Bitcoin, to Scale or Not to Scale

There is a debate raging within the Bitcoin community and it’s all about scaling Bitcoin. As Bitcoin grows in value and more adoption is taking place, it is important for the miners to have the capability to cope and perform under an increased transaction workload. If Bitcoin scales well and due to an increased performance level, the network of miners will confirm transactions quicker than the 7 transactions per second currently experienced.

Currently, there are many unconfirmed transactions and this seems to be down to the size of the fee paid. The transaction fees have be increased by 1200% since 2015, however this is off a small base but recently it has been reported that the average fee is now over $1.

The transactions with higher fees are confirmed very quickly vs the transactions with lower fees sometimes waiting up to a few days. As fees rise, there could be wallets that will not be able to spend what they have stored as they do not have enough in the wallet to pay the fees. Imagine how many thousands of these small value wallets are out there – when you add the up, most probably millions of dollars worth that are now out of the ecosystem. Read more about the tension rising around Bitcoin’s Fees

As mentioned, there is a ongoing debate between two different camps regarding the block size on the blockchain.  What are the differences?  Watch the debate between Roger Ver (BU) vs Tone Vays (SegWit) – Bitcoin Scaling Debate.

 Bitcoin Unlimited

“Every node operator or miner can currently choose their own blocksize limit by modifying their client. Bitcoin Unlimited makes the process easier by providing a configurable option for the accepted and generated blocksize via a GUI menu. Bitcoin Unlimited further provides a user-configurable failsafe setting allowing you to accept a block larger than your maximum accepted blocksize if it reaches a certain number of blocks deep in the chain.”  Full description on Bitcoin Unlimited 

Antpool, one of the largest mining pools,  signals for Bitcoin Unlimited however, the Bitmain CEO is firmly against a User Activated Soft Fork as it will split split the blockchain and create 2 or 3 kinds of Bitcoin if majority miners vote “no”.  A warning was also issued to exchanges.

In an interesting turn of events, Roger Ver bets against SegWit Bitcoin Upgrade at Anarchapulco Conference.


Bitcoin Core – Segregated Witness

“In November 2016, Bitcoin miners have been able to signal support for Segregated Witness . Developed as a soft fork, the proposed centerpiece of Bitcoin Core’s scalability roadmap requires 95 percent of all blocks within a single two week difficulty period to signal readiness for the change. If the threshold is reached, the solution is activated two weeks later, realizing an effective block size limit increase, a malleability fix and more.”  Read full story here

Follow the progress on adoption of Segregated Witness 

With the Bitcoin price over $1000, Bitcoin miners are making good returns.  This could be the reason many Bitcoin Miners aren’t paying attention to the Scaling Debate – they are profitable!

Will 2017 bring an end to Bitcoin’s Great Scaling Debate?  Good question, however, be rest assured that the Bitcoin community will ensure consensus before any changes are made as the stakes are high.

What’s not to love about Bitcoin… it’s a DEMOCRACY, owned by nobody or business of government!

Click here to follow the Unconfirmed Transactions on the Blockchain.

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