Two of Bitcoin Cash’s leading personalities are debating whether to reduce BCH block times by a factor of 10.
ViaBTC CEO Haipo Yang wrote online that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) block times should be reduced from 10 minutes to 1 minute to “improve user experience.”
“I believe Bitcoin Cash should decrease the block time from 10min to 1 min,”
“As a pool operator, I don’t see there have any technical problem and this will improve user experience very much.”
Satoshi Nakamoto originally choose the 10 minute block time to enhance security on the bitcoin network. While other cryptocurrencies have lowered block times, both bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) continue to use the same 10 minute block time.
Short term thinking.
No gain. No benefit. No value and a cap on growth, a change just for change sake without thinking and considering the long term.
— Dr Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus) July 24, 2018
Craig Wright, chief scientist at blockchain startup nChain and self-proclaimed (and possibly real) Satoshi Nakamoto has other plans for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). As one of the network’s leading personalities, Wright has voiced his opposition to Yang’s plan to reduce BCH block times:
“It will kill Bitcoin, It is a Poisson [sic] system. That makes the median time too low and the system stops scaling. It adds NOTHING[.] It makes the entire system fail and stop scaling. It is then not Bitcoin!”
“[If] you make this change, you kill your pool,” Wright also warned. “No gain. No benefit. No value and a cap on growth, a change just for change sake without thinking and considering the long term.”
Clearly, Wright isn’t a fan of reducing block times on the bitcoin network.
Why wouldn’t shorter block times be better? Why are Wright and other bitcoin “purists” such staunch supporters of the 10 minute block time?
When you pay with a credit card, the “block time” is instant: you don’t have to wait 10 seconds for your transaction to be processed, nor do you have to wait 30 or 60 minutes for 3 or 6 confirmations. Instead, your transaction is completed nearly instantly – so why wouldn’t bitcoin do the same?
Wright, however, explains that 60 second block times would help “nothing” when it comes to retail transactions:
“1 min helps NOTHING when it comes to retail. Makes 0-conf no better. Increases the orphan rate 20-30x and kills it as cash…”
Wright appears to be assuming that the block reward would stay the same. However, as CCN.com explains, “that’s not necessarily true”, and,
“developers would almost certainly reduce the individual block reward by 90 percent to account for the corresponding increase in blocks, ensuring that the total BCH supply remains constant.”
In any case, the spat is dominating the BCH community on Twitter, with Craig wright and Haipo Yang exchanging jabs at each other. ViaBTC is a major figure in the BCH space, accounting for about 15.7% of the BCH hashrate, based on the total number of blocks the pool has mined over the past 7 days.
Bitcoin Cash aims to dispel the notion that bitcoin can only be used as a form of digital gold. Craig Wight and other vocal Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters claim bitcoin works best when it’s transferable, efficient, and easy for anyone to access. While the original bitcoin (BTC) network struggles to scale using awkward solutions like the Lightning Network, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has scaled by expanding the block size, allowing a greater number of transactions to be processed by the network every 10 minutes.
However, users still need to wait a maximum of 10 minutes to receive confirmation from the network, which makes Bitcoin Cash less speedy than existing payment processing solutions or cash.
Ultimately, the scaling and efficiency debate continues to generate criticism within the bitcoin community. Stay tuned to see if Craig Wright and Haipo Yang can agree on how to scale.