Thought For The Week
Is It Decision Time Yet?
Besides the supposed unmasking of Satoshi, the other major event in the world of Bitcoin this week was the second leg of the Scaling Bitcoin conference.
The conference held in Hong Kong, was meant to bring the scaling Bitcoin conversation towards concensus. Some might say little, beyond the introduction of a soft fork candidate solution, was achieved.
Through the magic of Youtube (thank-you conference organisers) I watched much of the event. Here are some of my thoughts:
- The Bitcoin network has some of the brightest people in the world working on improving it - see the proposed segregated witness solution by Petere Wulliue of Blockstream.
- There's no shortage of BIPs. In fact, the number of proposals is slowly becoming hard to keep a track of BIP 100, BIP 101, BIP 102, BIP 103, BIP 105, BIP 106, BIP 248…. on my!
- The real issue is to do with consensus or the lack thereof.
- Further to the above, the mining panel felt like a game of hot potato - with everyone wanting someone else to make a decision.
- There is a major gulf between the Chinese miner set and the rest of the bitcoin world - this divide needs to be worked on (hat tip to the translation work of Bobby Lee, CEO of BTCC, at the conference).
- Predicated on deterrence theory, there is a strong view from the miners that the value of the network is a strength and not a weakness as many might suggest. A 'too big to fail' view of the world. Which in my opinion, is a slightly worrying view.
- The Great Firewall of China is an under-discussed problem - but was potentially an over-discussed issue at the conference.
- The Lightening Network is real and development seems to be moving at a brisk pace. Which may mean, by default, it becomes the solution to the scaling issue.
To anyone who attended, what did you think of the conference?
--- Alan Tsen, @alantsen
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