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Blocksize Debate Part II: Bitcoin Reaches a Grand Compromise, Hard Fork is Happening

In the previous version of this set of articles, we delved deep into the reasons required for a blocksize increase. After considerable thought, we found that the incentives are better based on the transaction value so that it gives enough motivation for miners to confirm them. Lack of, or constant, incentives might not be the best motivator to include old transactions that have been missed by miners in the past.

The Bitcoin community has reached a grand compromise on the scalability debate and a hard fork is happening.  Read below for the details of how the hard fork is going to be executed followed by the impending dynamics.

The final decision:

The decision was made in a series of non-public meetings where independent journalists and observers were invited to observe.  Key figures from Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Unlimited, almost all miners, as well as almost all of the significant bitcoin businesses managed to reach an agreement after a week long discussion. Gregory Maxwell, Peter Todd, and others from Bitcoin Core, together with Andrew Stones, Peter Tschipper, Andrea Suisani and others from Bitcoin Unlimited, as well as J Wang Chun, ihan Wu, Bobby Lee, Alex Petrov, plus Brian Armstrong, Nicolas Cary, Mike Belshe have reached the following understanding:

Bitcoin developers, from both Core and Unlimited, will merge within two weeks to provide a max blocksize increase to 4MB which will then further increase by 25% yearly until 32MB blocksize is reached. This will be coupled with modified segway to remove the fee discount for signature data settling the incentive debate once and for all. On July the 4th 2017, a flag-day upgrade will take place where all nodes are expected to have upgraded by that point. The document states:

“After two years of lengthy debate where all minute details have been discussed at great length, we believe that a slightly more than two months lead time is more than sufficient for the network nodes to upgrade.”

What happens to the Bitcoin Community?

The decision resolved some differences in the Bitcoin community. Gavin Andresen and Peter Todd were spotted having friendly discussions as their animosity comes to an end. Mike Hearn  and Gregory Maxwell, Roger Ver and Samson Mow were also seen catching up and thus putting an end to all the circulating rumors of hostility. It is rumored that Michael Marquardt aka Theymos, the top moderator of r/bitcoin, would resign soon. All those who have been banned from r/bitcoin on political grounds are to be unbanned as per the document. The policy of censorship will end effective immediately in a widely democratic Bitcoin community.

Effects on Bitcoin:

Bitcoin’s prices have stabilized over the announcement, putting an end to the bearish cloud that hampered Bitcoin past month. This can be viewed as a victory for both ends as the forking now seems an elected one with sufficient guard rails placed so that both the parties can have what they wanted in a fair trade off. With the fork coming up, Bitcoin prices are expected to dip a little, up to 8%, before getting into a bullish trend once again.

Top quotes from Rise and Rise Stars, Where are they now?

After garnering all the hype and attention, the documentary ‘Rise and Rise of Bitcoin’ did make a significant impact. Carefully targeted at average audience, the documentary goes through the journey of Bitcoin from its inception and makes the point about how the currency is here to stay.

The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

Daniel and Nicholas Mross share the experience of an early Bitcoin adopter who has stuck with the world’s first major cryptocurrency. Through his journey they portray how the rise of Silk Road, fall of MtGox, and all of the other craziness in the industry couldn’t stop Bitcoin. For many critics the movie seemed to be a quick crash course on Bitcoin, beautifully captured over the limited time frame. It features few prominent personalities from the Bitcoin world sharing their experiences and elaborating select moments. Let’s look into few Top quotes from the movie and what they are doing today:

Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin Developer

“I really couldn’t convince myself that it would not work…Since then, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole.”

Gavin Andresen is the lead programmer currently on the Bitcoin Ecosystem. He was one of the few people who ventured out into the ‘Bitcoin Project’ and helped to turn it into a Billion Dollar Project today. When asked about why he chose this path, he says that he couldn’t convince himself that Bitcoin wouldn’t work. Hence he never turned back from the day he started. After several years working on the software, Andresen left the role of lead developer of bitcoin to work on the strategic development of its technology.

Charlie Shrem, CEO BitInstant

“I don’t know how the government will react to Bitcoin. But I spend thousands of dollars on lawyers every day just to make sure that I’m not going to go to jail.”   

Charlie Shrem was the founder and chairman of BitInstant a pioneering start up in the field of purchasing bitcoins. BitInstant is a more user-friendly company that charged a fee for users to purchase and make purchases with bitcoins. The facility was prevalent at over 700,000 locations, providing temporary credit to speed up transactions. Ironically Shrem was sentenced to two years in prison for aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money-transmitting business related to the Silk Road. He was later released in 2016 and currently  is a business development consultant for payments startup Payza.

Brian Armstrong, CEO Coinbase

“I would not be surprised if Google, Paypal and everybody else is planning to add Bitcoin in a couple of years. By that time there should be 50 million wallets.”

Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, has always had his eyes set on a career in Tech. His first job out of college was at Deloitte & Touche as a senior software engineer at Armstrong was captivated by the idea of Bitcoin during Christmas 2010. But there weren’t many transaction places for bitcoins yet. Thus, from Bitcoin came the idea for Coinbase, an international digital wallet that allows you to securely buy, use and accept bitcoin currency. Armstrong lives in San Francisco, CA with Coinbase operating healthily.