fact that the blocks where being kept at one megabyte. The 10 minutes you have to wait for a transaction to go through would hold Bitcoins adoption back in their opinion.
The Pizza night in Singapore to celebrate 9 years of pain for the guy who spent 10000 Bitcoin on two pizzas was good fun. There was the Bitcoin Cash crowd, Bitcoiners and some Bitcoin SV, the new Bit on the Block people, there also.
Bitcoin SV Hardfork
In November 2018 disagreement came back again, this time within the Bitcoin Cash community. This community split and we now have Bitcoin SV. No offence to the many other Bitcoins out there, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond the list goes on, but this article is just covering the three main Bitcoin blockchains.
Bitcoin SV has certainly stirred things up within the communities and made covering the industry more difficult but also certainly more exciting. The Bitcoin SV community is lead by Craig Wright and his company nChain. Calvin Ayer is the other main player with his huge mining clout and his support of Bitcoin SV. Next week they have a conference in Canada that is also about making the blocks bigger on their chain. This will be a very interesting conference and I will be intrigued to see how advanced they are in their endeavours to enable large blocks and therefore large movements of data on the Bitcoin SV blockchain.
Bitcoin reducing its Block size?
One of the most respected Bitcoin core developers, Luke Dash Jr, is actually calling for the Bitcoin block size to be reduced to 300 kb. It appears that the current block size creates a security threat if not enough people are running a full node. This news came as a shock to me and I encourage anyone who holding Bitcoin to download a full node. A full node is a copy of the Bitcoin blockchain that can sit on your computer. Check out our Bitcoin resources for more info. Luke Dash explained that unless 85% of the chain is running a full node it leaves the Bitcoin blockchain open to security breaches via light wallets. Reducing the block size would help secure the network but also increase transaction times. I think the debate will rage on this in the coming weeks. It should at least.
So I hope this gave you a slightly better understanding of the different Bitcoin blockchains, why we have them and why their block sizes are different. It is a complex topic. We will keep covering it as it really is the core issue in the Battle of Bitcoins.
Personally, I think we will see these three Bitcoin Blockchains dominate much of the Crypto eco-space. Will there be only one in the end? This year will teach us a lot. The contest is heating up. You will meet the key people involved in this if you subscribe to this channel.