A Hijacked Vision
If you dive into Satoshi Nakamoto’s writings like I have, you’ll quickly discover that his (their?) original vision for Bitcoin was that the network be available as a permission-less, peer-to-peer payment system intended for anyone, anywhere, anytime. And yes, that includes billions of disenfranchised people currently without the ability or opportunity to open a bank account.
In order for Bitcoin to scale to accommodate billions of daily users, the maximum block size currently burned into the network protocol must be increased from the paltry 1 megabyte size that’s been in effect since the birth of bitcoin way back in 2009.
Before disappearing into the ether, Satoshi foresaw the potential growth of bitcoin and had these words to say about the maximum block size:
The bitcoin core software development team, most of whom are employed by the for-profit company Blockstream, have hijacked Satoshi’s vision by steadfastly refusing to increase the bitcoin on-chain maximum block size beyond 1 megabyte.
Assuming 200 bytes per transaction, each 1 MB bitcoin block can hold a up to 5000 transactions. Since blocks are validated at 10 minute intervals, that means the network capacity is currently capped at a measly 8 transactions per second (versus Visa/PayPal capacities of hundreds of thousands of transactions/sec).
A quick glance at the home page of Blockchain.info shows that every block is full and confirmations are taking much longer than 10 minutes.
With more and more transactions competing to be added to each block, the per transaction miner’s fee, which originally amounted to pennies, is increasing at such at rate that only large transactions will make economic sense in the near future. In the worse case, people might as well quit trying to enter the Bitcoin ecosystem and revert back to using dinosaur remittance providers like Western Union at 20% per transaction.
As new individual users and businesses attempt to experiment with bitcoin, many of them are not only being turned off by larger and larger transaction fees, they’re increasingly getting annoyed by long confirmation delays – even to the point of having their transactions dropped from the network altogether because of overcapacity at peak usage times.
Of course, the bitcoin core development team (which may as well be called Adam Bach’s Blockstream Inc. team) has a billion technical excuses for keeping the max block size at 1MB, all of which have been debunked by the pro-increase-in-block-size technical community. Everyone knows the real motivation behind core’s uncompromising position: Blockstream’s plan to profit from the side chain products they are developing.
Speaking of the pro-increase-in-block-size technical community, they are on their third valiant try at attempting to put Bitcoin back on track with Satoshi’s original vision:
To hell with the Bitcoin core development team’s self-serving roadmap for Bitcoin, I support Bitcoin Unlimited. So should you.