Big news in the Bitcoin space today with a number of leading players of the Blockchain industry reaching a bitcoin scaling agreement to tackle the Bitcoin scaling issue. This breakthrough in the scaling debate – which has been ongoing for some time now – is a new, highly significant boost for the Bitcoin ecosystem. It could mean that the scaling issue, which has caused significant transaction backlogs and higher fees, could finally be resolved.
Up until today, the Bitcoin community has been unable to come to a consensus on whether to activate SegWit (a scaling solution), hard fork into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Unlimited, or some other technology. From what I can gather, there are still many in the Bitcoin community with doubts this is the best solution – and their reasons vary greatly. But it appears that at this time, this new solution is getting enthusiastic approval from key members of the community. There was a previous meeting in February 2016 in Hong Kong that apparently solved nothing – and while it was a bit different in regards to terms, that meeting did not include many of the people who have agreed to this current solution. That is causing some blowback from some members of the Bitcoin community also. While there are differences in the technical expertise and ideological outlook of all the players, industry members came to realize that a compromise between SegWit and a block size increase may be necessary for further progress.
Bitcoin Scaling Problem
Solving the problem of Bitcoin scaling is of great importance, as it finally enables the cryptocurrency to be used by the vast mainstream users. Think of it like back in the early days of the Internet when you could upload only a small image, and watching a video was totally out of the question. Well, as more and more people began using the Internet, developers had to scale to meet that demand – and then users wanted to do more, HD video and move huge files, etc. None of that happened overnight – but we rarely think about it today!
The problems experienced with transaction backlogs is exactly the same thing. There has been a huge upsurge of traffic on the cryptocurrency highways lately – as in the last few weeks. According to Google, yesterday Bitcoin made the top 5 Google search requests with over 200,000 searches – in one day! More and more people are educating themselves and becoming interested enough to buy some bitcoin on popular exchanges. Bitstamp reports that the number of users was “exerting significant pressure,” and it had shut down its telephone support altogether to divert staff elsewhere. Coinbase posted a similar notice to those seeking to contact support. It is important to realize that MOST users of the exchanges are experienced and don’t flood the support staff with questions. These “new” users of the exchanges are completely inexperienced for the most part – and they expect to receive a level of support similar to say, Amazon – which simply isn’t available.
But back on the subject of this post – what does this new “bitcoin scaling solution consensus” mean? If SegWit scaling solution is in fact activated, there are some experts predicting that Bitcoin’s price could potentially go as high as $3,500. Zebpay co-founder Sandeep Goenka says ““Since the supply is limited and demand is increasing, prices are moving upwards and touching all time highs almost every year. Bitcoins represent a new investment category called digital assets. This industry is exploding in usage and innovation. We believe this is just the beginning.”
If you’re interested in getting involved in the cryptocurrency world, you might start by creating a bitcoin wallet – the first step in obtaining bitcoin.