The blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem is always in great turmoil. The bitcoin coin is frightening for its intrinsically disruptive charge, for that aura of mystery is also cause by the lack of in-depth study of the topic. Every day the technology that lies under bitcoin is the protagonist of innovative usage proposals. Investors are attract to value growth and volatility, venture capitalists look to innovative startups to invest in. For now, institutional operators are largely at the window to observe, except for the most curious who use intermediaries to accept payments in bitcoin.
Regulatory authorities are also taking an interest in the phenomenon and are sometimes taking harsh measures, fearing that this cryptocurrency could also be use for the purpose of money laundering and for capital flight by a minority part of the community.
The first bitcoin ATMs are born, for now as a niche phenomenon, whose mission seems to be that of making a world whose skills in the field seem to be relegated to an environment where technological egocentrism reigns closer. And today, there are many services created specifically to facilitate bitcoin investments. For example, is Bitcoin Code.
There is a war between factions in the bitcoin world?
Two opposite visions are comparing: on the one hand, those who want the blockchain (the public register of bitcoin transactions) to privilege the security and insurability of bitcoin, considering it digital gold, and on the other hand, those who want to favor bitcoin as a transactional currency.
Why are these two views at odds?
It is an inevitable trade-off: to increase the transactional capacity of the blockchain, it is propose to increase the size of the blocks that compose it.
The consequence would be an increase in the technical resources require at each node of the bitcoin network and in the transmission times for the blocks. This scenario accelerates the centralization process for the validation of transactions which is already at worrying levels today.
Moreover, it is a meaningless and dead-end road. Meaningless because bitcoin transactions are validate twice by every node on the network: an incredibly secure but inherently inefficient approach, only sensible for a few very economically significant transactions.
Without exit, because today bitcoin allows three transactions per second. and the VISA about 60 thousand: we would have to bring the block from the current size of 1MB to 20GB, madness considering that a block is add every about ten minutes.
A part of the “bitcoin addicted” dream of using bitcoin for micro-transactions had spread. Was it a chimera in your opinion?
Absolutely not. The blockchain has an intrinsically limited transactional scalability (on-chain), but there are already second-level solutions that allow millions of transactions (off-chain) per second.
I am referring to Lightning Network: a network of payment channels base on a cryptographic protocol that relieves the blockchain from having to validate all transactions, using it only as an incorruptible arbiter to be use in the event that one party tries to cheat the other.
Many bitcoin advocates complain that transactions are no longer as free as they used to be. Why?
Everyone can imagine the bitcoin he prefers, too bad that reality is stubborn and does not bend. Transacting on the safest network in the world is a luxury that will cost you more and more. Bitcoin is digital gold: resilience to any censorship and manipulation is the indispensable condition for its usefulness. And it is also the condition that will make millions of transactions possible.