THE SCALING OF BITCOIN: Is Another Bubble on the Card?

The year 2017 ended with a downturn on bitcoin. This platform which was designed to be cheap, transparent and to rival big banks became so expensive to use. Prices skyrocketed to nearly $20,000 at the end of 2017. With this issue at hand, it costs more than $30 to perform any business transaction using bitcoin such as to transfer a coin. This problem arose because of the inability of bitcoin to scale. Or better but, the lack of total scalability of bitcoin.
Many individuals and critics of bitcoin proposed that bitcoin does not scale in the actual sense of the word. Compared to other platforms of transaction such as Visa which could support more than 2,000 transactions per second, bitcoin can only support just 7 transactions per second. This fact showed that bitcoin is not capable of becoming a global payment platform if it doesn’t undergo complete scaling.

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Worse, during the climax of cryptocurrency bubble, there was heavy congestion on the blockchain network. The blockchain network was clogged with different transactions occurring at intervals which delayed the confirmation process. Users of this platform could have to wait for days or even weeks just to perform any tangible business transaction. For those who intended to carry out emergency transactions, it was nothing but a nightmare.


The debate of bitcoin achieve full scaling is as old as the world of cryptocurrency itself. Amidst the various opinions that individuals may have, it is vital to know that bitcoin can still be valuable even if it doesn’t achieve thousands of transaction process in seconds or minutes. However, a detailed study of blockchain shows that it can achieve a much faster rate of transaction and therefore the possibility for a complete scaling is high.

For example, the block size in bitcoin was placed at 1MB in order to limit spam transactions. And as a shield for DDoS attack. Since transactions gather together into blocks and to make valid by nodes on this network, a larger block size would allow for a large number of transactions to make happen per unit time on each block.

For the past months, several solutions took place to help achieve total scaling on bitcoin. And to ensure that more transactions occur per block at a faster rate. Some of such solutions include:
Segwit/lightning: this technology is a latest tool that solves the scalability challenge by altering the way in which information is take place on blockchain. Segwit was originally introduced to solve a bug problem that allowed users to make modifications to the transaction ID. Rather than leaving signatures on block and causing an increase in the block size, Segwit takes this information from the main transaction block and stores them outside thus making transactions faster.
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Right now, it is still too early to conclude if bitcoin would certainly perform thousands of transactions per second. But as these solutions are provided, it would continue to strengthen this blockchain platform. With this, we can be sure that another run up to $20k per BTC would provide a smoother transaction.
Image courtesy: cryptopotato

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