Ready And Waiting
Because of the steadfast stubbornness of the Bitcoin Core software development team to refuse to raise the protocol’s maximum block size in a timely fashion, three software forks are ready and waiting in the wings to save the day if the Bitcoin network starts to become overly unreliable due to continuous growth in usage.
So, why would the Bitcoin Core team drag its feet for 2+ years on solving the seemingly simple maximum block issue? Perhaps it’s because some key members of the development team, most notably Greg Maxwell, are paid by a commercial company whose mission is to profit from championing side-chain technology: Blockstream.com. Greg Maxwell is a Blockstream co-founder.
I don’t know the deployment status of Bitcoin Unlimited or Bitcoin Classic, but I do know that a number of key Bitcoin community players experimented with running the Bitcoin XT software (authored by long-time, dedicated Bitcoiner Gavin Andresen and former Bitcoiner Mike Hearn). The Bitcoin Core team was so offended by the transgression that either they and/or their followers executed a series of DDoS attacks on XT nodes to punish the offenders and coerce the infidels to revert back to running the Bitcoin Core code.
Since the date on which Bitcoin XT’s increased maximum block size functionality was supposed to kick in has expired, some people have said that Bitcoin XT has outright failed. However, BD00 thinks that Bitcoin XT and/or its siblings will be adopted quicker than you can say “Blockstream” if the Bitcoin network becomes systemically unusable under a frozen Bitcoin Core code base. After all, there is at least $6 billion dollars of market value and $1 billion dollars of investment capital staked on the success of Bitcoin. So if push comes to shove, Bitcoin Core just might get shoved out into the cold by the rest of the community (users, miners, exchanges).