Sergio Demian Lerner, who refers to himself as a Cryptocurrency Security Consultant on his Twitter profile, received more than 500 replies to tweets about a new scaling proposal, designed to put an end to the tense debate that has culminated in a social split of the Bitcoin Community. Mr. Lerner proposed a project called “SegWit2MB” to the Bitcoin developers mailing list.
“Segwit2Mb is the project to merge into Bitcoin a minimal patch that aims to untangle the current conflict between different political positions regarding segwit activation vs. an increase of the on-chain blockchain space through a standard block size increase,” says Mr. Lerner. “It is not a new solution, but it should be seen more as a least common denominator.”
He tweeted why such a solution is needed: “A large part of the community wants a 2Mb block-size increase instead of segwit. Therefore we need a compromise solution.”
Least Common Block Size Debate Denominator
The proposal calls for 95 percent miner support, which Mr. Lerner contends ensures there won’t be any controversy, thus minimizing the risk of a coin split, where two separate Bitcoin blockchains are created.
At 95 percent, SegWit2Mb is immediately activated. The proposal combines the standing Bitcoin Core SegWit soft fork proposal and a 2MB hardfork known as BIP 102, proposed by Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik.
Segwit2MB Could ‘Unify’, says Erik Voorhees
In a post on his blog, Money and State, digital exchange ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees pledged support for the perceived compromise.
“So long as the social order goes unresolved, the technical order is threatened,” he writes. “Even that technician with care neither in people nor politics must appreciate this dynamic if he desires to further the project. The people, the community, are in fact part of the machine itself. All technical efforts are diminished if they exist in a vacuum from the social, and dismissing the social interests of others as ‘merely political’ is itself a political impulse.”
Mr. Voorhees believes Mr. Lerner’s proposal could unify the Bitcoin community. “It has the potential to unify not only disparate technical beliefs, but the social fabric of this community, which is as important,” he blogs. “Any alternative, which even may be superior technically, while not resolving anything socially, must be said to be in fact inferior, on proper accounting.”
Mr. Voorhees adds: “From where Bitcoin stands and the risk it faces, a good technical solution which can heal socially, is easily superior to a perfect technical solution which further inflames the community (especially if that ‘perfect technical solution’ never comes to pass).”
Some Urge Precaution
Mr. Lerner’s Twitter followers also shared their opinions. “Re-implementing SegWit as a hardfork requires at least 6 months of code review. The objective of this is to defuse the conflict,” wrote one follower.
“So we are trying to please some politician and their marketing team that decided they just want anything that can green tick to ‘hard fork’”, added another.
Matt Corallo, a colleague and co-founder of Blockstream, replied to the proposal via email on the Bitcoin development mailing list: “You appear to have ignored the last two years of Bitcoin hard fork research and understanding, recycling instead BIP 102 from 2015,” Corallo wrote. “There are many proposals which have pushed the state of hard fork research much further since then, and you may wish to read some of the posts on this mailing list.”
Image adapted from BTC Keychain/Flickr.