Remember all that panic after Segwit 2X mess? Many thought Bitcoin was on its dying bed. Yes, they had valid reasons to worry stemming from an inherent snowballing concern. Adoption and congestion goes hand in hand. Consequences were definitely inevitable. You see, despite the continuous patches, the Bitcoin network remains pretty much the same. Even so, Segwit 2X events and Bitcoin Cash hard fork shall forever remain the highlight of Bitcoin development.
Back in the day, Satoshi was the one pulling shots and urging adopters to upgrade their cores whenever a glitch had been fixed. The network was also faster and despite the heat, you could actually mine using your normal GPUs.
After the Chinese pump and Silk Road, the price of Bitcoin was obviously on the rise. Subsequently, the new found attention became a glow for new users and developers. Shortly after, there was developer centralization like Blockstream with BIPs implementation depending on the majority vote.
UASF, Segwit 2X and Bitcoin Cash
Nevertheless, Bitcoin waded through the NYA debate before the implementation of the first stage of the agreement via a UASF. However, just before Segwit 2X, there was a hard fork. This was the birth of Bitcoin Cash, a quick fix to scalability and high fees. Till now, Roger Ver, the “Bitcoin Evangelist” and the leader of a virtual Libertarian country finds offense when someone calls the coin “BCash”. How funny!
Note this though. Bitcoin Cash proponents say that the network is the ultimate solution to scalability. By increasing block size to 8MB, more transactions could be stored leading to high speed of transaction settlement.
Many label BCH as a “perfect” coin for merchants because of the instantaneous nature of payment but that’s about it. Let’s not forget that it came at the expense of the total size of the blockchain. Block and blockchain size are directly proportional so sooner or later, nodes would have to download TBs of data. Besides that-talks of centralization are also rife-, Bitcoin Cash offers nothing.
A Road Map to the Moon?
While Bitcoin Cash continues to make headlines even threatening to “Flip”, Bitcoin is making important technical strides. Of course, challenges persist. Why not? It’s the biggest cryptocurrency in the world and the community is vibrant. Fees are moderate and settling transactions can take hours. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Segwit Eliminates Malleability Attacks
I specifically like potential solutions that tackle the thorny topic of scaling while improving transaction settlement speed. It’s the open source nature of the Bitcoin source code that can be a deterrent to fast implementation as we saw with Segwit 2X. Regardless, Segwit remains an important cog that set the ball rolling for Lightning Network. Then again, with Segwit, there is an immediate fix to transaction malleability attacks.
The reason why blockchain technology remains popular is because of how it handles privacy. In the digital age privacy is a priority. Big social media companies as Facebook continues to auction our personal data to the highest bidder and with the CLOUD Act becoming law, there is no better time to safeguard this right. After all, it’s the Fourth Amendment and part of every nation’s Human Rights clause.
Bulletproofs Implementation Improves Privacy
Decentralization and distribution is synonymous with blockchain and Bitcoin but the latter is taking a step further. In the cards, there are two privacy-centric implementation that shall provide an extra edge to the core. Apart from using Schnorr signatures, there are plans for Bulletproofs implementation.
In a nutshell, Bulletproofs is a “new form of zero-knowledge proof protocol with very short proof and a trustless set-up”. What this basically means is that there will be a faster and compact way of verifying privacy demanding confidential transactions.Bulletproofs does this by drastically reducing the size of these CTs. Because of zero-knowledge proofs, there is a way of validating these CTs without revealing the content of the CT.
Reduce Block size Through Schnorr Signatures
Schnorr signatures on the other hand bids to reduce the size of multisig transactions. At the center of this development is the need to slash the overall size of the blockchain and boosting transaction capacity. That’s only feasible if there’s a reduction Bitcoin’s transactions digital signatures. This idea is so attractive and continue to garner support within the Bitcoin community. Aside from the space element, mashing signatures will helps fight spam within the network apart from improving efficiency. This in turn means reduction of transaction backlog and high network fees.Additionally, Schnorr signatures shall play a fundamental role when Bitcoin’s smart contracts becomes a reality.
The Power of Side-chains
Icing these is the tantalizing toying of Bitcoin side-chains. Now, it may sound over the top and even overambitious. But really, if we have private side-chains addressing specific kind of information not only will the parent chain become efficient but transaction processing speeds will come down towards zero.
As a result we shall have a faster and efficient system that can handle the demands of the day in a world running on blockchain. As always, it’s the implementation stage that is tricky but with a NiPoPoW proposal, there is a break through.
Nonetheless, we can take reprieve in the fact that different blockchain projects can easily communicate with each other via the main chain without bringing vulnerabilities to the main network. Drive Chain are working on creating a Bitcoin side-chain. If it proves successful then it’s only logical that Bitcoin value will go up.