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Jeff Garzik Defends Hard Fork Solution for Bitcoin Block Size Issue

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM

Jeff Garzik, a bitcoin code veteran who recently launched the Bloq code-for-hire service to develop blockchain features, continues to defend a hard fork solution to the bitcoin scaling challenge. Garzik has engaged with individuals who disagree with him on Twitter  in the last few days.

Jeff Garzik
Jeff Garzik

Everyone agrees the block size needs to expand if the bitcoin network is going to process a larger volume of transactions. But the solution has proven evasive. Garzik has voiced his dismay at the number of people who have proposed using technically inferior systems to increase the block size.

Bitcoin Block Needs To Expand

Garzik has said he supports increasing the block size beyond the current 1 MB. He has said bitcoin has to be used by more than a million people if it is going to become a significant currency.

He would like to see Segregated Witness (Segwit) introduce a hard fork. Such an upgrade will require users to agree to the rule change. Such a solution would require consensus, which Garzik sees as key to bitcoin’s purpose and benefits.

There have been various scaling solutions to the block size challenge. In August, the issue reached a crescendo and people tried to defuse the block size situation with Bitcoin XT, which if adopted, would increase bitcoin’s block size. It did not gain many supporters.

Segwit Gains Support

Pieter Wuille, co-founder of Blockstream, presented the Segwit proposal at the Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong in December. Supporters say Segwit could provide a fourfold increase in network capacity in a short time frame.

Unlike other proposed solutions, Segwit can be introduced to the network as a soft fork, thereby avoiding the need for bitcoin software users to upgrade their clients in near-unison. Soft fork advocates say it would reduce the risk that an upgrade would split the bitcoin blockchain.

But the soft fork solution is not an inclusive solution in Garzik’s view. He tweeted that the soft fork is a where a few miners and developers approve changes to bitcoin economics. With the hard fork, the entire network approves the changes.

Also read: Jeff Garzik sounds off on block size challenges, offers his insight

A Hard Fork For Segwit?

“Segwit needs to be a hard fork,” Garzik tweeted. “Putting control of ‘economic resource size’ in the hands of a few devs & miners is anti-bitcoin.”

One tweeter questioned why a hard fork would be a better solution than 95% soft fork.

From a development, testing and deployment process, Sam Cole, founder of KnC, a miner, claimed that the Segwit soft fork is a lot more straightforward for everyone involved except for the developers involved with interacting with bitcoin wallets, CCN.com reported.

Implementation is voluntary, Cole noted, but it cannot be tested until it’s been activated. He said this will result in miners taking a very long time to implement Segwit because they’ll want to be sure of its effects on their systems.

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