Despite calls for unity, the debate still rages between developers of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, as individuals on both sides of the debate claim that they know the proper way to scale a decentralized network, such as Bitcoin.
Just one decade ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious developer and mastermind behind the Bitcoin project, posted a technical paper entitled “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” to a rather obscure cryptography mailing list. While there was no credibility backing his pseudonym, Nakamoto’s unique use of the triple-entry accounting method of data storage, which was highlighted in the whitepaper, was and still is unarguably one of the greatest innovations that have graced humanity.
But now, after 545,300 fully-fledged, bona fide Bitcoin blocks (at the time of writing) have been processed, the crypto community is somehow divided, with individuals from all different backgrounds claiming that their idea and plan is the way in which blockchain systems, specifically Bitcoin’s, should be run.
The most obvious example of this is Bitcoin’s August 2017 hard fork, which saw a group of individuals fork Satoshi’s original chain into Bitcoin Cash, which has been touted as the “real digital cash.” The community backing this fork claim that the forked blockchain is in-line with Satoshi’s vision, or in other words for those who aren’t aware, what some believe the blockchain creator had in mind when he jotted up the original whitepaper.
Although the fork abided by the rules of the blockchain, hence decentralization, there are many who believe that Bitcoin Cash, with its community’s failure to accept scaling solutions, like Segwit and the Lightning Network, is not only against Satoshi’s vision but is doomed to fail as well.
This sentiment was alluded to in the CoinsBank Blockchain Cruise’s impromptu debate between Charlie Lee, founder of the Litecoin Project, and Roger Ver, an outspoken advocate for the fork, who both discussed their own ideologies on blockchain scaling.
Here is the first video:https://t.co/nov0Oqdr89
PS. The FULL debate will be shared in a couple days.💪
— Bitcoin.com Official (@BitcoinCom) October 4, 2018
In the debate, which got heated at times, one thing stood out, which was the fact that Litecoin’s founder claimed that on-Lightning Network transactions are more peer-to-peer (p2p) than on-chain transactions themselves.
On the morning of October 6th, Charlie Lee, evidently responding to the recent publishing of the debate tapes, took to his well-followed Twitter page to elaborate on his argument that the Lightning Network is in-line with Nakamoto’s original vision, which has been open to a wide variety of interpretations.
1/ On-chain Bitcoin and Litecoin payments are not peer-to-peer. Payments are sent from sender to miners, who record it on a distributed ledger. The recipient receives the payment when it’s recorded. BUT, this is facilitated by a p2p network where transactions are broadcasted.
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) October 6, 2018
Lee explained that on-chain transactions aren’t peer-to-peer, as miners and full nodes still act as an intermediary of sorts in the relaying and verification of a transfer, even though such processes can be performed without trust. The long-time crypto proponent likened the current on-chain system to payment hubs, where prospective crypto transactors need to link to hubs (nodes) to send and receive payment.
On the other hand, the Lightning Network is p2p, as the Litecoin founder explained that transactions made through this scaling medium can operate without a direct internet connection, and without interaction with third-parties or intermediaries. As such, Lee closed off his tweet storm by stating that “Bitcoin with Lightning Network more closely fits the Bitcoin whitepaper’s title… this is Satoshi’s vision.”
Per data compiled by 1ML, a Lightning Network-focused statistics provider, the scaling solution can now handle over 113 BTC ($700,000) in its channels, which is a substantial amount when considering that this same figure was under $100,000 just a few months back. The number of active channels on the network has reportedly surpassed the 10,000 milestone, with preliminary reports indicating that this number is only set to increase, indicating that a widely used scaling solution is in Bitcoin’s grasp.
Although some pundits, like Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver, who likes to laud Bitcoin’s most prominent fork, may be against the Lightning Network, the maturation that this scaling solution has seen shouldn’t be disregarded, that’s for sure.
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash