Interview Guest: W.H.H., LBTC chief developer and architect, top senior Blockchain technology expert.
The LBTC official website (lbtc.io) has lately updated the Lightning Bitcoin Roadmap. Perhaps the LBTC community has already noticed it. We, on one hand, have heard quite a few voices wanting to know it deeper. Also, on the other hand, we find that many may still feel confused about some of its technical and development concepts. Where will the LBTC go? What new technical features will there be? These are subjects of universal interest of the whole community. To this end, we invited Mr. W.H.H., the chief developer and architect of LBTC, to make us an official interpretation.
Q: I would be honored to interview Mr. W.H.H., the chief developer and architect of LBTC. Should this be your first time to participate in such an open-to-public interview?
A: Well, yes. I also really appreciate this. In fact, in the past, our development team had rarely been in talks of this kind. But we’ve also been considering changing this very recently. We hope to have a sort of communication with the (LBTC) community and independent developers while ensuring the development progress to help people learn more about LBTC and what it is doing now.
Q: I’m gonna get right to the point. What makes you want to launch a new roadmap at this time?
A: I think we are presenting an overall result of our team after we reflected both on the past and the future. We have actually done a lot last year, but when we look back, we find it a bit confusing. Yeah, because the general direction seems not so clear, and the results of our work are not put together very well. So, after thinking about it, we realized that we have long been lacking a development plan which should have a clear direction and intended milestones to accomplish by steps. Without a clear direction, our efforts would not be iterated and accumulated towards a certain goal. And the milestones being not clear had put us in the lack of immediate feedback, and the community couldn’t understand or even know what we’ve been doing. And yes, that’s why we come up with such a clearer technology roadmap.
Q: Okay, could you talk about the “general direction” a little? Is it there now?
A: Alright, strictly speaking, LBTC is never without its general direction. We’ve actually always been with it, which may be a bit vague and so is not accurately expressed to the community and the market. But the new roadmap on LBTC website has this time set it quite clear: “LBTC is heading for a true peer-to-peer electronic cash system. To achieve this very original intention from the Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto, we are building in every respect a more reliable and feasible protocol with better user experience.” This is never an empty talk, you know. It has each word in it with specific meanings. It is right the direction we have long been thinking, finely honing, and eventually coming to set down. And I think that’s also the vision of LBTC.
Q: So why has Nakamoto been mentioned? Just kind of paying tribute to Bitcoin, or wanting to explain that LBTC is on the way back to BTC?
A: Not just a simple tribute, I think. LBTC was originally a forked protocol from Bitcoin, one that has been modified a lot. We can say that LBTC is the very most original and innovative in all Bitcoin forked versions. Our UTXO+DPOS mechanism, for instance, is in its nature technically difficult to realize. There are some from the market misinterpreting us and thinking that we are just playing with the concept (of Bitcoin fork). I want to say that from the technical point of view, what we are doing is experimental because the fork itself is an experimental exploration. So, working on it kind of means crossing the river by feeling the stones, and it is impossible that it always goes that well. And if there is no substantial improvement, but for a few adjustments on parameters, this experiment is way too pointless. That kind of fork, if I can possibly call it so, is nothing but a publicity stunt.
Q: Does that mean that LBTC wants to take its own route and sets it different from BTC?
A: Well…Let me think about it…. To be precise, the entire LBTC team truly recognize and value the Bitcoin. We study Bitcoin and also characterize ourselves as Bitcoin-based experiments. And those standing with us, of course, should also be strong supporters of Bitcoin. But LBTC really thinks highly of the spirit outlined in the Bitcoin white paper. We think the idea, “one peer-to-peer electronic cash system,” by Nakamoto is the core of all our concerns. And because of that, we have always been thinking about what we can develop to reach this vision. Yeah, so we work on such functions as the UTXO model, delay-free confirmation, instant transfer, nearly free transaction fees, and a more democratic and decentralized governance structure to move towards this direction. In this sense, LBTC may be the real “Bitcoin Fundamentalism.”
Q: I think I’m starting to get this. LBTC is not like BCH or BTG, which either stresses that it is the real Bitcoin, or claims it is better than Bitcoin. LBTC wishes to make itself a more “peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” Is that right?
A: Yes, much closer now. But I still want to emphasize that we don’t want to just limit ourselves to this “peer-to-peer payment” idea. A cryptocurrency must ultimately strive to become practical enough to respond to users’ needs. That’s also what we are thinking. So, we have been considering how we can integrate more transfer-based auxiliary financial services, such as directly exchanging different types of cryptocurrencies and issuing and transferring customized tokens on the chain, so that we could be able to deal with many other financial services in the future, like cross-commodity transaction exchange, asset tokenization and digital asset lending. This scenario can be very large. The convenient and environmentally friendly transfer is only the basis of the foundation.
Q: So what about the vision mentioned above? How do you organize and refine it into your development plan?
A: Well, if you look at our roadmap, you will find that it has two big branches: namely, the Technology Framework + User Experience. The former shows that we want to develop new features based on peer-to-peer payments to support a long-term vision of the IoV (Internet of Value). For instance, we are planning or have already done things like extending OP_RETURN, optimizing the cache structure for Address Balance Generation, realizing anonymity on the chain, and making native build-in function protocol based on Op Code to support the functional design. Someone once asked if we could do Smart Contract. Yes, technically, we can. But we believe a Turing-Complete Smart Contract will be a sheer heavy design and redundant function for a peer-to-peer electronic cash system or IoV. To provide regular financial services and meet the needs of asset tokenization, we only need a series of specific native functional components. Stellar is developed on this idea. We hope the community could read our thoughts. It is really not necessary to make LBTC a large and comprehensive public chain.
Q: Then what about User Experience?
A: Actually, there are two reasons why we are specific on this User Experience. First, LBTC wants to make an excellent peer-to-peer electronic cash system. And our basic idea is still Payment Experience and User First. So, you know, we want to lift it up to a very high level. In this development plan, we also want to fix the existing defects, and further polish what we originally were good at, such as cross-platform Light Wallet, accelerating payment confirmation and optimizing the irreversible block mechanism. And second, LBTC has always been highlighting the superior On-Chain Governance System, for which we had a standardized SGS (Spark Governance System) last year, but we still need to constantly improve relevant mechanisms. For example, we need to largely optimize node parameters and campaign mechanisms, set up the LBTC Foundation, facilitate multi-channel billing process, and enhance Light Wallet support for on-chain governance. In the future, we want each token holder to be included everywhere in the LBTC on-chain governance without any limits or thresholds. And if you allow me to shed a little light here. The modification and optimization of ecology and governance will be very large, and they will come out in the second half of this year.
Q: Very well. The development team could interact and communicate with the community. This is definitely what the community most wants to see. So, is there any more regular plan for the team in the future for such open-to-public communication? Well, you know, I can’t always expect an exclusive interview from you.
A: (smile) Alright, I’m actually very willing to see more interviews. It’s true that the development team did not do much on this in the past, but now we are planning a community that is more decentralized and more widely involved, which bring together developers and enthusiastic community members interested in LBTC. And It will transform the communications and discussions exclusive to developers into something daily, regular and two-way. Yes, and we have already started as we have successfully organized an offline developer salon some time ago. Some developers were very interested in what we’ve been doing. And we have started our cooperation and there have already been substantial results. Also, we will continue to find overseas developers. Never trifle with them! Many of the LBTC third-party software had been independently developed by those overseas developers. They are real volunteers, not those who put on a show for the people. Anyway, LBTC really thinks highly of the technology ecology. We think a good project must have a feasible set of mechanisms that accommodate all developers to cooperate. So, we can also understand the expectations of the community for our technology ecology. In the future, there will be more third-party developers, independent developers, and community volunteers playing more important roles, and the community will also see more fruits that come about. Let’s just wait and see!
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