• The Blocksize War

  • The Battle for Control Over Bitcoin’s Protocol Rules
  • By: Jonathan Bier
  • Narrated by: Guy Swann
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (269 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This book covers bitcoin’s blocksize war, which was waged from August 2015 to November 2017. On the surface, the battle was about the amount of data allowed in each bitcoin block, however it exposed much deeper issues, such as who controls bitcoin’s protocol rules. It is not possible to cover every twist and turn in the labyrinthine conflict or all the arguments, but I have provided a chronology of the most significant events. This book explores some of the major characters in the conflict and includes coverage, from both the front lines and behind the scenes, during some of the most acute phases of the struggle. The account in this book includes discussions with the key players from both sides during the war, exploring their motivations, strategy and thought processes as the exhausting campaign progressed and developed.

©2021 Jonathan Bier (P)2021 Jonathan Bier
  • Unabridged Audiobook

What listeners say about The Blocksize War

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A Pleasure to Learn About

I admit I was looking forward to this book, but based on the kinda-lame cover art, I was expecting a so-so history at a "self-published" level of quality. I was extremely happy to be wrong.

Jonathan Bier is clearly a very smart guy -- not an author by trade, but this is a well-written book that would do any author proud. And he manages to do lots of things, each of which is difficult: 1) Keep track of lots of characters who appear/disappear over a number of years, 2) Make a deeply technical topic readable for a layperson, 3) Present a balanced perspective on the "war," rather than tilting the playing field in favor of the winners, and 4) Fitting the book into 21 chapters, a nice little hat-tip to Bitcoin's 21 million supply cap.

As someone who wasn't a bitcoiner during the time written about here, it was amazing to learn about the fairly epic struggles that took place just a few short years ago. It also redoubled my conviction about the intellectual depth of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Even non-Bitcoin people will find this book a valuable complement to corporate strategy reading like "The Art of War" and its many business-as-war spin-offs.

Lastly, Guy Swann's narration is excellent as always.

2 people found this helpful

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  • DJ
  • 07-24-22

“Move slowly, don’t break things…”

A great story how human hubris and ego bred from a culture of Technical success almost destroyed Bitcoin. Ultimately the humility, judiciousness and patience of the Devs for a long term solution of layered money (Lightning) overcame institutional money and VC approach to an open network. Will likely be required reading on subject of Bitcoin when history looks back on this time…

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Bitcoin and the blocksize war + chain splits

In this book you will learn anything there is to know about the importance of a bitcoin blockchain. The chainsplit which happened in 2017. The events on how it happened and why the outcome in this fight was so important.

The bitcoin blockchain persists as it should be and it defeated all those who have tried!

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A Personal But Balanced Perspective

Not the definitive history I was hoping for, but still good for what it is. Bier recounts the debates of the time from his perspective, including first-hand accounts of some important events. He does make an effort to be fair to all points of view, and mostly succeeds.

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Whether your in Bitcoin or crypto this is a must

I understand now why we have so many coins that aren't bitcoin. this book really tells the story of why we have some many other versions of Bitcoin as well as all the other &%$t coins. Great book.

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I was expecting something different.

I believed that this book would get in depth into the technical, economic, and philosophical reasons why Bitcoin should be inmutable and controlled by the end user. It did talk a lot about that, but 80% of the book was about the personal experiences of the author during those times, as well as the story of "the characters" involved in the two sides (small blockers and big blockers). I felt like if I was reading a book about round Earth and flat earth, and instead of the book being mostly about deductive arguments and logic behind why the earth is round, it was about some earth flatter and his history... and "battles" and anecdotes... and only 20% of the book has actual arguments. So, overall I see the value in this book and the story behind the blocksize war, but I would expect another title like "The Story of the Blocksize War".

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Awesome

awesome account of the events that occurred during the few years of uncertainty regarding the direction Bitcoin would go. Guy Swann does a fantastic job narrating too.

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Excellent!!!

Gotta know where you came from before you know where you’re going. This book does just that!! Excellent read!!!

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Important and well written history

Information heretofore unknown to the general (new) Bitcoiner. This work clarifies many aspects of the hardest money ever. Guy Swann does a nice job of presenting Biers work. Now go stack some sats.

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Very dense but a good account

Some knowledge of the internal workings of blockchains, Bitcoin and the issues are a must. The book is dense with details, but is thorough and well done.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-21

5 Stars: The book highly exceeded my expectations!

The book was written in such a compelling way that I simply couldn't stop listening.

I had to listen the whole book immediately.

It was really informative and interesting.

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  • mr m d bradley
  • 10-11-21

As significant a war as any fought on a batlefield

The profound impact of bitcoins decentralisation excludes the most vested, the biggest hodlers, the biggest corporates and most prominent developers from manipulating it for any reason, nefarious or well intentioned.

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  • Nelson Carreras
  • 08-17-21

Fascinating and entertaining!

I found this audiobook to be a fascinating, entertaining, balanced and well-narrated story. The war framing is engaging and does not compromise the accuracy of the historical facts. I really enjoyed it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-21

A great story very well explained

Very interesting!

The book is technical so you need a love and knowledge of bitcoin to enjoy this book.

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  • DaveBradley
  • 09-29-21

Interesting for bitcoin nerds (like me)

Definitely an interesting story in terms of how close bitcoin came to submitting to the interests of big players like exchanges, pool miners, influencers in the crypto space… but was “saved” by the patient and coordinated efforts of the “small-blockers”, and in essence the nodes/users of bitcoin.
The performance by Guy Swann of bitcoin audible was great as usual.
A fair bit of the language and concepts are hard to follow if you’re not used to computer science, but I am not and I powered through and lived to tell the tale. A worthy read :)

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  • Mark
  • 07-21-21

Learning from history

The Blocksize War is a very comprehensive and enjoyable recount of one of the most important phases in the history of bitcoin, written by someone who was at the centre of the action. Highly recommended!

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  • Aleksandar
  • 06-19-21

Amazing!!

This is the kind of bitcoin history I love to read.
Well written. Well read.
What a story.
What a time to be alive.
Get this. Listen to it. And thank your lucky stars that Bitcoiners are the intolerant minority who did not back down.

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  • Thetims
  • 06-10-21

awesome recap of history.

An amazing recap of historyas someone that was in the space at the time it's great to have some gaps filled in and to hear a recount that can be shared for new people entering the space. it's also a great educational piece on bitcoin scaling.