Bitcoin SV, a project associated with self-proclaimed “Satoshi Nakamoto” Craig Wright, is undergoing a hardfork on Wednesday.
The “quasar” hardfork is about expanding the network’s blocksize to 2000 megabytes, which is basically two gigabytes.
Bitcoin SV Quasar Hardfork Expands Capacity to 2GB Incrementally
However, today, no 2GB blocks will be allowed on the network, as a majority of Bitcoin miners are going with the “consensus blocksize” of 512MB.
In a post from earlier this month, BSV project lead Steve Shadders said that the hardcap – the maximum blocksize that a node is allowed to accept – will be removed entirely in February 2020.
“Hard cap: Is the maximum sized block that a miner will accept as valid. This is the setting we intend to remove entirely in the Genesis upgrade next February.”
Outright removal of Bitcoin’s hardcap won’t immediately lead to “blockchain bloat,” especially if demand for block space is lower.
The combined lower price of BSV and seemingly limitless space certainly open the chain up to “spam attacks,” but the network has yet to determine whether or not an abundance of micro-transactions would actually have a harmful effect on performance.
Shadders reports that a “majority” of miners have signaled that they will only be accepting 512MB blocks today.
At press time, three blocks had already been mined with the new configuration. None of these blocks exceeded 2MB.
Will Massive Blocks Lead to Centralization?
Bitcoin SV traded for $167 at press time.
Increasing the blocksize is the primary component of both Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash. Following their initial break with their parent chains (Bitcoin Cash in the case of Bitcoin SV), both teams established their own “scaling roadmaps.”
One of the fears around large block sizes is the specter of “centralization,” a state in which a network is controlled by one or a few entities. Mining is an expensive endeavor, and the amount of storage required is a crucial consideration.
Centralization is a risk that all blockchains face. It creates a single point of failure, which defeats the blockchain purposes of censorship resistance or “be your own bank.”