Bitcoin is frustratingly inefficient compared to it’s many offspring. Transactions are slower and more costly than ever before, leaving users asking “This sucks! What’s next?”
There are 2 main approaches to scaling the Bitcoin network:
1. The Lightning Network:
Similar to Raiden or Trinity, this solution is simply moving the load from the Bitcoin network to an improved off-chain solution. This proposed solution is in development for many of the major cryptocurrency platforms, and while it seems promising, some say the Lightning Network is mathematically impossible.
2. Bigger Blocks:
Making each of Bitcoin’s mined blocks process more transactions seems like a straightforward solution. Bitcoin blocks today are limited to 1MB, if we increase that to 10MB, we could have ten times as many transactions, right?
Here are the potential problems with simply increasing the block loads:
– A hard fork requires waiting for sufficient consensus.
– Risk of catastrophic consensus failure
– An emergency hard fork that can achieve consensus can be deployed on a short time period if needed.
– Orphan rate amplification, more reorgs and double-spends due to slower propagation speeds.
– “Congestion” concerns can be solved with mempool improvements including transaction eviction.
– No amount of max block size would support all the world’s future transactions on the main blockchain (various types of off-chain transactions are the only long-term solution)
– Fast block propagation is either not clearly viable, or (eg, IBLT) creates centralised controls.
While this solution is possible, it’s the technological equivalent to applying a band-aid.
Though it once acted as the face of cryptocurrency and introduced the idea of distributed ledgers and digital assets, it’s time to usher in more promising technology.
Eulogy made by Robert Ussery III