The Fight For Bitcoin, Lightning Round

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The Fight For Bitcoin, Round Three

“Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata you don’t really need content.” – Former NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker

The Lightning Network is becoming synonymous with the future of Bitcoin, and not without reason. If Bitcoin is going to become an open monetary network that can service the world’s economy, it simply is going to need a second layer protocol for pertinently scaling the sound monetary properties to a global medium of exchange without modulating or sacrificing many of the beloved properties innately found in the immutable base layer of Nakamoto consensus. While the United States dollar-denominated purchasing power of a single satoshi can not easily be predicted a decade away, within a relative range, the historic “sat per byte” metric key to valuing the block space fee on a single main chain transaction can show us that if the market cap of bitcoin is to even remotely approach its total addressable market, base layer utilizations are going to eventually price out the average user for daily use transactions. This is not a disaster, nor an unsolvable problem, but if and when the network begins to flex its Metcalfe’s potentiality of exponential growth of unique user addresses, the billions of international participants will not be able to make the multiple purchases a day needed to sustain an economy of such scale at a couple megabytes per ten-minute block. Now before this gets turned into some Bcash-sponsored hit piece, it is crucial to understand why the “big block cartel” lost “The Blocksize War” and why the user-activated soft fork, or UASF, was theorized and enacted by the champions of our ticker in the first place; the sound properties of Bitcoin’s blockchain are useless with the centralizing incentives of expanding block size pricing out the ability for everyday users to run their own nodes and keep pace with the expanding broadband and hard drive requirements of such implementation. This was not a frivolous decision, nor an easy battle, but as we continually find out in this space, the truth of the principles of ideal money will continue to win out over marginalized or compromised competitors as long as Bitcoin users equip themselves with decentralizing principles met with healthy skepticism and sound discourse over how best to deploy them.

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