Ending the Bitcoin Civil War

In the spirit of love and reconciliation, I’d like to briefly share my prescription for ending the Bitcoin block size debate/civil war.

1. Press Delete

There’s been a lot of vitriol exchanged between supporters of Core and Classic. Tempers have flared, and then some. Friends & respected colleagues have become enemies.

Let’s press delete on all of that history.

If we’re truly driven by the best possible outcome for Bitcoin, we should all be able to do that. All previous insults and barbs are forgiven and forgotten.

2. Compromise

The only way to compromise is to look at the immediate short term outcomes each group has, and figure out something that will work for both. Compromise is not a one-sided agreement.

In fact, it’s not a compromise unless each side feels like they’re not getting their preferred outcome.

3. Why Not Both?

Segregated witness is a great innovation by Core, which Classic supporters are in favor of.

An increase in the block size to 2 MB is what miners, businesses, and users want. Even Adam Back was gunning for this increase as a first stage upgrade.

A hard fork is required to increase the block size to 2 MB; a hard fork would make the deployment of segregated witness cleaner (no soft fork hacks required).

Imagine if Core and Classic got together and merged their efforts in a single, consensus-based hard fork.

A 2 MB increase in the block size gives immediate breathing room for transaction capacity, while segregated witness solves transaction malleability and a raft of other issues that we all want (with an effective increase in the transaction capacity as a lovely side-effect). This buys us time to kick the tires on the lightning network, improve block propogation, test out other interesting improvements such as IBLT, thin blocks etc.

I’m willing to bet that a joint announcement to this effect would begin to heal a fractured community.

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