'No Scaling Agreements' Planned for July Bitcoin Miner-Developer Event

A late July gathering featuring members of bitcoin’s development and mining communities will not focus on scaling.

AccessTimeIconJul 18, 2016 at 5:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:22 p.m. UTC

A late July gathering to feature members of bitcoin's development and mining communities, and organized by contributors to Bitcoin Core, will not focus specifically on the issue of scaling, according to materials provided to CoinDesk.

Originally reported as a more formal event that would see the digital currency's global community attempting to break ground on how best to scale the network’s transaction capacity, it is now being labeled by organizers as an invite-only social function focused on improving relationships.

Of focus, organizers said, will be reducing the "language and cultural gap" dividing attendees on larger issues through activities such as sightseeing, community meals and informal discussions.

Organizers said that while the conversation will include "discussions about technologies that may help bitcoin scale", these will be a byproduct of the conversation, rather than the specific mandate or goal of the event.

The meetup guidelines, sent to all attendees for signature, read:

"Participants recognize that because bitcoin consensus rules are decided by the users based on the software they choose to run, so proposed changes must be discussed in public with input from the whole bitcoin community. For these reasons, there will be no agreements or roundtable consensus coming out of this event."

Bitcoin Core developer BTC Drak said that organizers are looking to the event as a way to ease what he described as the sometimes "tense" relations between miners and developers.

In recent weeks, these have flared as mainstream media attention was again drawn to the block size debate and its cultural nuances.

"I have a positive expectation. We all contribute to the bitcoin ecosystem, and if there is constant negativity and sparring, it doesn't help anyone," he said.

Not another Hong Kong

Notable is that the meetup follows a meeting between miners and contributors to Bitcoin Core that took place this winter in Hong Kong, and that organizers suggest contributed to misconceptions about the role of miners and developers in the bitcoin ecosystem.

During that meeting, a number of Core contributors present agreed to propose an increase in the size of the limit on bitcoin’s transaction blocks within three months of the code for Segregated Witness being delivered. However, it was perhaps more widely viewed as a formal agreement between two industry sectors.

Here again, organizers stressed that none of the involved parties wants the event to create the impression that their decisions are able to alter the decentralized network.

"Given what has gone on in the past, everyone is afraid of being vilified or worse, and that the narrative people takeaway from the event will be wrong," BTC Drak continued.

The meeting also comes ahead of the next installment of Scaling Bitcoin in October, a technical event that aims to bring together the digital currency’s global development community, and that was started in the wake of the scaling debate.

Organizers described this forum as more suitable for larger scaling discussions, given the community consensus that is needed.

Public details

As for how the community may be able to follow the event, organizers said that some materials will be made available to the public in an effort to increase transparency.

Organizers said that transcripts of the event without attribution will be available following the event.

"You are free to take your own written notes and use and the information received but you must not record the identity of any speaker and give no attribution to any ideas or concepts," the materials said.

Punch bowl image via Shutterstock


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