Bitcoin does not require base layer changes for scalability to improve commercial value

  • 01 July 2019, Monday, 20:30

Scaling has been one of the major issues associated with Bitcoin over the past few years. Bitcoin’s scaling problem was often held in accordance with Moore’s Law and it was predicted that if the law had held through, Bitcoin’s memory capacity would have increased by a factor of 8 megabytes. However, at press time, the capacity was still under 1 MB.

In order to improve the scalability of Bitcoin, Lightning Network, a 2nd base layer was also introduced. However, the community hasn’t agreed on a unanimous decision to make the changes to the primary base layer of Bitcoin.

Andreas Antonopoulos, a well-known Bitcoin influencer, had also spoken widely about the coin’s scalability problems and stated that the window for significant changes in the base protocol was very narrow since the protocol was already pre-defined in various hardware units.

It was recently suggested by Jimmy Song, a Bitcoin proponent, that changes in the base layer were not as important as deemed so by the community.

Whenever the issue of scalability is raised, the major argument put against Bitcoin is the fact that its capacity to undertake a greater number of the transactions at the same time has not improved over the years. The fact that it has been delayed without improvements in the mainnet has limited the asset’s mass adoption.

However, Bitcoin was initially introduced as a medium of currency that was decentralized and free of control. The idea of fast transactions and the rapid movement of assets was developed later by the community and thus, issues with scalability surfaced. The scaling situation of Bitcoin was further confronted only when other virtual assets started to scale better than Bitcoin.

Thus, a part of the community suggested that meddling with the base layer over the scalability issue was not necessary since the idea of Bitcoin was to store capital value, which was the base of all commerce. Fast transactions thus, was not on the table.

On the contrary, some Bitcoin proponents believe that privacy is a definite change required in the base layer, something that had to be done before the next Bitcoin halving.

The community however, remains split on the scalability issue and only time will tell how the situation unfolds.