Bitcoin Fork: A modest proposal

There’s a lot of talk in the Bitcoin community about the possibility of a hard fork in the blockchain at some point.

The underlying issue has to do with the size limit of transaction blocks, which result in limits to the time it takes to process a Bitcoin transaction. There’s a good article on the philosophy of the two sides on QZ (link), which is worth reading if you need a primer.

Essentially, one side wants to double the size of a block from 1mb to 2mb, and the other side wants blocks to be unlimited in size. Both options have drawbacks (both technical and philosophical) that I won’t get into here.

I’d like to propose a compromise between the two options.

Bitcoin already has a mechanism for limiting supply, built into the algorithm. Over time, as the network grows, the reward for “finding” a block goes through a series of halving events (i.e. initially, each time a Bitcoin “miner” found a block, they received a reward of 50 BTC for the computational effort; this halved to 25 BTC at one point, then 12.5 BTC in 2016, etc.).

Why can’t the size of blocks double (or some other multiplier) at the same time? i.e. each time the reward halved, the block size would increase automatically.

This wouldn’t be particularly difficult to manage from a coding perspective, and would have the advantage of allowing the daily transaction count to gradually scale over time, without causing complete centralization of the currency with a handful of miners.