Conflict in Bitcoin and the path forward: a conversation with Thomas Voegtlin

Bitcoin is going through a difficult maturing phase of its development. This difficulty stems from the conflicts that have been arising about scalability issues, the proposed solutions and the contentious path forward for a technology with immense potential yet to be fully recognised and accepted.

This is the foundational Blockchain technology. But Bitcoin, even if we agree that is a bit more than a token or cryptocurrency having also some other valuable technological characteristics, has moved little in the way of wider adoption and acceptance by the public it might  appeared to be of significance: consumers and retail businesses or the wider e-commerce and enterprise finance broadly. This calls for some killer-apps or more creative solutions for Bitcoin to completely convince business leaders of its undisputable utility.

The video I share today here featuring a conversation with Electrum Bitcoin Wallet founder and technological entrepreneur Thomas Voegtlin (Thomas also has a computational neuroscience background, a  very positive rewarding surprise to me) in the Epicenter.tv YouTube channel might be illuminating for the concerned with the current Bitcoin scalability issues and the relevant topics discussed like Segregated Witness (SegWit), ASICBoost, Bitcoin Unlimited, etc. The Blockcsize debate that have been raging for some  months (maybe years) is also an important topic discussed, as also is the mining issues that probably will be major frictions for Bitcoin going forward. For a supposed and vented about completely decentralised network of agents achieving consensus through a Blockchain, Bitcoin has become a kind of cartel of major miners that control almost 80% of the network. This goes against a spirit of competitive decentralization and virtuous ecosystem for various kind of solutions/innovations to emerge… Unfortunately it is becoming a political and governance power grabbing ecosystem. The technological and base software development nature of Bitcoin is still intact , on the positive side of things.

A final note about the skeptical take by Thomas about the current mining difficulties. He worries about what will happen if a hard fork eventually is needed and the current mining structure of proof-of-work unravels with major security consequences. He backs new innovative soft fork approaches or solutions in order to avoid major problems and at the same time implementing the SegWit solution.

featured image: /BS-Electrum-Icons

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