Discussions about network scaling challenges were in full swing in the Bitcoin community this week. As blockchain remittance fees continue to climb, the transaction backlog in the mempool is at an all-time high. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts shared their views on the matter from various angles, leading to a series of controversies erupting on various social media platforms.
Bitcoin Scaling Challenge Sparks Controversy
The recent increase in usage of Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens has resulted in a significant increase in on-chain activity, with over 400,000 transactions flooding the mempool. Currently, it is necessary to mine 194 huge blocks so that there is no longer a backlog of transactions. This process will take more than 24 hours, with an average of 10 minutes per block. So, people have many opinions on this issue.
Some have expressed interest in raising fees and increasing on-chain activity, while others suspect that the blockchain is under attack. At the same time, there are those who argue that the so-called “attacker program” is unsustainable and will eventually fail.
“Mempool is flooded with micropayments (546sat) designed to increase transaction fees and prevent normal transactions,” one person speculated.
“What if a country backs this thing? Or Satoshi Nakamoto himself?” asked another.
Some believe that the high fees are meant to deter transaction spammers.
“High on-chain fees are designed to allow the network to protect itself, making sure these fees are very expensive to spam or attack,” another person tweeted. “From this perspective, high fees are a very good thing. The Mempool is a living, breathing, dynamic entity. When the spammers run out of funds, the fees will eventually drop again.”
2/3 Current Simple Deal: $8.
Cost of spamming a full block: approx. 2 bitcoins = $60,000
1 week of spam = 1000 blocks = $60 million
1 month of spam = $240 million
Now add the fee:
1 transaction $100
=> $3b a month
– Mao (@mauh_2) May 7, 2023
A recent increase in network fees has frustrated many in the Bitcoin community. Bitcoin evangelist Anita Posch has publicly expressed her concerns about the impact of these fees on new user referrals.
“How do I attract people with these fees? I mainly recommend people in Africa, but they don’t have the same privilege as you to pay these high fees. They really need bitcoin, and you are just being stupid,” Posch said tweet“Without using on-chain, you can’t open channels. Making custody lightning the only option. All this happened because some people thought it was fun to break bitcoin.”
Not everyone agrees with Posch, however. Founder of Bitcoin Stamps, Mike in Space, explain It was a “terrible act”.
“Nobody wants to ‘crack bitcoin’, we just use it and pay for the privilege. That’s what bitcoin is when it’s widely accepted: high fees. That’s how the system works as designed.”
The flexible fees of the Lightning Network (LN) have also been criticized for making it difficult to open channels.
“Lightning issues have been known since the beginning,” Eric Voskuil tweeted. “I remember this discussion in Scaling Hong Kong. People have always believed that blockchain fees will not really affect LN, and LN will not really drive blockchain fees.”
The ordinal trend has recently caused controversy in the Bitcoin community, with some not impressed by Udi Wertheimer, one of the trend’s originators.
In fact, a Twitter user named Btcbello called for Wertheimer to be banned from the upcoming Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami.
“Dear Bitcoin Magazine, David F Bailey, you should ban Udi Wertheimer from Bitcoin conferences immediately. It’s funny that he thinks he’s more important to Bitcoin than Satoshi.”
Not only that, Btcbello also asked everyone to agree to forward it, and 113 people forwarded it.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin developers discussed network scaling and floated some ideas for node-level censorship.
“An alternative would be to implement this kind of vetting at the node level and introduce a runtime option to immediately reduce all non-eligible Taproot transactions. This should be easier to do, but won’t work until the next minimum version,” one A programmer wrote. When many insist that people have been warning about these issues for years, they simply don’t care about the heated debate.
“Wake up! The Bitcoin mempool is finally exhausted, some are seeing this as a DoS attack on the network,” tweeted Twitter user Foobar. “They don’t even take into account the most basic scenario, like bitcoin becoming popular and people willing to spend money to use it.”
So far, there is no clear solution to this problem. Many developers have spoken about the possibility of censorship at the node level, themselves questioning whether it should be done if transaction volumes don’t drop in the coming weeks…
Despite the current problems, many believe the problems will eventually subside.
“Looks like the bishop mania will subside. Everyone should take a deep breath, Bitcoin will be fine. It will settle down, or we will adapt + develop + build a solution.”
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