The Solution to Bitcoin’s Scalability Has Scaling Problems Says Blockstream Employee


Rusty Russell, a bitcoin developer and a Blockstream employee working on the Lightning Network (LN), said LN has scaling problems on an update regarding the network and delays of its launch, statting:

“There are protocol scaling issues and implementation scaling issues. All channel updates are broadcast to everyone. How badly that will suck depends on how fast updates happen, but it’s likely to get painful somewhere between 10,000 and 1,000,000 channels.

On first connect, nodes either dump the entire topology or send nothing. That’s going to suck even faster; “catchup” sync planned for 1.1 spec.

As for implementation, c-lightning at least is hitting the database more than it needs to, and doing dumb stuff like generating the transaction for signing multiple times and keeping an unindexed list of current HTLCs, etc. And that’s just off the top of my head.”

That suggests a lot more development is needed before it is ready for ordinary use and even then it might not quite scale despite many bitcoin developers suggesting it as a solution towards scaling bitcoin.

Which, unless on-chain capacity is increased, might only leave sidechains as a way to scale within bitcoin, a Blockstream product that is actually patented or in the process of doing so:

Blockstream’s sidechain patent.

That has raised suggestions the for-profit company and its employees, who loudly argue against even an increase to 2MB for on-chain capacity, might have a conflict of interest.

In particular, the limitation of on-chain capacity, as well as seemingly LN capacity, might increase demand for sidechain products which can be fully centralized or decentralized depending on the preferences of its developers or even corporations such as banks.

That might explain their puzzling resistance and loud arguments against a tiny 1MB of extra data, despite the fact Blockstream’s CEO and some of its developers actually signed up to such an extra 1MB.

While another Blockstream employee, Mark Friedenbach, explain the effects of implementing replay protections on the chain that implements it:

The consequences of replay protection.

That lays it in some plain language why developers might not want to implement replay protections at the same time as explaining why their opponents might want to pressure them towards implementing it.

1x supporters, in fact, could not say two words last week without mentioning replay protection, which was implemented then removed by 2x.

But, despite what might be fake PR led campaigns, miners and the vast majority of businesses are seemingly remaining steadfast in support of 2x with some 95% of miners signaling for it.

Current miners support for segwit2x.

However, it’s yet to be seen whether that will remain the same at the time of the upgrade on or around 18th November 2017.

Not least because with four weeks to go there’s plenty of time for developments. Including statements by businesses regarding labeling and the ticker.


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