Bitcoin Scalability Workshops

Scaling Bitcoin 2015 Phase II - December 6th-7th Hong Kong, SAR, China
FOR THE ENGINEERING AND ACADEMIC COMMUNITY • NO EXHIBIT BOOTHS • NO DISTRACTIONS

Sponsors

PLATINUM

SILVER

BRONZE

LOCAL SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS

Workshop Sponsorship

Sponsorship is now closed.

Travel Subsidy

Travel subsidy is no longer available. The event has been sold out.

If you have applied for travel subsidy, you will be notified before 2015-11-21 23:59 UTC.

Call for Proposals

The second Scaling Bitcoin Workshop will take place 6th  December 2015 - 7th  December 2015 at the Hong Kong Cyberport Function Rooms, 3/F., Core E, Cyberport 3 100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 3166 3800 Fax: (852) 3166 3118 . We are accepting technical proposals for improving Bitcoin performance including designs, experimental results, and comparisons against other proposals. The goals are twofold: 1) to present potential solutions to scalability challenges while identifying key areas for further research and 2) provide a venue where researchers, developers, and miners can communicate about Bitcoin development.

We are accepting two types of proposals: one in which accepted authors will have an opportunity to give a 20-30 minute presentation at the workshop, and another where accepted authors can run an hour-long interactive workshop.

Topics of interest include:

  • Improving Bitcoin throughput
  • Layer 2 ideas (i.e. payment channels, etc.)
  • Security and privacy
  • Incentives and fee structures
  • Testing, simulation, and modeling
  • Network resilience
  • Anti-spam measures
  • Block size proposals
  • Mining concerns
  • Community coordination

All as related to the scalability of Bitcoin.

Important Dates

  • 2015-11-06 23:59 UTC - Last day for submission
  • 2015-11-21 23:59 UTC - Last day for notification of acceptance and feedback

Formatting

We are doing rolling acceptance, so submit your proposal as soon as you can. Proposals may be submitted as a BIP or as a 1-2 page extended abstract describing ideas, designs, and expected experimental results. Indicate in the proposal whether you are interested in speaking, running an interactive workshop, or both. If you are interested in running an interactive workshop, please include an agenda.

Proposals should be submitted to proposals@scalingbitcoin.org by 2015-11-06 23:59 UTC.

All talks will be livestreamed and published online, including slide decks.

Workshop

In recent months the Bitcoin development community has faced difficult discussions of how to safely improve the scalability and decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network. To aid the technical consensus building process we are organizing a pair of workshops to collect technical criteria, present proposals and evaluate technical materials and data with academic discipline and analysis that fully considers the complex tradeoffs between decentralization, utility, security and operational realities. This may be considered as similar in intent and process to the NIST-SHA3 design process where performance and security were in a tradeoff for a security critical application.

Since Bitcoin is a P2P currency with many stakeholders, it is important to collect requirements as broadly as possible, and through the process enhance everyone’s understanding of the technical properties of Bitcoin to help foster an inclusive, transparent, and informed process.

Those with technical interest are invited to participate in this pair of workshops with the following intent:

Phase 1

Scene setting, evaluation criteria and tradeoff analysis.

Montreal, Canada: September 12th-13th, 2015

Scalability is not a single parameter; there are many opportunities to make the Bitcoin protocol more efficient and better able to service the needs of its growing userbase. Each approach to further scaling the Bitcoin blockchain involves implicit trade offs of desired properties of the whole system. As a community we need to raise awareness of the complex and subtle issues involved, facilitate deeper research and testing of existing proposals, and motivate future work in this area.

The purpose of this workshop is to discuss the general tradeoffs and requirements of any proposal to scale Bitcoin beyond its present limits. Session topics are to include the presentation of experimental data relating to known bottlenecks of Bitcoin’s continued growth and analysis of implicit tradeoffs involved in general strategies for enabling future growth.

This event will not host sessions on the topic of any specific proposals involving changes to the Bitcoin protocol. Such proposals would be the topic of a 2nd, follow-on Phase 2 workshop described below; this event is intended to “set the stage” for work on and evaluation of specific proposals in the time between the workshops.

Phase 2 will be planned out further as part of Phase 1 with input from the participants.

Phase 2

Presentation and review of technical proposals, with simulation, benchmark results.

Hong Kong, SAR, China: December 6th-7th, 2015

Hopefully to be easier for the Chinese miners to attend, the second workshop pertaining to actual block size proposals will be in Hong Kong this December.

The purpose of this workshop is to present and review actual proposals for scaling Bitcoin against the requirements gathered in Phase 1. Multiple competing proposals will be presented, with experimental data, and compared against each other. The goal is to raise awareness of scalability issues and build a pathway toward consensus for increasing Bitcoin’s transaction processing capacity or, barring that, identify key areas of further required research and next steps for moving forward.

Preliminarily, phase 2 will be a time to share results from experiments performed as a result of phase 1 and an opportunity to discuss new developments.

How do the Workshops work?

  • Both events will be live-streamed with remote participation facilitated via IRC for parallel online discussion and passing questions to the event.
  • These workshops aim to facilitate the existing Bitcoin Improvement Proposals process. Most work will be done outside of the workshops in the intervening months. The workshops serve to be additive to the design and review process by raising awareness of diverse points of view, studies, simulations and proposals.
  • Travel, venue details, accommodation recommendation are available below.
  • Please see the FAQ section below, it should answer most other questions.

Schedule

Notes:
Print

December 5th
18:00
(120 min )
Opening party

December 6th

Introduction

09:00
(5 min )
Introduction to Event

Overviews

09:05
(25 min )
BIP99 and uncontroversial hardforks
PRESENTER:
Jorge Timon
09:30
(25 min )
Fungibility and scalability
PRESENTER:
Adam Back
09:55
(25 min )
Zero-knowledge proofs for Bitcoin scalability and beyond
PRESENTER:
Madars Virza
10:20
(20 min )
Break

Security and Incentives

10:40
(25 min )
Security assumptions
PRESENTER:
Andrew Poelstra
11:05
(25 min )
In adversarial environments, blockchains don't scale
PRESENTER:
Peter Todd
11:30
(25 min )
Why miners will not voluntarily individually produce smaller blocks
PRESENTER:
Jonathan Bier
11:55
(20 min )
Break

Block Propagation

12:15
(25 min )
IBLT and weak block propagation performance
PRESENTER:
Kalle Rosenbaum and Rusty Russell
12:40
(25 min )
Tampering with the delivery of blocks and transactions in Bitcoin
PRESENTER:
Arthur Gervais
13:05
(25 min )
BIP101 block propagation data from testnet
PRESENTER:
Jonathan Toomim
13:30
(90 min )
Lunch

Miner's Panel

15:00
(90 min )
Miner's Panel
PRESENTER:
Xiang Fu, Marshall Long, Gang Wu, Wang Chun, Robin Yao, William Tang, and Mikael Wang (moderator)
16:30
(20 min )
Break

WIPs

16:50
(60 min )
Works in Progress
17:50
(70 min )
Break
19:00
(120 min )
Reception

December 7th

Open

09:00
(5 min )
Opening

Layer 2, etc

09:05
(25 min )
Segregated witness and its impact on scalability
PRESENTER:
Pieter Wuille
09:30
(25 min )
Overview of BIPs necessary for Lightning
PRESENTER:
Tadge Dryja
09:55
(25 min )
Network Topologies and their scalability implications on decentralized off-chain networks
PRESENTER:
Joseph Poon
10:20
(20 min )
Break

Breaking the chain

10:40
(25 min )
Braiding the blockchain
PRESENTER:
Bob McElrath
11:05
(25 min )
Breaking the chains of blockchain protocols
PRESENTER:
Yonatan Sompolinsky
11:30
(25 min )
SCP: A computationally-scalable byzantine consensus protocol
PRESENTER:
Loi Luu
11:55
(15 min )
Break

Tweaking the chain

12:10
(35 min )
A bevy of block size proposals: 100, 102 and more.
PRESENTER:
Jeff Garzik
12:45
(25 min )
A flexible limit: Trading subsidy for larger blocks
PRESENTER:
Mark Friedenbach
13:10
(25 min )
Validation-cost metric
PRESENTER:
Jonas Nick
13:35
(85 min )
Lunch

Discussion groups

15:00
(180 min )
Discussion groups
18:00
(60 min )
Wrap up from discussion groups, next steps and close
19:00
Reception


Independent Developer Meetup (December 8th-9th)

Cory Fields is organizing an independent developer meetup that will be taking place for 2 days following the Scaling Bitcoin conference. To make it easier for people to attend, the workshop will be held at the same location, Cyberport. Please note: this meetup is not related to Scaling Bitcoin and is explicitly for developers and technical people only. This information is being posted here for convenience. Meetup information can be found here: bitcoin-dev mailing list announcement.

December 8th
09:00
(900 min )
Developer Meetup
00:00
Closing
December 9th
00:00
(900 min )
Developer Meetup
15:00
Closing

Remote Participation

Live broadcast will begin Sunday December 6th at:
09:00 HKT
01:00 UTC
02:00 CET
20:00 EST
15:00 PST
10:00 JST
Official live stream feeds will be available through the following providers:
Alternate YouTube feeds (setup by Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong):
Live video feed for viewing in China:

Location

keyboard_arrow_left
keyboard_arrow_right

Cyberport

Cyberport - Sea-view concourse

Cyberport - Room 1

Cyberport - Video Coneference Room

Cyberport - Exhibition Gallery

Cyberport - Function room 1 - 3

Cyberport - Room 3

Cybperport - Video Coneference Room 2

Cyberport - Lobby

Cyberport - Function Room 1

Cyberport - Training Room 1

Cyberport - Video Coneference Room 3

Cyberport - Terrace Garden

Cyberport - Function Room 2

Cyberport - Training Room 2

Cyberport - Lobby

Cyberport - Green Coneference Course

Cyberport - Function Room 3

Cyberport - Training Room 1

Hong Kong Cyberport
Function Rooms, 3/F., Core E, Cyberport 3
100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 3166 3800
Fax: (852) 3166 3118

Register

We are sorry, but the event has been sold out.
 
You will still be able to participate via the live stream, IRC, and Twitter.
Due to space limitations, we will not be able to admit anyone at the door.

FAQ

  • What does it cost?

    To encourage continuity of ongoing discussions, all Phase 1 participants are invited to Phase 2 in Hong Kong at $150 USD (same as for Montreal). From November 7th, tickets may be available at $300 USD/ticket -- subject to availability.

  • I need some sort of document for a travel visa

    (Info: http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html) You are responsible for figuring out your own personal visa requirements to enter the Hong Kong, SAR, China. If you need a letter of invitation, then please correspond with sindykwan at cyberport dot hk (please include your name as in your passport, title and correspondence address).

  • I can’t go but I want to participate!

    The event will be livestreamed, and you will be able to participate via IRC. Although it is naturally easier to participate in person, everyone at the event will have a desk in front of them and will be encouraged to join in online discussions with global participants who are viewing the live stream. It is also important to understand that no decisions are to be made at the workshop. (read more below)

  • How do I give a presentation?

    You can submit your proposal to proposals@scalingbitcoin.org (see CFP above). If you’ve worked on research, we recommend that you post the results, including papers, simulation results, and source code, to the bitcoin-dev discussion list. Depending on the quantity of accepted presentations, the workshop will allot a fair amount of time to each presenter. If people have substantially overlapping plans, they may be suggested to merge. Publishing a paper is NOT required—if you have a good presentation plan, you can propose a detailed summary.

  • Why Hong Kong?

    The second workshop is being planned for Hong Kong to make it easier for the Chinese miners to attend.

  • Are any decisions made at the workshop?

    Absolutely no decisions are made at workshops, as this would run the risk of being rushed and unfair to the global community unable to attend in person. The workshop is about raising awareness of issues and proposals, finding common ground, and encouraging public discussion within the existing mechanism of technical progress through the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal process.

  • Will there be a debate?

    There will probably be no debate, and the workshop organizers and participants will be operating with the goal of making the event low-stress and non-confrontational. The intent of the workshops are to showcase diverse points of view and promote open-mindedness in order to improve our collective understanding of how to improve Bitcoin’s scalability. In-person debates could too easily do a disservice to the future of Bitcoin in being about solidifying simplified positions for the purpose of winning political points. It would be unreasonable to entrust the safety and security of the future of Bitcoin to smooth talking at a one-time event rather than deliberate technical study with time for the global community to weigh in.

  • Can we discuss governance of the Bitcoin projects at this workshop?

    These first two workshops in Montreal and Hong Kong are focused on raising technical awareness of scalability issues, simulations and proposals to improve scalability. For now the participants want this to be entirely focused on the science and engineering, which is how Open Source Software development has proven to deliver excellence.

  • Future Workshops? Workshop BIP?

    Some have proposed the workshops become regular events for working on technical issues, after the second currently in planning for Hong Kong. For example, a third workshop has been proposed to be held at MIT’s campus or in New York City. Some have also proposed that we write a BIP on how to organize workshops. These workshops are a work in progress; we will make some mistakes and learn how to do it better the next time. For now, let’s make the first two workshops a success, as that will inform how to define their organization in a written BIP and how to conduct further productive workshops. If you’re interested in discussing future workshops, please join the bitcoin-workshops discussion list.

  • Travelling to Hong Kong first time?

    Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong was kind enough to create travel packs that contain various essential items you may need during your travel (SIM card, power adaptor, transport payment card): https://www.bitcoinhk.org/2015-be-prepared-for-scaling-bitcoin/

  • What social events are planned for Hong Kong?

    There are three social events:

    • Opening Party (Saturday 5th December): A very casual and informal opening party will be held at Liberty Exchange from 8-10pm. Some finger foods will be served for 2 hours but you'll need to pay for your own drinks. After 10pm, there will be a walking tour of Lan Kwai Fong.

    • Reception (Sunday 6th December): At 7pm buses have been arranged to take us from Cyberport to The Hooray Bar and Grill in time for the Symphony of Lights show. There will be unlimited food and drinks for two hours from from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

    • Closing Reception (Monday, 7th December): From 7pm, unlimited food and drinks will be served for two hours at the end of the conference at Cyberport.

  • Are there Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Options for the Food?

    Yes.

  • Is there Wheel Chair Access to these social events?

    Yes, all venues have been audited and are wheel-chair friendly. Additional transportation arrangements can be made via http://syncab.com.hk/tc/ Please email contact@scalingbitcoin.org if we can be of any assistance.

  • How do you translate Bitcoin terminology to Chinese?

    Bitcoin terminology is available at: http://scalingbitcoin.org/technical-terms

Online Resources

About

Scaling Bitcoin Planning Committee

  • Pindar Wong, VeriFi (Hong Kong) Ltd. (Chair) <pindar dot wong at gmail dot com>
  • Anton Yemelyanov, ASPECTRON Inc. (Website) <anton dot yemelyanov at gmail dot com>
  • Nelly Milanova, ASPECTRON Inc. (Administration) <nelka dot milanova at gmail dot com>
  • Alex Morcos, Chaincode Labs <alex at chaincode dot com>
  • Neha Narula, MIT DCI (Program Chair) <narula at gmail dot com>
  • Eric Martindale, Blockstream
  • Warren Togami, Blockstream <wtogami at gmail dot com>
  • Elizabeth Stark, Lightning <elizabeth at lightning dot network>
  • Victoria van Eyk, Changetip <victoriavaneyk at gmail dot com>
  • Leonhard Weese, Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong <leo at bitcoinhk dot org>
  • Larry Salibra, Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong <larry at bitcoinhk dot org>
  • Samson Mow, BTCC
  • Marshall Long, FinalHash
  • Matthew Roszak, Tally Capital <matt at tallycapital dot com>
  • Adam Ludwin, Chain.com
  • Shawn O’Connor, Kraken