Group Seeks Unlimited Bitcoin Block Sizes

A group of bitcoiners, calling themselves Bitcoin Unlimited, have produced a fork of the Bitcoin Core that does not limit the size of blocks.

Bitcoin Unlimited was apparently formed by members of the Bitco.in forum, which eschews the censorship that other bitcoin forums have been accused of.

A member of the group, Andrew Stone, summarized the main ideas of Bitcoin Unlimited on Bitcoin.com:

  • Bitcoin is a public good
  • The current Bitcoin Core project’s authoritative leadership style does not give a voice to many participants in the Bitcoin ecosystem. We have written a careful document that should prevent a cadre of people from taking a project “hostage”
  • The Bitcoin P2P network should be for people, not for settlement or for the sake of itself
  • The block size should not be part of the consensus — it should be part of the network layer
  • 0-conf transactions are useful

Stone┬áindicated that the Bitcoin Unlimited client chooses the “most-work” chain as the active chain regardless of block size, yet allows clients to “discourage” excessively large blocks.

However, the group was also primarily formed as its members see problems in decision making for the Bitcoin’s future.┬áIn its articles of federation, Bitcoin Unlimited states that there is not a venue for most actors in the Bitcoin Ecosystem to express ideas about the evolution of the network.

The articles state:

Instead we see a project controlled by a small group of developers employed by finance-oriented for-profit startup companies, and the emergence of corporate products (Lightning network, Side-chains and permissioned ledgers) that would materially benefit from a Bitcoin network that is incapable of handling the transactional demand required for a worldwide public good.

Whether these corporate developers are intentionally acting against the long term success of Bitcoin is irrelevant. In cases of potential conflict of interest, the ethical and socially accepted behavior should be to recuse oneself from such a position of influence. Instead these developers insist on a poorly defined consensus for determining the development of a MIT licensed code base which they did not initially create. This tactic has had the opposite effect of recusal, giving themselves veto power over any changes. This has stalled improvements on the block size issue in the Bitcoin Core variant.

The group believes that it can be an important element in the Bitcoin ecosystem that counters the poorly defined consensus at bitcoin’s core, but “will not assert centralized ownership of the protocol.” Through its Bitcoin Unlimited client, the group hopes to help bitcoin actors to assert and express freedom of choice.