The Bitcoin Block Size War: Vitalik Buterin’s Perspective

The Bitcoin blocksize war has become one of the most important discussions in the cryptocurrency community and remains relevant to this day. In particular, the dispute highlights fundamental questions about scalability, decentralization, and the very future of the digital asset. And recently, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin delved into this controversial war over the size of the Bitcoin block in his blog.

Buterin Overview of Different Views

Buterin decided to revisit this controversy after recently reading two historical books that cover the issue from opposing sides. The first book, “The Blocksize War” by Jonathan Bier, tells the story from the perspective of small block supporters, and the second, “Hijacking Bitcoin” by Roger Ver and Steve Patterson, is from the perspective of big block supporters.

The essence of the differences between small and big blockers was in their management philosophy and technical priorities. The small ones valued ease of node management and support for decentralization, believing that Bitcoin should remain accessible to ordinary users. They feared that large players could dominate the network, jeopardizing its decentralized principle.

At the same time, big blockers prioritized lower transaction fees and scalability, arguing that larger blocks would keep Bitcoin affordable for users and prevent reliance on centralized layer-2 solutions.

Vitalik Buterin openly admits that he initially favored “big blockers” because of concerns about high fees and the untested nature of layer-2 solutions. The expert criticizes those in favor of small blocks for not defining a clear consensus mechanism for significant changes. Buterin emphasizes that they prefer to maintain the status quo, which is in line with their conservative views on development.

“I found myself agreeing with Ver more often on big-picture questions, but with Bier more often on individual details. In my view, big blockers were right on the central question that blocks needed to be bigger, and that it was best to accomplish this with a clean simple hard fork like Satoshi described, but small blockers committed far fewer embarrassing technical faux pas, and had fewer positions that led to absurd outcomes if you tried to take them to their logical conclusion,” Buterin said.

The expert notes that both sides have failed to integrate innovative technologies that could solve scalability and security issues. He emphasizes the potential of ZK-SNARK and other advanced cryptographic methods to improve scalability and privacy, which were ignored during the fight over block size.

Open Source as a Key to Equitable Finance

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko recently made a compelling case for the company’s ability to change equity in finance. Responding to Buterin’s thoughts, he emphasizes Solana’s approach. Yakovenko explains that the approach is not about competing with existing currencies, but about making financial systems more accessible and fair through the use of blockchain technology.

Unlike Buterin, Solana’s co-founder believes that low latency and high bandwidth can simplify access to financial services. “Fairness in finance is all about who can access information first and who can act on it,” Yakovenko notes.

According to him, Solana’s technology uses the most affordable hardware to push the boundaries of decentralized systems, potentially eliminating many of the inequities in traditional finance.

Raj Gokal, another co-founder of Solana, entered the discussion by emphasizing the unconventional but key role meme coins play in attracting a diverse user base. He also emphasized the community’s mixed attitude towards meme coins, suggesting that while some consider them a distraction, others see them as vital to the growth and development of the blockchain space.

“Meme coins are scaring away serious builders,” Gokal noted, urging the community to recognize the broader impact of these projects behind their often frivolous appearance.


The Bitcoin block size debate raises fundamental questions of scalability and decentralization, and new thoughts and ideas on the topic continue to add to it. Vitalik Buterin and his perspective on the issue analyzes both sides of the debate and demonstrates their strengths and weaknesses. He also emphasizes the importance of innovations such as ZK-SNARK in overcoming scalability and security issues that were missed during the historical debate. At the same time, Anatoliy Yakovenko adds his thoughts to the discussion, emphasizing the need for accessibility and fairness in financial systems. Such disputes over Bitcoin block size demonstrate not only technological challenges but also divergent views on the future of cryptocurrencies.