The Biggest Problem of Bitcoin ‘Scalability’ can be Tapped

Scalability in Bitcoin

BloXroute Labs and a team of Northwestern University students believe that Bitcoin’s biggest problem, scalability, can be solved without compromising its most important attribute, decentralization.

Northwestern University and BloXroute Laboratories are Working on Scalability

Critics have always identified the limited number of transactions that Bitcoin’s network can handle as the biggest problem. They point out that this has prevented Bitcoin from becoming the most effective form of payment in the world.

Several techniques have been and are currently being implemented to address the problem of scalability and high transaction fees. Still, they are not good enough to compete with Visa. BloXroute labs identifies the problem that affects the networks of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as follows:

Specifically, they use a trusted P2P network model to propagate transactions and blocks that do not scale as the volume of transactions grows, as research has repeatedly shown. In fact, if blocks and transactions were to be promoted immediately, huge blocks would be exploded at a rapid pace until the limit of intended processing units and flash memory arrays was reached.

A team of BloXroute labs and students, as well as academics from Northwestern University, believe that they have found a trusted system to overcome the scalability bottleneck. Northwestern University’s proposal seeks to solve some of these issues by creating an infrastructure that compresses the information on the blockchain before sending, with propagation speeding up.

In this context, BloXroute Labs, a transport layer that would act below the network, suggests that Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies can be scaled to thousands of chain transactions per second. According to the white paper entitled BloXroute: A Scalable, Trusted Blockchain Sales Network, “the idea is described as follows:

“BloXroute allows you to safely increase the block size and shorten the time interval between blocks without increasing the risk of forks, and provides real-time support for instant transactions with zero acknowledgment”.

The white paper emphasizes that using BloXroute will make the network even more decentralized, as it does not require consensus or protocol change beyond adjusting the system parameters.

Technological progress is Boosting Bitcoin

New technology initiatives such as SegWit , Lightning Network and Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning, as well as new features in Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, are also promising to improve the scalability of Bitcoin.

For example, the Lightning Network is growing and enabling faster transactions between nodes. At the moment, the Bitcoin Lightning Network has more than 3,000 nodes with a capacity of approximately 82 bitcoins. The Northwestern University team began work in March 2018, claiming to further solve the problem of scaling. Sarit Markovich, Professor of Strategy at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University stated:

“We scale 100 times better than Bitcoin. And we hope for 1,000”


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