Is Bitcoin's Lightning Network Vapourware? - The Transcript

2019-03-10T02:03:12.000Z Honest Cash

Video can be seen here:

Bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin.

The bigdaddy cryptocurrency thats supposed to change the world. Bitcoin Maximalism is the belief that only Bitcoin (BTC) will survive in the long term, and all of the other altcoins have no true use case because anything they can do, Bitcoin will eventually absorb all of their utility. This leads to the ultimate conclusion that all altcoins are scams, as anything they can do, BTC can do better. The one true blockchain to rule them all.

Let’s break it down.

The overarching narrative is that BTC is now most useful as a Store of Value rather than a Medium of Exchange. Because of the limited supply of 21 million bitcoins, it’s a form of cryptographic gold. It’s also seen as a store of value compared to the rest of the cryptocurrencies because BTC does not gain or lose as much percentage when the markets move because of its high liquidity. But bitcoin can still swing 10% in a day easily. Sure, its not some random scamcoin that will lose half of its value overnight, but it can lose 80% in a year. A great store of value.

And for the medium of exchange part? Well, all hope for using the base blockchain is lost for this, as its common for 10 cents to be a minimum average transaction fee in its current state, due to the 1MB blocksize cap (which is about 5 transactions a second). And yes, fees did reach $50 in december 2017. This is because when the blocks are full, you have to outbid somebody else’s transaction to get included, otherwise you risk being in the mempool, waiting forever, and possibly having your transaction simply… dropped.

The argument is now that the Lightning Network is how you use BTC as a medium of exchange, because using the blockchain will be expensive when a lot of people actually use it as a medium of exchange. But it has been shown and shown again that the lightning network can only scale if it centralizes around big hubs that route transactions, and that it’s user experience is sitll absolute shit and its still in beta so nobody should actually criticize it. Well, I’m here to tell you that the only way Lighting becomes usable by normal people in the near future is by the use of third party custodial services, such as a twitter wallet, where you “own” lightning bitcoins but in reality it’s just a number on your screen with nothing to back it. Sure, they say it's still beta, but the thought leaders still push it harder than ever. Mass adoption only comes through seamless user experience, and the lightning network is not that. Oh, and you are still subject to on-chain fees to open and close channels… which can be avoided if you just stay on the LN forever and not actually use the thing that makes bitcoin so awesome, the blockchain.

It’s here where I wonder what BTC’s plan to TRULY scale is. The lightning labs CEO said it was going to be only 18 months until it was ready… in 2015. How does it plan to to not have the high fees and clogged mempools, but I can’t find an answer anywhere. All I see is lightning bolts and key emojis in people’s handles. My favorites are the Magical Crypto Friends, who have a totally not creepy animated intro for their podcast, which shows them 4 as cartoon characters, having a good ol time until the big blockers show up. I dont know what else to say about this besides its a clear and somewhat repulsive form of simplistic propaganda. Oh and now they're hosting a Magical crypto Conference in the next months. Surely an animated kids show-branded conference will drive new people into the crypto space.

The lion, Samsom Mow of Blockstream. Blockstream, that company that recieved 55 million dollars from the big banks in its inital funding, and now drives a large portion of Bitcoin development. He’s their Chief Strategy Officer. I'm guessing Strategy means twitter shitposting, as he loves to joke about doing. Hes the one that infamously said Bitcoin isnt for those who make under $2 a day, and still thinks BTC will gain world adoption. Oh, and this guy has been seen with a “handler”, Bill Scannel at an event who is ex-CIA SIGNIT, which is signals intelligence. Long story short, this guy has admitted to help sway public opinion for the US government. This picture tweeted by Bill with the caption “There is no bitcoin conspiracy” while wearing one of Samson’s hats is surely nothing to be worried about, right?

The other cute little animals aren’t too big of a deal, but Charlie Lee is still around, even after he has dumped his Litecoin on his followers. Actually is LTC still BTC’s silver to gold? That litecoin is a better payment system than bitcoin? That narrative died as the Lightning one ramped up, and it was never a good one anyways, as LTC is just BTC with some feautres divided or multipled by four. I think they think LTC is still not a scam because they all love Charlie, and that features often come to LTC first before BTC, kinda like a testnet, but with real money.

It's truly mind boggling how people think that BTC will destroy all the other coins and absorb their use cases. It can't even stand on its own 1MB blocks in a bear market without getting jammed up. How the hell would it do ANYTHING similar to say something like CryptoKitties? It’s just not possible.Bitcoin Maximalists know this and push the LN as the magical crypto solution via things like the Lightning Trust Chain.

Yes, there is trust in the name of this. Because you trust someone to not run off with the torch, aka the money. Trust in a trustless system. They sent a small amount of lightning btc around twitter, with the CEO of Twitter, Jack, even participating. And yes, he invested in the Series A funding round of Lightning Labs. Don’t worry though, there’s some sick merch you can buy for your baby that lists all of the participants on it! Looks like one of those college graduation shirts that has thousands of names on the back that you never wear. But this whole thing totally wasn’t planned as a marketing stunt right? Oh look, it seems the Lightning network brought Israel and Iran together too! As if sending bitcoin across borders without permission hasn’t been possible since 2009…

Recently an Australian business owner when on a tweet spree about how BTC is too expensive and that the Lightning Network solved his problem… until it didn’t.

*narrate some tweets*

It seems the actual lightning devs know it’s not ready for mass adoption, but this does not stop the cheerleaders.

Adoption can be boiled down to the number of how many merchants in the real world accept bitcoin. We went backwards in 2017 due to full blocks. The ultimate goal for bitcoin is to be a world money everyone uses. But since the LN is the new form of using bitcoin, this is what is being pushed out to merchants. Do you reaaalalllllllyyyy think that some-non-fanboy is going to figure out how to buy bitcoin, and then figure out how the hell to use the lightning network, just to buy some groceries? Getting people and merchants onto bitcoin is already hard enough, and now we have to do all that, and then onboard to ANOTHER system. Have I said how insane this all is yet?

I'm honestly just dumbfounded at this point. Who knew a bunch of nerds could be so delusioned? It's all so obvious, they don’t want BTC to scale.

BTC is now a store of value because its use case as an Electronic Cash System is broken. If you still believe in the original decentralized bitcoin, bitcoin cash is the answer. BCH and BTC were the exact same until August 2017, when people finally got sick of this dumb scaling debate that lasted for four years, and bitcoin was forked into two, a small block, broken version that still is somehow the most expensive, and a large block version that aims to scale to serve the world without some 2nd layer hack.

So my proposal to this. Drop the Bitcoin Maximalist title, and adopt the Lightning Maximalist title. It’s much more fitting.