Sent to the Lifeboat Foundation new money systems group.
The thing is that block size is really irrelevant in the big scheme of things. What matters is blockchain size. (I know the two are connected, but the problem is the overall size of the DB, not the size of each chunk.)
Great as it is within its design boundaries, Bitcoin and most other cryptos have a self-imposed limitation that is totally unnecessary and needs to be lifted. My question is: why in heaven would someone on Proxima Centauri five hundred years from now need to know what I spent on a cup of coffee in a Mexico City Starbucks in 2017?
To some, it is important that it was 30 pieces of silver that were exchanged for Jesus’s capture, for others that Manhattan went for twenty-some dollars. Yet in no case we know which specific coins were used. Bitcoin confuses a value transmission and storage medium with a notarization system. Of course we need to know pretty much forever which land belongs to whom, but that body of knowledge is likely to grow roughly arithmetically.
Payment transactions, if the recent past is any indication, are on the other hand likely to grow with population, AND with wealth AND with technology AND just accumulating with the passage of time. Cryptocurrency transactions are also likely to grow with adoption. It is, therefore, disingenuous to gloss over the fact that a blockchain as envisioned by Satoshi will be unmanageable regardless of Moore`s Law et similia.
Notarization is costly. It need not be as costly as today’s services by protected oligopolies in most countries, but it cannot be free. Free stuff is used in infinite amounts. Yet, Satoshi did not bake in any compensation for record keeping nodes. Increasing recordkeeping needs and no comp are a recipe for collapse, soon or by the time we colonize Proxima.
I lack the math skills to make in code the design changes that I just exposed, but I think until the following appears in a cryptocurrency, whatever its name and be it through a fork, hard, or soft, or a completely new development, the promise of Satoshi will not be realized:
- Decouple current ownership from transaction history.
- Create a market for transaction storage and make transaction recordkeeping costly.
- Truly make transactions confidential, i.e. provable only at the desire of the parts.
- Allow multiple paths of transaction chaining, so that throughput can grow in parallel and not only serially.
- Eliminate economies of scale in transaction verification, so that mining on a billion cellphones is roughly just as profitable as mining on a petahash asic rig (in proportional terms, of course)
In this vision, all payments could be made in crypto. No one could censor the network or attack it. If every person on the planet makes today an average of three payments a day (I know, some of us make a multiple of that, but some still make none) there are today around 20 billion payments per day, i.e. over two hundred thousand payments per second. Imagine why we need points 1-4.
Without point 5, Mr. Xi’s successors will hold the keys to the throne of Emperors of the Galaxy. I wish work on these five points could advance as fast as possible. It would take not just math, but also economics, strategy and diplomacy and evangelization.
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