Support Grows for BIP 100 Bitcoin Block Size Proposal

Grace Caffyn
Aug 26, 2015 at 13:40 UTC
Updated Aug 27, 2015 at 13:21 UTC
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Support for BIP 100, the market-led scalability fix from core developer Jeff Garzik, is growing as more miners pick sides in bitcoin’s block size debate.

Data from BlockTrail indicates the percentage of blocks mined in support of BIP 100 has quadrupled to 22% following the backing of bitcoin’s biggest mining pool DiscusFish / F2Pool on Monday night.

Miners have the ability to voice their preference for which proposal they support, be it BIP 100 or an 8MB increase, when they ‘tag’ each block they mine. Unlike votes for controversial bitcoin client XT, these tags will not trigger a hard fork of the software.

Garzik’s proposal, first published in June, calls for a “free-market-based approach” to bitcoin’s scalability. Unlike solutions that impose a set cap on the size of bitcoin blocks that increases over time, each block will be dynamic – its capacity agreed by consensus in the mining community.

This, Garzik says, is a less risky way to test bigger blocks incrementally – and one that will allow miners to adjust to any potential issues in real-time.

The ‘tags’ come following the announcement of a two-day bitcoin scalability workshop for the currency’s key engineers and academics in Montreal next month. It is rumoured to be the first time bitcoin’s top developers will meet all together in person. Another, to be held in Hong Kong, is pencilled in for later this year to cater for the vast mining community located in China.

BIP 100

Current statistics

Currently, DiscusFish / F2Pool, Kano CKPool and Bit Club network, which accounts for around 1.4% of the current hashrate, are supporting BIP 100. Yet, as the statistic above show, miners presenting over half of bitcoin’s hashpower have not yet wavered from the current 1MB default. Some may yet specify their preference, others may not.

Of all the proposed changes, an 8MB increase has the biggest share of bitcoin’s hashrate (25.5%), with support from KnCMiner, Antpool, 21 Inc and BW Pool. Meanwhile, Gavin Andresen’s XT fork – which has been branded “dangerous” by some core developers – lags behind with 1%, despite 14.6% of nodes showing support.

Additionally, Slush.io, the only mining pools having voted for XT so far, appears to have ‘switched off’ its vote in its most recent blocks.

Tally image via Shutterstock, pool distribution charts via BlockTrail