Hi Gavin

Sorry for slow response & broken threading - mailbox filled up & only
saw your response on archive.

I do earnestly think opt-in block-size increases are politically
cleaner (gives different people different sized blocks by their own
volition without forcing a compromise) and less risky than hard forks.
Particularly if a hard-fork were really provoked without clear and
wide consensus - dragons lay there.

> Then ask the various wallet developer how long it would take them to update
> their software to support something like this,

I don't think thats any particular concern, extension block payments
are forwards and backwards compatible.  Businesses who are keen to
have more transactions, would make it their problem to implement in
their wallet, or ask the wallet vendor/maintainer they're working with
to do it.  Nothing breaks if they dont use it.  The people that have
the need for it will work on it.  Market at work.  If it turns out
they dont really have a need for it, just projected huge numbers for
their business plan that say dont materialise, well no foul.

> and do some UI mockups of what the experience would look like for users.

I am not a UX guy, but for example it might be appropriate for tipping
services or other micropayments to use an extension block.  Or small
retail payments.  They can choose what address they use.  Merchants,
integrators etc can do likewise.
It gives plenty enough scope that people can work with useful
trade-offs while others work on lightning.

> If there are two engineering solutions to a problem, one really simple, and
> one complex, why would you pick the complex one?

Because the more complex one is safer, more flexible, more future
proof and better for decentralisation (and so as a bonus and might
actually get done without more months of argument as its less
contentious because it gives users choice to opt-in).  Bitcoin itself
is complex, a central ledger is simpler but as we know uninteresting
which is to say this is a security tradeoff.

Obviously I do appreciate KISS as a design principle, and utility of
incremental improvements, but this is a security trade-off we're
discussing here.  I am proposing a way to not weaken security, while
getting what you think is important - access to more TPS with a higher
centralisation tradeoff (for those who opt-in to it, rather than for
everyone whether that tradeoff is strongly against their interests or

The decentralisation metrics are getting worse, not better, see Greg
Maxwell's comments

This would not by those metrics be a good moment in history to make
the situation worse.

> Especially if the complex solution has all of the problems of the simple
> one (20MB extension blocks are just as "dangerous" as 20MB main blocks,
> yes? If not, why not?)

Not at all, thats the point.  Bitcoin has a one-size fits all
blocksize.  People can pool mine the 8MB extension block, while solo
or GBT mining the 1MB block.  Thats more centralising than staying at
1MB (because to get the fees from the extension block some people
without that kind of bandwidth are pool mining 8/9th of the lower
security/decentralisation transactions.  But its less centralising
than a fixed blocksize of 9MB (1+8 for apples/apples) because
realistically if those transactions are not spam, they would've
happened offchain, and offchain until we get lightning like systems
up, means central systems which are worse than the slight
centralisation of 8MB blocks being single servers and prone to custody
& security failure.  I think you made that point yourself in a recent
post also.

Sound good? ;)  Seriously I think its the least bad idea I've heard on
this topic.

As an aside, a risk with using companies as a sounding board, is that
you can get a misleading sense of consensus.  Did they understand the
tradeoff between security (decentralisation) and blocksize.  Did they
care?  Do they represent users interests?  Would they have "voted"
instead for extension blocks if it was presented in similar terms?  (I
have to imagine they might have preferred extension blocks given the
better story if you gloss over complexity and tradeoffs).


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