[bitcoin-dev] A Proposed Compromise to the Block Size Limit

Gavin Andresen gavinandresen at gmail.com
Sun Jun 28 17:29:10 UTC 2015

On Sun, Jun 28, 2015 at 1:12 PM, Mark Friedenbach <mark at friedenbach.org>

> But ultimately, lightning usefully solves a problem where participants
> have semi-long lived payment endpoints.

Very few of my own personal Bitcoin transactions fit that use-case.

In fact, very few of my own personal dollar transactions fit that use-case
(I suppose if I was addicted to Starbucks I'd have one of their payment
cards that I topped up every once in a while, which would map nicely onto a
payment channel). I suppose I could setup a payment channel with the
grocery store I shop at once a week, but that would be inconvenient (I'd
have to pre-fund it) and bad for my privacy.

I can see how payment channels would work between big financial
institutions as a settlement layer, but isn't that exactly the
centralization concern that is making a lot of people worried about
increasing the max block size?

And if there are only a dozen or two popular hubs, that's much worse
centralization-wise compared to a few thousand fully-validating Bitcoin

Don't get me wrong, I think the Lightning Network is a fantastic idea and a
great experiment and will likely be used for all sorts of great payment
innovations (micropayments for bandwidth maybe, or maybe paying workers by
the hour instead of at the end of the month). But I don't think it is a
scaling solution for the types of payments the Bitcoin network is handling

Gavin Andresen
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