Andreas Antonopoulos has defended the Lightning Network as an optimal Bitcoin scaling solution, saying it is “naive” to assume that its current nascent state means it will fail to scale in future.
Critics ‘Misunderstand Engineering’
Speaking as part of his regular Q&A sessions, the celebrated cryptocurrency educator and lecturer addressed criticism of Lightning, which remains in beta testing phase after its Bitcoin mainnet implementation first launched six months ago.
Summarizing the protocol’s perspectives, Antonopoulos said:
To say it is not possible ever because it is not possible today is to misunderstand how engineering works.
As Lightning gains rapid popularity, critics of off-chain Bitcoin scaling – specifically those who champion on-chain options such as Bitcoin Cash’s block size increases – have highlighted its inefficiencies as proof of limited capability.
On-Chain Scaling Loses Out
As Bitcoinist reported Friday, pro-Bitcoin responses took Bitcoin Cash supporters to task over such criticisms, noting that even in its experimental phase, the Lightning Network can already process millions of transactions per second.
In future, as its technical abilities increase, the network will go far beyond that, says Antonopoulos – numbers of transactions which “you can’t even conceive of with a block size increase.”
It’s not possible to do orders of magnitude block size increases without fundamentally destroying the decentralization principles of Bitcoin – at least not yet.
…Lightning Network really does bring enough scaling. It allows us to change the dimensions of Bitcoin; it allows us to reduce the granularity of payments, not just down to millibits but down to satoshis and even sub-satoshi amounts… and do that all on the scale of millisecond round trips.
Lightning’s user interface and experience, key aspects for improvement Antonopoulos identified, sees a fresh test this week after GloBee, the first payment gateway to open up full acceptance for the technology, implemented the feature.
Other providers are set to follow, joining a growing roster of businesses including Bitrefill and Living Room of Satoshi.
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