New Bitcoin software appears because of the dispute over the block size limit

By Daniel Zo Bitcoin, Blockchain, Bitcoin XT

We are all well-aware of the fact that there is no central authority over Bitcoin. However, decisions are made by the upper echelons of Bitcoin developers in terms of how the core software, also known as the Blockchain needs to evolve, especially now since there are a high number of Bitcoin users on the market.

Disagreements at this level can lead to trouble. With this in mind, a spat between the Bitcoin developers has been gradually forming, and it has recently gotten so bad, that a group of people actually launched a new version of the core software on their own, without getting the approval of the other developers. Having two technologies for the same scope is a threat to the cryptocurrency which can splinter the community, while also destroying the value of bitcoin, which is known to be extremely volatile.

There have been previous discussions about how to handle the Bitcoin’s block size before. It’s only now that they have become more serious, as the system is struggling to keep up with the large number of transactions. To put things into perspective, the block represents a bundle of bitcoin transaction which is assembled, prior of being processed in the Blockchain. This is exactly why bitcoin transactions are not instant and can take a couple of minutes, as blocks are processed once every few minutes. When it was first created, the maximum block size limit was of 1 MB, which is big enough for around 300,000 transactions per day, but as the currency’s popularity continues to increase, chances are that Bitcoin will need a significantly bigger limit.

The disagreement isn’t that the block size limit needs to be increased, but rather by how much. One side argues that the limit needs to be increased dramatically as soon as possible, otherwise the currency might run out of capacity thus making transactions take a couple of hours to complete, whereas the other side believes that raising the block size this quickly will discourage many of the processing nodes of Bitcoin from participating to the transaction, thus decreasing the number of users as well.

Due to the fact that there is practically no one in charge of Bitcoin, the two sides need to come to a common agreement on whether the block size limit needs to be raised right now and by how much. Bitcoin XT represents a new version of the Bitcoin software which was released by the first side, which is not willing to wait a bit more to see how things evolve. Many economical analysts believe that this disagreement can have long-lasting effects over the cryptocurrency, which is why the decision should be made for the better good of the Bitcoin market. What not many understand is that when trouble like this appears, middle ground should be found, which will most likely have a better outcome than both of the ideas being discussed at this moment in time.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, which side are you on? Would you increase the block size limit dramatically right now, or do it over time while running the risk of having fewer nodes and a lower number of users? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.