Andreas M Antonopoulos, the Author of Mastering Bitcoin and a well-known Bitcoin influencer, spoke about scalability problems of Bitcoin, during a Q&A session on Youtube. Here, the author was asked about Bitcoin’s scaling, taking into consideration that the debate surrounding the topic has been going on for nearly six years. This was then connected to Moore’s law, wherein the Andreas was asked about the computational speed and memory capacity increasing by a factor of 8x since the past six years if the law has held true.
The Bitcoin proponent also elucidated on whether decentralization would be compromised if the block size limit is increased and whether the average nodes can now handle an 8 MB block as easily as it could handle 1MB block back in 2013.
The author started by speaking about Moore’s law, wherein he stated:
“Moore’s law isn’t exactly a doubling every year it was at its peak an approximate doubling every 18 months. Furthermore we are already seeing the fact that Moore’s law has slowed down because in terms of pure increase of the number of transistors on a chip and increase of clock speeds”
He went on to say that the real problem is not storage and CPU capacity for validating blocks in decentralized open public cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but it is the network bandwidth and network latency. Andreas further added that Moore’s Law has not operated on network bandwidth as much as it has on CPUs and hard drive storage.
He stated that one of the big problems with network bandwidth is the ‘last mile’ problem.
“Yes, you can stuff a hundred times more into an optical fiber than you could ten years ago, but the problem is that optical fiber hasn’t reached here […] if I’m in an advanced country there’s a few very densely populated first world developed nation metropolis –is that have fiber-to-the-home but that’s a fairly rare phenomenon”
The author further stated:
“Maybe you have coax through your cable modem we’re looking at speeds of about a hundred megabit and it’s kind of being stagnant in terms of development then if you go down to DSL then you’re really looking at speeds of up to 25 megabits at best most rural areas you’d be lucky if you get 10 megabits and in many cases you can’t even get half that”
Andreas went on to say that the bandwidth not only has an impact on the people running node wallets and the other activities taking place on the Bitcoin network but “most importantly” on mining. He stated that the end result on “putting pressure” on bandwidth and latency is that it would further centralize mining, adding that it is already centralized because of its “reliance on chips.”
Furthermore, the Bitcoin proponent emphasized that the scaling should be the second layer and that privacy should be on the base layer.
“My personal opinion privacy is the change that needs to be done in the base layer and it needs to be done before the window closes. scaling can be done in the second layer quite effectively and we will also need some scaling on the base layer in order to support even more scaling on the second layer but our real focus right now should be privacy not increasing the block size further.”