Gavin Andresen Advocates for BitcoinXT, Says it is Demand of the Situation

Gavin Andresen Advocates for BitcoinXT
Gavin Andresen Advocates for BitcoinXT
Gavin Andresen Advocates for BitcoinXT

In an interview to the Examiner, an online portal, Gavin Andresen, Digital Currency Developer MIT Media Lab and Chief Scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation, said that expansion of block size has become necessary. He admitted that several years ago, an arbitrary limit was placed on the number of transactions per second that the Bitcoin protocol can handle.

However, as it is getting close to that limit, it is time to raise it to handle the larger transaction volume and usage that everyone sees today. He and Mike Hern, have introduced to increase the sizes in the block in which transactions are processed every ten minutes. Currently Bitcoin Core is one megabyte and Bitcoin XT will provide eight megabytes.

The issue of increasing the block size has become a hot topic among Bitcoin stakeholders and everyone seems to have one opinion or the other on it. Answering to a question on BitcoinXT Andresen said that there are a few different issues people bring up when discussing the change, ranging from extremely technical arguments to some innocent ones.

For instance, the concerns like why it might lead to a more centralized network, to economic concerns about the incentives for people to run computers that validate transactions in ten or twenty years, etc. are some major issues that have been raised to him. However, he admits that he does not think education will lead to 100% acceptance.

Issue of Privacy, Anonymity

At the same time he says that he is sure two or three years from now everybody will look back and marvel at all of the noise and drama. He cites earlier incident where the community went through a similar technical debate a couple of years ago for a feature that some people predicted would “be the end of Bitcoin” if implemented.

Nonetheless, answering to a question on how to address the concerns for the issues of Tor and privacy, Andresen said that two Tor-related issues have come up. With respect to bigger blocks, he admitted that he wrote about that concern here last May on how to handle it by connecting to a mining pool via Tor.

He confessed that he has always been for privacy; however, true anonymity is hard to maintain. According to him the XT software also contains code that detects if someone is being attacked by somebody connecting to him from a lot of Tor nodes and only if that happens, to block that attack. However, he claims that also does not compromise anonymity.

To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at