Bitcoin Q&A: Scaling is a moving target

Scaling solutions, advantages and disadvantages. I won’t take a position on scaling options for a simple reason: I think we will do all of them. SegWit, second layer implements like Lightning Network, increasing the base block size with 4-8 Mb of capacity, Schnorr signatures, Spoonnet. Scaling is not something that is solved once; scaling is a moving target, an aspiration. As you achieve each level of scale, that opens the door for new applications; solving current problems creates the opportunity for new problems. The internet has been failing to scale for 25 years. Email, image attachments, audio, video, high-definition video, livestreaming, holographic virtual reality, etc. We have a system that allows for global transactions, without borders, a level of planetary scale immutability. As soon as we make it faster and cheaper, people will want to put _more_ data on the blockchain. We will reach Visa scale and then surpass Visa scale on an exponential curve. We can never “fix” scaling. All we can do is hope to continue to fail to scale gracefully. Solutions that are technically sensible, maintainable, and don’t violate the core principles of decentralisation. We can change the rules as often as we like, but we should not appoint rulers.

This talk took place on June 6th 2017 at a joint meet-up with Blockchain Professionals, BitcoinSYD and SydEthereum in Sydney, Australia:

Why we should worry about optimisation, not scaling –
The Lightning Network –
Lightning, full nodes, and miners –
Bitcoin, Lightning, and Streaming Money –
Rules vs. Rulers –
The Scaling Rites of Passage –
Altcoins and the scaling debate –
Unlimited vs. Cypherpunks –

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin.

Follow on Twitter: @aantonop

He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters.




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Outro Music: “Unbounded” by Orfan (
Outro Graphics: Phneep (
Outro Art: Rock Barcellos (