Thinking Big about Bitcoin Again: Satoshi Nakamoto

There is only one global chain.

The existing Visa credit card network processes about 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. Bitcoin can already scale much larger than that with existing hardware for a fraction of the cost. It never really hits a scale ceiling. If you’re interested, I can go over the ways it would cope with extreme size. By Moore’s Law, we can expect hardware speed to be 10 times faster in 5 years and 100 times faster in 10. Even if Bitcoin grows at crazy adoption rates, I think computer speeds will stay ahead of the number of transactions.

The fee the market would settle on should be minimal. If a node requires a higher fee, that node would be passing up all transactions with lower fees. It could do more volume and probably make more money by processing as many paying transactions as it can. The transition is not controlled by some human in charge of the system though, just individuals reacting on their own to market forces.

We should have a gentleman’s agreement to postpone the GPU arms race as long as we can for the good of the network.

Bitcoin generation should end up where it’s cheapest. Maybe that will be in cold climates where there’s electric heat, where it would be essentially free.

The current system where every user is a network node is not the intended configuration for large scale. That would be like every Usenet user runs their own NNTP server. The design supports letting users just be users. The more burden it is to run a node, the fewer nodes there will be. Those few nodes will be big server farms. The rest will be client nodes that only do transactions and don’t generate.

It would be nice to keep the blk*.dat files small as long as we can.

The eventual solution will be to not care how big it gets.

But for now, while it’s still small, it’s nice to keep it small so new users can get going faster. When I eventually implement client-only mode, that won’t matter much anymore.

I anticipate there will never be more than 100K nodes, probably less. It will reach an equilibrium where it’s not worth it for more nodes to join in. The rest will be lightweight clients, which could be millions.

I’m sure that in 20 years there will either be very large transaction volume or no volume.

I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.

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