Block Size Survey Gives Bite Size Sample On Bitcoin’s Sentiments

Journalist:
March 24, 2016

The founder of the Bitcoin Association Switzerland, Luzius Meisser, recently released the results of a block size survey he conducted. He wanted to test the differences in which entrepreneurial and technical mindsets viewed the block size problem. His hypothesis stated that entrepreneurs likely favor larger blocks than those of a technical mindset. “And the answer seems yes.”

Of 269 respondents, 146 preferred a block size between 0.5 MB and unlimited, with most preferring more than 4GB. Meisser determines this is because he received more responses from r/btc readers than /r/bitcoin readers.

The results from a previous survey are seen above.

“There is a deep divide between readers of the traditional two forums [r/Bitcoin and BitcoinTalk] and readers of /r/btc,” he concluded.

39% of r/Bitcoin and BitcoinTalk prefer block sizes over 4MB, while 94% of the r/btc readers prefer block sizes over 4MB. 76% of individuals who read other news sources first prefer a block size limit over 4 MB. Those who prefer a block-size under 4MB view Bitcoin as a settlement system or digital gold. Of those who prefer over 4MB, 10% view Bitcoin as a settlement system and 6% view it as digital gold.

“This confirms the widespread suspicion that the block-size disagreement is related to what we want Bitcoin to be, although not to the extent I would have expected to see,” Meisser wrote. “The ‘electronic cash system’  still clearly wins among every group.”

Other data suggests wealth does not play a factor in how one aligns him or herself in this discussion. Those who prefer block-sizes under 4B generally find technology more important than business strategy. Those who prefer over 4MB “tend to emphasize the importance of business strategy relative to technology.”

As Meisser concludes: I see the block-size decision as a trade-off between a technical risk (loss of decentralization, hard fork, etc.) and a business risk (missing the window of opportunity for growth). If correct, this would mean that people with higher technical awareness would tend to favor smaller blocks while those with an entrepreneurial background would favor bigger blocks. Anecdotal evidence supports this, with entrepreneurs like Erik Voerhees being a big-blocker, and a considerable number of core-devs being small-blockers.

This survey also supports this hypothesis with statistical significance (p-value of 0.03), but not to same extent as your preferred news source determines your opinion (p-value of 0.00002). Social scientist usually accept a hypothesis if a p-value of 0.05 or lower is reached.”

While the data cannot be verified, the survey does represent an interest bite size sample of how the community feels in regards to the block size debate.

Last modified (UTC): March 24, 2016 16:11

Tags: block size