Bitcoin is developing slowly. The transaction speed is too slow for a global payment system. The community is reluctant to accept the novelty. And the pace of new innovation compared to almost any other blockchain is a turtle. Luckily for bitcoin, I think its slow, steady pace will eventually become its superpower.
This year, Ethereum will undergo a major upgrade known as the “merger”. This event, scheduled for mid-September, will change the main “consensus mechanism” that allows blockchains to work. It will move from a bitcoin-like system, proof of work, to a more experimental model called proof of stake. This development has been going on for many years.
Chris Castiglione is the co-founder of Console.xyz, a secure chat platform for Web3. He is also the managing director of Trust Machines, where he works on MultiSafe.xyz, and an assistant professor at Columbia Business School.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, announced at the Ethereum conference in Paris that after the merger, Ethereum will still only be 55% complete. The list of Ethereum upgrades is planned for the next two decades. The Ethereum community, Buterin warned, must learn to expect “short-term problems and long-term benefits.”
This development mentality opens up Ethereum to new possible futures, but also risks. Therein lies the opportunity for bitcoin – the opportunity to embrace its slow pace of change so that it can become the most valuable “eternal database” in the world.
A permanent database is a gift to humanity
A permanent database is a gift to humanity
I’ve heard blockchain described in a million different ways: “an immutable ledger,” “a common system for recording data,” “a growing list of cryptographically secure records.” Everything is very good. But for ordinary people, these explanations are confusing. Read also: Crypto XRP: Ripple Braces to take off by 35% – reviews, analysis and price forecast. The simplest definition of a blockchain is an eternal database.
You may be a complete beginner and have trouble understanding the database. No problem. The database is actually a complex Excel spreadsheet. And a forever database is a database where the data you write to is stored, well, forever.
Thanks to a number of design decisions, blockchains are immutable. In theory, stored data becomes a bulletproof record of the truth for thousands of future generations.
Since bitcoin was launched on January 3, 2009, the network has never experienced a crash, hack, or stoppage of new data storage. Bitcoin (BTC) is also a currency that cannot be inflated, and it is a selling point that has become the main use case for the network. Accounting is never wrong.
Imagine that you can be sure that in 1000 years your data and your money will still be available. Moreover, people living several generations in the future could be sure that this great book is true. It’s powerful.
Eternal databases enable new use cases beyond monetary instruments, which are mostly explored on networks other than bitcoin. Mike Bodge’s crypto art project, 0xinfinity, allows you to post love letters that the site says will last “forever or as long as the Ethereum network is up.” Arweave is a file storage service that claims to “keep documents and apps forever.” And Starling Labs is a project that, among other things, uploaded 56,000 Holocaust survivor testimonies to preserve evidence of human rights violations and protect against future misinformation.
The Eternal Database guarantees the integrity of our collective memories in a way that previous databases could not.
Yet consistency is a key ingredient. As long as Ethereum, Solana, and other blockchains keep updating their codebase, they will not be able to compete on consistency.
In early 2022, the Solana blockchain, known for its “act fast and break things” mentality, experienced two outages, each taking the network down for several hours. The key superpower that makes blockchain an eternal database is its resilience to failure. An eternal database should never fail; if so, let’s just call it “database”.
For bitcoin to thrive, users need to do more than just store their money. Bitcoin needs to become productive. Bitcoins have the ability to harness the power of their eternal database by using additional layers (like Lightning or Stacks) so they can create new applications.
Race for layering
Stacks are an example of a layer that adds programmability to bitcoin. Read also: Good news for DOGE: Dogecoin will use Starlink to make offline transactions possible!. With Stack Clarity smart contracts, you can build applications (social media, photo-sharing apps, chat apps) whose underlying transactions are protected by bitcoin.
Similarly, in Ethereum, Polygon is a popular layer that developers use to scale the Ethereum network. The difference is that if Ethereum collapsed, Polygon and all the additional layers of Ethereum would follow, collapsing like a house of cards…
We need a new level, a level that can access the eternal database of Bitcoin. She, and only she, can be an integral system on which we build the future.
In 2010, Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, pioneered the idea of creating layers on Bitcoin. “I think it would be possible for [une blockchain] be a completely separate network and separate blockchain, while sharing CPU power with bitcoin. What Nakamoto saw then was the opportunity for bitcoin to be more than just a currency.
The quieter you go, the further you’ll get
If we want to create an eternal database, we should applaud Bitcoin’s approach to long-term stability. It may interest you: BTC News: Bitcoin Price Touches $23,300, Will Bearish Thesis Be Void? This is what Vitalik Buterin did when he said that Ethereum should become more like bitcoin with a “long-term stability focus”.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum will do great things for humanity. I look forward to each of them choosing their own approach to building the future. Since Ethereum is rapidly evolving, I believe it will continue to innovate.
However, until Ethereum stabilizes, it will lose its place in the race to become an eternal database. He takes too many risks and the world may never know exactly what Ethereum will look like in decades to come.
It’s time for bitcoins. Bitcoin should embrace building layers. Bitcoin should not remain a currency, it should learn to be productive. In the end, I believe that the secret to winning a race is to be slow and steady, because while all our attention is on speed, all of our strength is in slowness.
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Passionate about cryptocurrencies and DeFI, Thomas brings international news on the subject!