A recent MIT Technology Review article covered by Bitcoin Magazine, titled “Technical Roadblock Might Shatter Bitcoin Dreams,” asks whether the Bitcoin network could be scaled up to support thousands of transactions per second, like the world’s major payment networks, and concludes that the answer is no, unless the Bitcoin code is radically re-engineered.
“Today’s representative blockchain such as Bitcoin takes 10 min or longer to confirm transactions, achieves 7 transactions/sec maximum throughput,” notes a recent research paper. “In comparison, a mainstream payment processor such as Visa credit card confirms a transaction within seconds, and processes 2000 transactions/sec on average, with a peak rate of 56,000 transactions/sec.” The researchers conclude that, in the current design of Bitcoin Core, there is a fundamental conflict between throughput and decentralization.
Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, is persuaded that the development community will find ways to scale Bitcoin eventually, but warns that the process could take too long to meet the expectations of some investors and Bitcoin companies. “I think there are some businesses that have promised returns based on the scaling that are not really reasonable,” said Ito, according to the MIT Technology Review article.
Ito’s MIT Media Lab hosts the