Back in 2015, when the issue of increasing transaction throughput was submitted for review, the framing was off. People had talked about the block size limit even since before Satoshi actually added the 1MB limit originally in 2010.

But the framing was off given all the new technological innovation that had taken place since then! (I’ll get back to this later)

I wrote in my previous piece that since 2010, a number of soft forks have been deployed successfully, employing a series of mechanisms that were increasing in sophistication. …


There seems to be a considerable amount of confusion among Bitcoin users regarding the nature of the process underlying changes to the Bitcoin protocol. In an earlier post I described the process for making code changes to the Bitcoin Core software repository. In this post I’ll go over the far more intricate process underlying changes to the consensus rules that ensure everyone ends up on the same blockchain and sees the same ledger and transaction history.

Different nodes ending up on different chains is known as a consensus fork or a chain split. Note that this type of fork is…


A major point of confusion, especially among people who have not worked a lot on free open source software development, is how Bitcoin Core makes changes to its code. I adapted a post I had previously made as a response to another article since I believe this topic deserves its own post.

Commit access, the ability to add new commits to the Bitcoin Core codebase, is a maintenance role…making sure the repository doesn’t get vandalized and that only commits that have wide support or are otherwise no-brainers get merged. It is a misconception that only people with commit access are…


When I first started working on Bitcoin applications nearly six years ago, I worked under the assumption that even though the Bitcoin software itself might evolve, the consensus rules that allow the system to converge to a single ledger state were essentially immutable. At the time I didn’t own a lot of bitcoins — I mostly thought of it as a cool new technology, but I did understand the value of a network that prevented malicious actors from being able to easily alter the ledger or its rules.

In the early days, I thought the technology held great promise —…


The most misleading paragraph in the entire Satoshi white paper, without a doubt, is the third paragraph of section 4:

The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote. The majority decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains. To modify a past…

Eric Lombrozo

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