Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The great Bitcoin blocksize debate as an ideological battle

I'm greatly saddened by the fighting between the two big Bitcoin camps. Even though they don't have official labels and my own labels may not be fully accurate, I have to use some labels, otherwise my article will make no sense. I'll simply label one of the groups "Bitcoin Core", and the other one "Bitcoin Unlimited".

Even though I'm not involved in research of Bitcoin anymore because my work on Bitmessage takes almost all of my time, as a dedicated HODLer I feel it as my obligation to try to explain to the people interested in Bitcoin why the discord exists, and why it's pointless to spend time on it. I hope that it will help people deeply think about their own values, and use them productively instead.


The conflict is often explained as a governance problem. I think this while there is an element of truth in it, misses the point. The reason for the conflict isn't a lack of procedures, but an emphasis of the differences in values.

Main axis: conservative versus progressive

The main reason why there is discord is the conservative vs. progressive affinity of the members of each groups. The "Bitcoin Core" group tends to be more conservative whereas the "Bitcoin Unlimited" tends to be more progressive. For the purposes of this article, I'll differentiate betwen the groups by their reaction to obstacles with respect to the existing rules; when facing an obstacle, the conservatives delay changing the rules and try to find a solution within, while the progressives more readily embrace a rule change and consider it as a part of solution. Conservatives view the rules as containing a historic wisdom which may not be apparent. Progressives view them as contextual and as a reaction to contemporary phenomena.

These tendencies are a naturally occurring phenomenon and are largely influenced by psychology. They reflect themselves in all areas of life. People are unlikely to change their affinity. They associate themselves with people with similar affinities, and the community membership gives them a sense of belonging. If someone tries to treat obstacles in a way conflicting with their affinity, they will view it as an attack on their values, and follow by an immediate counter by any means available. Typical reactions are accusations of being a traitor (collaboration with the enemy), segregating their opinions (censorship), ridicule and other ad hominems. It happens in politics (Brexit, Trump), or in religion (the different branches of Christianity or Islam). Even in cases when there is some element of truth in the accusations, they are mainly a symptom rather than a cause of the problem.

Unfortunately, psychology tends to catch up even well educated, highly experienced and an otherwise reasonable people, and they go full retard. This causes an enormous waste of resources, which otherwise could be spent on productive endeavours. Perhaps millenia ago, in hunter / gatherer societies, such a reaction to conflict made more sense, as there may not have been enough time to discuss the allocation of resources rationally.

People in the Bitcoin community of all should acknowledge that some people are naturally more conservative and some more progressive. This would help to calm down the situation.

Secondary axis: collectivism versus individualism

A second characteristic, orthogonal to the conservative / progressive one, is an affinity towards collectivism versus individualsim. Collectivists want everyone to adhere to a broad set of rules, whereas individualists want just a very narrow set of rules for everyone. In the forking debate, collectivists want there to be only one Bitcoin and the other to either die or never start in the first place, whereas individualists are either indifferent or prefer that both survive. In the forking debate, collectivists point to lost network effect, consumer confusion and similar things. Individualists argue that a fork would prevent oppression and allow to refocus resources productively.

While this axis explains a smaller proportion of the debate, it is perhaps more important. You see, conservatives and progresives can get along, as long as they are individualists. Once they calm down, they will leave each other alone and try to resolve conflicts peacefully. But there is no such solution with collectivists. They will appeal to the higher good and demand your subjugation to it (i.e. them).


Next time you're reading, writing, listening or talking on the topic of the blocksize, try to see the arguments from the point of view of the two axes I outlined. You'll be surprised how much of the underlying implications can be explained by the affinities. Please recognise that the conservative/progressive split is more or less a given and both sides have a legitimate reason for their position, and therefore there is a legitimate potential for a conflict. Remember that the real danger is collectivism and its most encroaching manifestation, the state. If afterwards you still think that a common solution cannot be found, then calmly prepare for a fork, and spend your time and resources in your part of the community, in a productive way.


  1. Where do you put the hodler, that fully own the bitcoin, that likes the idea of ending this by owning the same amount of tokens on both chains? :)

  2. I don't see Segwit and Lightning Network as "conservative", not at all.

    1. Well, compared to BU, they are. SegWit is a softfork, a tightening of the rules, and LN is a second layer which happens within the rules. The Bitcoin core wants a hard fork with a block size increase (changing the rules) later.

      BU for comparison, wants to hardfork (change the rules) with a block size increase sooner. Instead of SegWit, they propose a different transaction format, FlexTrans, also a hardfork. They want LN later.

      An obstacle (transaction backlog) is addressed by BC by the same rules (or their tightening) first and loosening them later, whereas BU want to address it by changing the rules first. Moreover, BC views the blocksize and a backlog as containing a hidden wisdom, a mechanism to keep Bitcoin secure.

    2. From my point of view, as an early adopter (2010), removing the current block size limit, and then enabling new "good" things as LN later, is the most conservative way :)

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    It's almost like the bitcoin community decided to smoke crack, throw Mike Hearn (an actually competent individual) + the white paper under the bus, and somehow think high fees won't lead to substitutes gaining traction. Yea, that definitely sounds conservative to me...

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  41. If it aligns with your marketing strategy, consider hiring a professional social media manager or outsourcing the work. The best way to use Facebook Ads for local advertising is to know precisely what your goal is for your ads. If you want to gain new followers, work that into the ad itself.

    You don't have to spend a ton of time recreating the wheel, just take some time to find new ways to get your current content into the hands of your target personas. This can be especially impactful for organizations that have created content in the past but don't have the time or support to be publishing brand new content frequently. By using that data, you can serve display advertising to get them to come back to your website based on their actual interests — not your best guess of what their interests include. If you personalize your advertising outreach, you can increase the likelihood of a return visit. You may discover local brands and businesses that perfectly supplement and support your brand while targeting similar audiences. Both goals should be represented in your social media posts, articles, or videos.

    The higher up the page you are, the more likely customers are to find you. Remember that you don’t want to just push in with a link and an obvious advertisement. Instead, try to add value by answering questions, sharing your expertise, or, in cases where a customer is unhappy, making a good faith effort to help. Forum threads tend to remain searchable for years, so a single post can generate passive income for a long time. Look for opportunities to list your business on any directories or review sites that you’re not already using.

    In the early 2000s Torrance’s measures were adapted for advertising by the Indiana University communications researcher Robert Smith and his colleagues. They came up with five dimensions of advertising creativity, which form the basis for our survey. Elaboration refers to the amount of detail given in a response, and abstractness measures the degree to which a slogan or a word moves beyond being a label for something concrete.

    According to referral marketing statistics, referred customers have a 37% higher customer retention rate. Put a fishbowl at your place of business with a sign inviting visitors to drop their business cards in for a chance to win something from you. For example, a restaurant might offer a free lunch for the whole office. They have beginner and advanced examples for you to browse through.

    Incorporate your company name and logo so when they post the photos online, you receive free advertising. Consider using popular culture items such as characters, phrases or situations in your advertisements. This can help you make your products feel more relatable and timely to your audience. Most tourist cities and high-travel areas produce free city maps that people use for sightseeing and navigation. Sponsoring one of these maps or having your business included in their listings may help you reach more customers or become a tourist destination. This is showing a very impressive concept that is how we humans are destroying marine life by using plastic products like plastic bags, straws, etc in excessive quantities.

    Arguably the biggest benefit of running a campaign versus ad-hoc marketing is that you’re focused. By tying your posts and promos back to specific goals, objectives and outcomes, you prevent yourself from freestyling. If you’re just starting to promote your business, you should interact with online communities related to your industry. By adding your business information to your vehicle, you’ll attract potential customers every time you take your car out. Cold calling is a sales technique in which you contact potential customers who have not previously expressed interest in your offerings. https://www.reviewengin.com/first-steps-to-building-online-business/

  42. They also have a strong number of integrations with other software tools. The nopCommerce admin panel allows you to upload unlimited products, manage multiple stores and vendors from one place, calculate shipping rates, and use their built-in marketing tools. All of the plans enable you to sell your products online, embed “buy now” buttons, add shopping carts, integrate with multiple payment options, and powerful analytics. Overall, if you want a simple-to-use, multi-channel ecommerce platform, give Zyro a try. You can start with a free plan to test out its website features, then upgrade to an ecommerce plan when you’re ready.That’s a lot of people looking for online products and services. Recent data shows that three-quarters of companies agree that email marketing offers "excellent" to "good" ROI. Again, business-to-business opportunities are something you should consider in selling your products or services. https://www.reviewengin.com/category/bonus/

  43. We were inspired by their beauty and elegance to fly high, just like geese. Despite its impressive capabilities, GPT-4 shares similar limitations with its predecessors. To address this issue, different approaches, such as human review, grounding with additional context, or avoiding high-stakes uses altogether, should be adopted based on specific use cases. GPT-4 has made significant strides in creativity and coherence, making it an invaluable tool for content creators and developers. https://www.reviewengin.com/gpt-4-uncovered-revolutionizing-ai-changing-our-world/

  44. How 10 Things Will Change The Way You Approach Tradeonix Pro Review - https://www.reviewengin.com/tradeonix-pro-review/