Bitcoin Core (BTC) developer Luke Dash Jr has once again sparked controversy with his idea to shrink the BTC chain’s block size down to 300kb. It’s not the first time the concept was proposed by the developer, but this time around there’s more support for the idea in order to drive Lightning Network adoption.
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Luke Dash Jr Proposes Temporary 300kb Block Soft Fork
Back in January 2017, cryptocurrency developer Luke Dash Jr proposed a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) requesting the block size to be decreased down to 300kb per block. The proposal was submitted months before network fees skyrocketed to $30-50 per transaction, but at the time the mempool (transaction queue) had already started to fill up. Back then the BIP was brushed off pretty quickly, since the scaling debate was starting to peak and people were already upset about the rising fee market.
Fast forward to today and Dash Jr is again proposing to shrink the block size down to less than one third of the 1mb limit. “This patch would enforce a very simple soft fork, reducing Bitcoin block sizes to ~300kb between Aug 1 and Dec 31 — It demonstrates how one can make a truly temporary soft fork,” the developer explained to on Twitter. “Do not run this in production even if you support UASF.”
‘Increase Fees and Move Transactions to Lightning’
Three days later Bitrefill’s John Carvalho told his followers Dash Jr’s plan was something he could get behind. “I agree with Luke Dash Jr that the block size should be smaller. I feel more confident to say it now that we have Lightning Network making strides — I’ll run the soft fork,” Carvalho explained. When he was asked what financial incentives smaller blocks offered, Carvalho replied by bolstering higher network fees.
“I could imagine a few,” Carvalho stated. “To increase fees (doesn’t even have to be malicious, could be for survival). To move transactions to Lightning Network (maybe miners realize they can make easier money by increasing fees on L2, under the right conditions). To reduce costs (new network/web conditions).”
In response to Carvalho’s tweet, the cryptocurrency entrepreneur Vinny Lingham replied to the discussion by saying that he totally agrees with Dash Jr’s plan and has been saying it for a while. “1mb is an arbitrary number and if Bitcoin is going to rely on L2 to scale, then it makes no sense to keep it at 1mb. — Reducing it to 350k as per the research from Luke Dash Jr is practical and can help move transactions to layer 2,” Lingham emphasized. A slew of people on Twitter believed that Lingham’s statement was said in jest, however, and was basically poking fun at the idea.
‘Stop the Madness’
However, not everyone agreed with Dash Jr’s concept and Carvalho’s statements about higher fees to push more Lightning Network adoption. One observer on Twitter commented: “Smaller blocks simply means less transactions on the chain, purposefully hard-coding a lower limit — It doesn’t make any logical sense.” However, Carvalho, Dash Jr, and Bitcoin Core developer Jorge Timón simply dismissed the individual’s statements after he said Lightning Network was “centralized, bloated, and overcomplicated”.
Whatever the case may be, this time around Dash Jr’s concept to decrease the block size to 300kb has been more fruitful, especially for those pushing for adoption of the Lightning Network. However, Cobra the anonymous owner of Bitcoin.org, wants this discussion to end and has asked the community to “stop the madness.”
“A soft fork to ‘reduce the block size’ is a hard fork in all but name and this will split off from the established consensus, cause massive drama, and damage trust in Bitcoin,” Cobra stated. Once again it seems certain cryptocurrency proponents are all about high onchain fees due to their distrust for miners and the hope that the Lightning Network will work as well as Nakamoto consensus.
What do you think about Luke Dash Jr’s idea to temporarily soft fork bitcoin to decrease the block size to 300kb? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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