Big Blocks Can Scale | But Will It Centralize Bitcoin?

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  1. Business Owner's Seething Critique of the Lightning
    Network Goes Viral

    A business owner who runs a media company in Australia
    and pays employees remotely in the Philippines has given his honest opinion on
    what it’s like to use the Lightning Network (LN). Jason Smith’s experience of
    attempting to use LN for payments was filled with frustration. He reports that
    the fundamental structure of the offchain solution is riddled with problems.

    Also Read: Report: Lightning Network Still Way off Being Ready for Commercial Use

    Australian Business Owner: ‘I Want to Pay Employees with
    Bitcoin — But There’s a Problem’

    Over the last few years, people have been arguing
    relentlessly about the Bitcoin scaling debate and proposed solutions. One of
    the most controversial solutions for BTC’s transaction congestion and rising fees is an off chain mechanism called the Lightning
    Network. LN has been heralded by many BTC proponents even when it has been
    criticized for UX unfriendliness, centralization, and routing issues as
    they believe it is still a work in progress.

    Much of the criticism directed towards the LN solution has
    been because merchants find it difficult to use as connections fail or expire
    quite often and funds need to be locked into channels. On Feb. 28, business
    owner Jason Smith explained to his Twitter followers that he runs a media
    company from Australia and pays people in the Philippines to help with back end
    programming. Smith detailed that he used BTC to pay them, but in 2017 fees got ridiculously high and he had to “completely write
    off the idea” of paying his staff with bitcoin during that time.

    Smith’s tweetstorm went viral with more than 200 retweets
    and over 750 likes at the time of publication.

    He then tried to utilize the LN to facilitate payments by
    using a custodial LN application and Pierre Rochard’s node launcher. After
    purchasing some stickers with LN he thought the solution might work, but after
    winning some money on a betting site he hit a snag when he couldn’t withdraw
    the money. This is because he needed incoming channels connected to his node
    with funds on the other side.

    “I eventually managed to find a service that would open up
    channels back to me, (for a fee), and was able to receive money again — Then I
    started trying to close some channels to get money back out of lightning — God
    what a hassle,” Smith explained. He continued:

    Now I’m told some of the Lightning problems will be
    solved with certain developments but I assure you, the fundamental structure of
    lightning doesn’t suit me at all for my business — I want to pay my staff each
    month — Businesses can’t leave money tied up in Lightning channels.

    ‘Lighting Is Not Easy to Use, Which Any Scaling Solution
    Needs to Be’

    Smith also complained about BTC proponents who actually want high fees in order to drive the adoption of LN higher
    and showed his frustration for commentary like “bitcoin isn’t for poor people.”

  2. Lightning Network is
    Still not ready for Commercial Use

    The Lightning Network (LN) is a second-layer protocol that
    was long promised as a solution to BTC’s scalability problem. However, the
    off-chain system is still very far from being able to support actual commerce
    according to a new review by business management technology company Scipio ERP.

    Also Read: The Daily: Enforces KYC, Okex Updates BCH
    Ticker LN Is Incredibly Difficult to Use Report: Lightning Network Still not
    ready for Commercial Use The report’s developers created a Lightning Add-on for
    Scipio ERP that provides businesses with the ability to use the system. They
    then tested the network in order to see if it was really ready for commerce. On
    the positive side, the tests confirmed that under best conditions payment confirmations
    were reached within 5-10 seconds. However, also revealed many crucial flaws.

    LN makes it very hard to implement clustering, meaning
    running several redundant servers simultaneously, which is a critical feature
    for online retailers. Implementing it, in particular in a dynamic cloud setup,
    would require a lot of workarounds, the developers explain.

    The network has a bad user experience, in sharp contrast to
    that provided by most payment providers, who make the process of setting up and
    integrating as fast and painless as possible. The system is also incredibly
    difficult to use. The report lists over a dozen steps needed for merchants and
    close to 10 steps required of customers to make payments.

    It is also a resource hog, requiring a Bitcoin node and a
    Lightning node installed on the same server as the business application. “All
    of which will require a lot of time to set up and configure. If one of the
    systems fails, your business application will not be able to handle
    cryptocurrency transactions. This is even more problematic, as redundancy
    cannot be easily achieved,” the developers lament. This is actually much slower
    Than an Average Credit Card Payment.

    Lightning Network is Still Way off Being Ready for
    Commercial Use. The tests found that LN is still in a very early stage of
    development. “We have been operating the system for four months and crashes can
    and will happen all the time. Transaction channels can close or may not have
    enough peers at any time. There are no push notifications for these events so
    you won’t know until a new transaction is placed and fails.”Moreover, the
    network only allows small payments to be accepted due to limitations on the
    amount each channel can handle. And the process of opening a channel, needed
    once the limit on the previous one has been reached, makes it extremely
    difficult to automate for business applications.

    As it stands, the Lightning Network is not useful for
    professional clustered environments, the developers insist. “Yes, Lightning
    does allow multiple nodes in its network, but at the same time it limits the
    number of systems that can connect to a Lightning node. And sure, payments are
    considerably faster than Bitcoin, but they are not ‘instant’. Even under the
    best conditions, it still takes more time for transactions to be secured and
    processed than with your average credit card payment. In addition, Lightning is
    neither easy to set up nor convenient to run.” All of the above made the Scipio
    ERP developers conclude that LIGHTNING NETWORK payments are not yet suitable
    for business transactions. Lightning network is considerably slower Than an
    Average Credit Card Payment system.

  3. If we make the block size variable based on supply and demand just like hashrate. Then the problem will be solved. The size of block will automatically increase if transactions are high to reduce the fees and if transactions are veru low then block size will decrease to increase the transactions fees. So the number of miner's will not decrease and the network remains secure, this is the only solution i think

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