Large Blocks Incite More Full Nodes Than Small Blocks (Or The Irony of 0-Conf Opposition)

You can think of the blockchain security vs. usability debate as the tension between two forces. Security is defense against potential attackers. It could be maintaining control of your private keys, keeping your transactions private from a competitor analyzing the blockchain to determine your transactions, or trying to not invoke the attention of the kleptocracy that you live in. Ultimately security is about loss prevention.

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Dao: The path between yin and yang
  1. In order to keep it decentralized, consensus must be watched and enforced by many different economically significant parties.
  2. In order for consensus to be watched by many different economically significant parties, it must be inexpensive to run a full node.
  3. In order for it to be inexpensive to run a full node, block size must be capped.
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Too secure?
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  1. There’s a public good’s problem running full nodes.
  2. Replace-by-fee harms the ability to validate 0-conf with a full node, and therefore eliminates the need for merchants to run them.
  3. Even without Replace-by-fee, block size limits reduce the blockchain’s reliability and makes it more expensive, and therefore removes the need to run a full node to validate 0-conf transactions for small transaction value merchants.

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