The same problem arises during every spike in Bitcoin transaction volume. The first blockchain suffers from a high degree of transactional friction. Those looking to buy and sell BTC have found the process slow and expensive when volume is high. The solution to his problem is well along – The Lightning Network provides an off-chain solution that alleviates this issue. Yet, Lightning adoption remains sluggish for a variety of reasons.
Brought to the forefront by the 2017 “Crypto Bubble,” Lightning generated a lot of buzz. The bubble’s burst gave Lightning ample time to develop and release a stable product. Unfortunately, it also disincentivized nodes from signing on. As such, user channel pathways are becoming alarmingly centralized. At the same time, most believe that Lightning is the correct path forward – including a major funding push for payment network development.
Lightning Network: Solving Bitcoin’s Scalability Crisis
Lightning is not the first solution to Bitcoin’s slow transaction speed. The introduction of Segregated Witness helped to a degree. It also created the notorious BTC Core/Bitcoin Cash schism. That split continues to cause waves to this day. Off-chain platforms are a more eloquent solution that avoid sundering the community any further.
The ultimate solution may lay with programs like Strike. Created by the development team at Zap, Strike completely removes the technological barriers associated with Lightning’s use. Users can access the advantages of the Lightning Network without ever dealing with cryptocurrency transfer. Instead, fiat automatically converts at either endpoint of a transaction.
Fix Bitcoin or Go Elsewhere?
As the cryptocurrency market continues to expand, investors will face a difficult choice. Should they remain with Bitcoin and allow it to dominate the market? Or should they choose one of the technologically superior competitors? Bitcoin’s greatest asset lay in its neutrality. Most competing systems are often under the control of their development team, creating additional risks.
The Lightning Network needs to attract a higher volume of Bitcoin transactions to fully cement itself. Until that point, it will remain a solid solution – but not an effective one. Their success may depend on another boom in cryptocurrency use and investment, as opposed to the slow growth we are currently seeing.
Article By: Adam Stone