Today on the Sourceforge hosted Bitcoin-development mailing list Gavin Andresen has threatened to leave his present group of Bitcoin software developers over their objections to his demands for a rapid hardfork of the Bitcoin network. In the event his demands are not met Gavin plans to join Mike Hearn's Bitcoin-XT project which is a fork of the Bitcoin client where Hearn implements patches that Gavin's current affiliated developers find too risky to implement in any mainline Bitcoin client. If Gavin defects to Bitcoin-XT he plans to work with Hearn to lobby merchants, miners, and businesses to move to Bitcoin-XT. Previously Mike Hearn was responsible for the March 2013 Bitcoin network crisis. The full text of Gavin's message is mirrored below for posterity.
What do other people think?
If we can't come to an agreement soon, then I'll ask for help
reviewing/submitting patches to Mike's Bitcoin-Xt project that implement a
big increase now that grows over time so we may never have to go through
all this rancor and debate again.
I'll then ask for help lobbying the merchant services and exchanges and
hosted wallet companies and other bitcoind-using-infrastructure companies
(and anybody who agrees with me that we need bigger blocks sooner rather
than later) to run Bitcoin-Xt instead of Bitcoin Core, and state that they
are running it. We'll be able to see uptake on the network by monitoring
Perhaps by the time that happens there will be consensus bigger blocks are
needed sooner rather than later; if so, great! The early deployment will
just serve as early testing, and all of the software already deployed will
ready for bigger blocks.
But if there is still no consensus among developers but the "bigger blocks
now" movement is successful, I'll ask for help getting big miners to do the
same, and use the soft-fork block version voting mechanism to (hopefully)
get a majority and then a super-majority willing to produce bigger blocks.
The purpose of that process is to prove to any doubters that they'd better
start supporting bigger blocks or they'll be left behind, and to give them
a chance to upgrade before that happens.
Because if we can't come to consensus here, the ultimate authority for
determining consensus is what code the majority of merchants and exchanges
and miners are running.