Continuing the coverage of Andreas Antonopoulos’ recent chock-full-o-quotes speech at Barcelona’s FabLab, the Bitcoin visionary explained that not only is he “very confident” about scaling the cryptocurrency, but that “all” of the proposed solutions should be adopted by the community.
Which Scaling Solutions Should We Use? ‘All of Them.’
In the Q&A session following his talk titled “Thoughts on the future of money,” one audience member asked Andreas Antonopoulos, “which (scalability) options should the community adopt?”
This topic has been a hot topic of debate for months now as the Bitcoin community has been divided over the best approach for scaling the network’s transaction capacity. Solutions such as Segregated Witness from Bitcoin Core, increasing fees vs. blocksize, or simply raising the Bitcoin block size from 1 to 2MB (dubbed “Bitcoin Classic”) has created a rift between the community, engulfing businesses and developers to boot.
“That’s a very good question,” replied Antonopoulos. “Also an easy one to answer: all of them.”
He pointed out that the problem of scaling “doesn’t gets solved” but only gets “pushed further out” because as the network expands, new types of applications and use-cases constantly emerge to present new capacity challenges.
He further explained:
Are we going to do Segregated Witness or raise the block limit or invertible bloom lookup tables or thin blocks or replace by fee etc., etc. The answer is really simple: all of them. And then we will run into new scalability problems because the moment we create space with these capacity improvements, people will look at that space and think, ‘hey I can do something I couldn’t do before.’ And then that space will be gone.
This extra space, for example, can be used for file sharing, record-keeping, and any other viable use-case that could be discovered in the future. It could even be used for wine provenance or verification of artwork authenticity. The truth is that no one can predict Bitcoin’s future wide-scale applications.
Bringing up the example of the world wide web, Antonopoulos mentioned that the same story has previously repeated with the internet, which has “failed to scale gracefully for 25 years.” Indeed, the Internet in its current form is far from perfect despite its outward success, reach and achieving to connect billions of people around the globe, as new solutions are constantly being invented to solve its various issues.
“If Bitcoin manages to fail to scale gracefully for decades, we’re in a very good place,” he added.
Just an Engineering Issue
Next, the author of “Mastering Bitcoin” moved to the scalability debate as it currently stands. “The debate now has narrowed to the point of which one do we do first — then is it this month or next month, or this year or next year? — which is really just an engineering issue,” he explained. “And is not worthy of all the drama and recriminations that’s happened in the space.”
Ultimately, he believes that this engineering issue will be resolved by the brilliant people working in the development space of Bitcoin, who are constantly figuring out new methods to better approach scalability issues.
It’s not just the five I’ve mentioned, there’s like twenty proposals on how to continue to scale Bitcoin. Will it scale ultimately on its own without another layer? I don’t know — maybe we’ll have to do more layers on top as long as they’re trustless and decentralized, I’m okay with that. But it will scale.
You can watch out his full speech below:
Do you agree that all solutions should be tried and implemented? Let us know in the comments sections below!
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