Bitcoin

Eight Leading Bitcoin Players Endorse Bigger Block Sizes, XT Nodes Experience Brief Surge

Eight leading Bitcoin sector companies, Bitpay, Blockchain, Circle, KNCMiner, itBit, Bitnet, Xapo and Bitgo, have in a letter endorsed the proposal of Gavin Andresen, BIP101, to expand the current Bitcoin block size.

The pledge from the Bitcoin firms comes after a group led by Andresen, the Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist and one of the Bitcoin Core committers, made available the full release of Bitcoin XT, a patch set on top of Bitcoin Blockchain that allows for increased block sizes.

The decision by the startups also came after extensive consultations with core developers, miners and other industry participants, and in response to backlash to the fork on Twitter and Reddit’s Bitcoin page. Bitcoin XT was even allegedly censored by Reddit forum administrators.

Nonetheless, the proponents of the block size increase from 1 to 8 MB believe it is necessary for the digital currency’s reliability and viability as a mainstream payment system.

The letter was signed by:

The letter specifically supports Gavin Andresen’s BIP101 proposal for expanding the block size:

Our community stands at a crossroads. The debate about which path to take has, by and large, been a healthy one, and we have not interposed our own positions or interfered in the discourse. Until today, our involvement has consisted of listening, researching and testing. We believe that work is complete, and it is time to communicate our view in a clear and transparent manner.

After lengthy conversations with core developers, miners, our own technical teams, and other industry participants, we believe it is imperative that we plan for success by raising the maximum block size.

We support the implementation of BIP101. We have found Gavin’s arguments on both the need for larger blocks and the feasibility of their implementation – while safeguarding Bitcoin’s decentralization – to be convincing. BIP101 and 8MB blocks are already supported by a majority of the miners and we feel it is time for the industry to unite behind this proposal.

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.

The support somewhat vindicates Andresen, who had been publically attacked by some of the other Bitcoin core developers.

For the BIP101 block size campaign to succeed, Bitcoin XT needs 75% of bitcoin miners to upgrade to its version of software, and the block size will become the consensus. The 25% or less minority of miners will be forced to adopt the fork.

Back in June, five major Chinese Bitcoin companies, F2Pool, AntPool, BW, BTCChina and Huobi, also came out in support of increasing the block size to 8 MB. These companies alone represent more than 60% of Bitcoin mining pools.

According to XTnodes.com, Bitcoin XT has  surged to 3,745 nodes or around 40% of the nodes, as the number of XT nodes surged after the support from the eight leading Bitcoin companies was made public.

This surge however was temporary as the number of XT nodes fell back to below 1000.

 

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Journalist, policy analyst, and evangelist of new, disruptive technologies including big data analytics, Internet of Things, and cryptocurrencies. Internet industry veteran with regional c-suite experience, and journalist credentials earned at internet.com, Internet World magazine, and Mecklermedia Corporation.
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