Is BTC’s Block Size An Issue Or Will Off-Chain Scaling Like Lightning Network Handle The Load?
In an interview with Decrypt, Blockstream’s Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow said that the current block size limit may not even be needed in the future. Blockstream is the leading provider of blockchain technologies, at the forefront of work in cryptography and distributed systems. Samson founded Pixelmatic in 2011 to creating engaging games that are truly social and encourage new connections to be made.
Originally, Bitcoin's block size was limited by the number of database locks required to process it (at most 10000). This limit was effectively around 500-750k in serialized bytes and was forgotten until 2013 March. In 2010, an explicit block size limit of 1 MB was introduced into Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto.
What it comes down to is the question of whether or not bitcoin’s current 1 MB block size limit should be expanded. The debate was initially spearheaded by bitcoin developer and at one point, Satoshi Nakamoto’s right-hand man, Gavin Andresen. Andresen initially proposed a new hard fork of bitcoin in October 2014 that would allow the block size to grow by 50% every year.
Mow says that there are two best ways to look at the project. The first way is as a layer two scaling solution and the second being as a standalone technology that could be leveraged by other blockchains or digital asset protocols. On top of this, he’s excited for
“both its implications for Bitcoin and the technology itself for other applications.”
Mow says he is “very bullish on the lightning network” and that at its core, the Lightning Network is a decentralized system or instant and high-volume bitcoin micro-payments. Talking about Lightning Network, Mow said:
“Lightning has to grow organically, there's no real way to jumpstart it artificially. People need to open up channels, lock up Bitcoins and start connecting with other nodes.”