The Bitcoin Block Size has generally been increasing since Bitcoin began. These graphs simply exist as an attempt to show the increase in an unbiased way (leaving politics out of the discussion). A 1 month moving average was used in order to attempt to show the general pattern of the data, if you feel that this skews the conclusions which can be drawn from the data we are open to discussion @uk_c_c .
These graphs were produced on the 28th Feb 2017 in order to help provide some clarity as to the extent to which blocks have grown since the Bitcoin blockchain was created.
Blocks are important as historically Bitcoin transactions have taken place “on chain”, requiring space in the block for each transaction. Thus, general consensus is that the potential on chain transaction volume is positively correlated to the block size. Some argue transactions should be moved off chain, requiring either no increase in block size or a minor one.
Currently a number of scaling options exist – The Bitcoin community must decide which solution(s), if any, to support. Each proposal has proponents and open discussion of one proposal inevitably leads to criticism of said proposal and arguments as to why an alternate solution is preferable. One way or another the community will solve this issue, the question is whether they can do so without damaging trust in the network. The network generally wants to avoid a split (see Ethereum-Ethereum Classic) in order to maintain a strong (attack resistant) network and to avoid creation of a second cryptocurrency.
Tensions are high and all sides claim to be acting in ways to benefit the Bitcoin network. In the most abstract way the issue is in how each group defines what the Bitcoin Network is, and what it should be designed to do. Some believe (on chain) micro payments are a critically important part of Bitcoin and cannot be lost. Others believe that bitcoin should exist as a high value settlement layer (akin to gold), which can accommodate higher fees than are currently needed. Some believe that Bitcoin can and should be both of these things on chain, while others believe that this is not possible but that off chain solutions are the key. Critically, these views are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Opinion is somewhat divided as to which scaling method is best (or whether a scaling method is needed at all). Again, this is somewhat due to differing opinions in what Bitcoin is (or should be). The following options are being presented by their developers as potential scaling solutions (though all claim to have additional benefits). Proposed changes to Bitcoin which include potential block size scaling includes but is not limited to:
- Bitcoin Classic – https://bitcoinclassic.com/
- Bitcoin Unlimited – https://www.bitcoinunlimited.info/
- Lightning network – https://lightning.network/ (Proposal, not yet available)
- Segwit (By Bitcoin Core)- https://bitcoincore.org/en/2016/01/26/segwit-benefits/
(List in Alphabetical Order with aspect of scaling solution commonly referred to by the community at the start of the sentence)
If you have any suggestions / ammendments please do reach out to us @uk_c_c