An open letter in support of BIP101, proposed by Andresen, has been signed by BitPay,, Circle, Kncminer, Bitnet, Xapo, BitGo and ItBit. Meanwhile, F2Pool and BTCChina Pool voiced their preference for BIP100.

BIP is short for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal. BIP101 is a code change devised by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn that serves as a base for Bitcoin XT. If BIP101 is implemented, the maximum block size in the blockchain will grow from the current 1MB to 8MB in the beginning of 2016, with further doubling every two years – so in 2018, it will reach 16 MB, then 32MB in 2020 and so on.

However, the bitcoin community is far from being united around this proposal. As CoinFox wrote before, Nick Szabo, the father of smart contracts, believes that block size increase might lead to a disaster. Further debates were caused by the implementation of BIP101-based Bitcoin XT. Mike Hearn forked the bitcoin, forcing the miners to choose between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin XT. The latter will be adopted if preferred by 75% of bitcoin miners.

“Our community stands at a crossroads”, says the open letter, published in the blog yesterday and signed by the representatives of eight great bitcoin companies. While it qualifies the debate about bitcoin as “healthy”, it states that after a lengthy consideration the companies have decided to support of Gavin Andresen’s proposal. These companies will be ready for larger blocks by December 2015 and they will support the implementation of BIP101. However, not a word is said in support of Bitcoin XT or Mike Hearn. It seems that the industry leaders prefer to implement BIP101 into Bitcoin Core, avoiding further schism among bitcoiners. 

However, the support for BIP101 among bitcoin mining companies is currently close to negligible. While Andresen’s proposal followed a joint statement of Chinese bitcoin mining pools favouring an increase of block size to 8MB, right now they seem to prefer another solution, namely BIP100 advanced by Jeff Garzik. He proposes to allow miners to vote on raising and lowering the maximum block size within the range of 1MB to 32MB. F2Pool and BTCChina Pool have publicly voiced their preference for BIP100. It means the debate is far from over.

Alexey Tereshchenko