This past February Bitcoin.com reported on 21 Inc’s new venture that pays email recipients for their time and offers surveys paying in bitcoin. This week the company revealed the results of a particular survey, which asked 21.co `blockchain members´ what they thought about the possibility of a Bitcoin fork.
21 Inc’s Block Size Debate Survey
21 Inc just recently created a platform that is similar to Linkedin’s Inmail, but instead pays the recipients in bitcoin. Since then, the website has gathered quite a few bitcoin luminaries and members of the tech population. At the time of writing, the 21.co blockchain membership has 122 digital currency personalities.
This past week the platform offered a survey to its 21.co blockchain members, which consists of Bitcoin proponents such as Adam Back, Barry Silbert, Jesse Powell, Charlie Lee, Roger Ver, Vinny Lingham, and many more. The survey was conducted to “find out what key influencers in the community think” about a Bitcoin fork.
“The list includes Bitcoin Core developers and Bitcoin Unlimited supporters, as well as a host of investors, executives, and founders,” explains 21 Inc’s blog post. “We’ve reported the survey results in three sections.”
Big Blockers and Segregated Witness
The first section measured the ‘community’ in aggregate with seven multiple choice questions concerning digital currencies in general, block size preference, Segregated Witness (Segwit), and Bitcoin Unlimited.
The first question asked those taking the survey which of the following cryptocurrencies they owned out of ten digital assets. Bitcoin led the race with an overwhelming 98 percent, followed by Ethereum capturing 65 percent. The rest of the currencies like Dash, Monero and others showed less than 40 percent were held by respondents.
Other questions touched on the topics of block size and scaling solutions. For instance, 49 percent of respondents considered themselves “big blockers” while 34 percent considered themselves “small blockers.” However, when asked which scaling solution they supported, 75 percent of participants said “yes” to Segwit. BU miner activation only received 23 percent of support, while 70 percent said “no” to the implementation.
Blockchain Personalities on Record
The second part of the survey had participating members make a statement on record concerning a fork and the choices on the table. Quite a few people had very different opinions on the best path forward concerning Bitcoin scaling.
“Bitcoin needs both on-chain and off-chain scaling if it’s ever to become a mainstream technology,” explains Jameson Lopp, a software engineer at Bitgo. “Off-chain scaling is essentially a transaction volume amplifier; it can only amplify on-chain transactions to a certain extent. As such, in order to maximize the gain from off-chain scaling, larger blocks will be needed so that more second layer solutions can anchor into the blockchain.”
“The scariest aspect of this whole debate is how fragile the incentives in Bitcoin are when hashpower can so easily be concentrated,” details Alex Morcos, Bitcoin core developer.
“It’s tough to see the Bitcoin community fight so rabidly,” says Kathleen Breitman, co-founder and CEO of Tezos. “I personally don’t think any option that increases the risk of miner centralization is a good answer.”
“I prepared some slides for Pantera Bitcoin explaining why I don’t support core and their roadmap. You can view them here: http://docdro.id/NG1sbVq” explains Roger Ver, Bitcoin.com’s CEO.
“I would like to see a compromise between miners and core such that the miners are comfortable with the road map,” states Nick Tomaino, Principal at Runa Capital.
Anonymous Responses Also Show Conflicting Viewpoints
The third section of 21 Inc’s survey involved those who wanted to comment on the subject anonymously. These comments also confirmed there still are two very distinct sides to the scaling debate.
“I wish core would simply put a 2mb block size increase alongside Segwit. If they did this, I think the community would rally around them,” explained Anon 7.
“Slow transaction confirmations are unbearable and have to be fixed as no matter how much we think Bitcoin is a store of value, fast, hassle free and secure transactions are the key to Bitcoins growth,” said Anon 21.
“The mechanism of Segwit is very important to enable Lightning and services like Rootstock,” replied Anon 2.
The two arguing sides should work together to solve this forking issue. — Anon 22
Fork Survey Participants Respond Fast
21 Inc believes the fork survey represents a quick snapshot of the opinions of Bitcoin influencers and industry members. The company understands the results are not a full representation of the current community opinion. Nevertheless, 21 Inc does believe the snapshot is useful, as many of the respondents are key players and are very active within the cryptocurrency economy.
Every participant received $10 in BTC for taking the survey, and 21 Inc says nearly 50 percent of the replies came back in five hours. Furthermore, 90 percent of respondents answered back in 24 hours.
Bitcoin.com briefly spoke with Balaji S. Srinivasan who told us the survey was interesting, and “anyone can run surveys like this on any tech population using 21,” the startup’s CEO and co-founder added.
21 Inc’s survey in its entirety can be found here.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Medium, and 21 Inc.