Breaking News

The real bottleneck for bitcoin in 2018 is here

Arieldi Chappell is a Java script full stack engineer teaching at the Ironhack coding training camp and a Henry Hazlitt researcher in the field of digital development at the Institute of Economics Education.

Arieldi Chappell is a Java script full stack engineer teaching at the Ironhack coding training camp and a Henry Hazlitt researcher in the field of digital development at the Institute of Economics Education.

After a year of price spikes, bifurcations, and more, 2017, there's too much to say about bitcoin. Bitcoin took a huge step forward and we learned a lot. However, as we set foot in the unknown world, there continues to be topics from the moment we step in.

Hiding in this year's script and the continuing uncertainty about the future is a simple question: Is Bitcoin's ability to continue to attract mainstream attention, or will it become a victim of its own success and ultimately be replaced by other The type of cryptocurrency transcended and replaced.

Of course, frankly speaking, no one can have the full confidence to answer this question. Predicting the future is a difficult task because the future will always be constantly changing. It can not be manipulated or predicted in advance. of. Of course, the future can be gradually further changed and created by those who are dissatisfied with the status quo.

As Shaw wrote:

"Rational people adapt themselves to the society; irrational people always insist that the community adapt to themselves, so all the progress must rely on these irrational people."
So when we look back on this thrilling year and ponder what challenges we face in the future, those irrational men and women deserve our special attention.

Expansion of bitcoin

In early November, the longest and most recognized blockchain segment in the world hosted the Bitcoin Expansion Summit with Stanford University.

This is the fourth time that the Bitcoin Expansion Conference has taken place and has attracted academics, developers and entrepreneurs from across the blockchain ecosystem, many of whom are already engaged in blockchain development for years, There is also a deep understanding of the currency. With a long and deeper experience, they can not ignore the perspectives of the blockchain and the points they identify.

For those of you who are looking forward to the future of cryptocurrencies and wonder how we can get to the ideal day, this is the best beginning.

Most of all, we should note that Bitrito, Coindesk's chief editor, is one of the scarce veterans in the industry today, and he talks about hot spots in the cryptocurrencies that have been widely ignored.

The whole expansion conference mainly discussed the optimization options of Bitcoin Core and the layer 2 proposal, and those controversial topics of divergence or expansion were not mentioned in the meeting almost at all. Attendees also did not feel the slightest anxiety about the upcoming Segwit2X hardware forks, while the vast majority of participants, including myself, were convinced that the hard-fork would end in failure. This attitude and message was quickly confirmed, and the 2X hardware split was canceled within a week of this meeting.

Ultimately, whether good or bad, Bitcoin does not increase its base block capacity and the sweet dream of a big block of hope for bitcoin is now realized on the blockchain of bitcoin cash. All this provokes a lot of predictions that bitcoin cash and other kinds of cryptocurrencies will eventually replace bitcoin as the block size of bitcoin will become its widely accepted bottleneck.

Except for a few noteworthy individuals, most of the participants in the bitcoin expansion did not consider this a question to be considered. This does not mean, of course, that these participants did not talk about any technical challenges that need to be solved urgently. If there is anything that most of the topics, such as conventions, show, then please do not mind it. But anyway, all of the participants did at the same time create a simple, broader and more fundamental concern with this nascent ecosystem: that is, there are too few talented, high-profile developers.

Like the attendees, Jimmy Song as developer, described:

"Developing and training more and more developers is the biggest bottleneck in this ecosystem."
Not only is the summit chosen to be held at Stanford very appropriate, but the annual expansion conference is also a new attempt by his organizers to deal directly with the above issues.

Bitcoin Edge Dev ++

The Dev ++ Symposium is the organizer of Scaling Bitcoin, whose primary goal is to educate and help aspiring blockchain developers. To accomplish this goal, they gathered a lot of big coffee power.

In the earliest Dev + + activities, there are thousands of people involved in that lecture, the speaker is the industry's most famous big coffee. These include Jimmy Song, mentioned earlier in the article, John Newbery, member of the Bitcoin Core, Seychelles and Derivatives at MIT, among others.

This gathered technical experts course content includes everything from the bitcoin encryption base to the second layer network principles and implementation. Finally, Delia also vividly conceived of the lightning network that operates on the test network, and he is also the author of the original White Paper on Lightning Networks.

Perhaps every Dev + + speech is very insightful, but it is Delhi's lack of preparation for some of the commentary surprised the participating students and hopefully for the first time until everything about the Lightning Network.

Asked if the initial phase of the lightning network had been completed, Drria replied:

"No, I had this idea a year ago, but there has been no time to implement it ... but as long as you need it, we're going to open source for everybody who solicits it. It's really cool It's just that I do not have much time to do it. "
From this fairly joking but genuine reply, we can indeed see the bottleneck of Bitcoin expansion and blockchain technology. Like everything, time is scarce, we are at a loss what to do with the passage of time, but what we can do is to weigh the time well. Finding, encouraging, and developing more and more irrational people so that they can make progress is the only way for us to accelerate toward the future.

Just like what Jack Mells, the developer of lightning networks, wrote on reddit ... "I dare say that the only factor that makes the lightning network quicker is more relevant engineers. Zap's only developer, and for me, my time is really limited.If Zap in addition to I have more and more developers, we will work hard to make the world will not be the same. "

This feeling also touched Lightning CEO Elizabeth Star, he said, "Time! We need more time in a day."

Indeed, the number of full-time developers working in such a broadly-evolving technology may surprise you: "There are fewer than 10 full-time developers who work on Lightning Networks," said Starck, "getting more and more More people and contributors to build a treaty will indeed make us go further. "

Time and talent

The debate about capacity expansion has focused primarily on the importance of side-chain development, but in fact there are only ten full-time developers on the lightning network that should awaken most people, but the need for developer talent appears to be in the cryptocurrency ecosystem More important.

Summits like the Scaling Bitcoin feature a variety of state-of-the-art research and development presentations in the field, making it easy for those who love it to think that there are already many innovative inventions in place.

However, many people know more. Those of you who are the longest in the field know how to adjust their expectations, but those who have developed the software first learned that the process was not as slow and tedious as it was thought.

For example, the isolation testimony, despite its strong support from open source communities in the developer community, took a total of three years from its initial proposal to activating the implementation of the Bitcoin blockchain.
This is not surprising for those with a bit of coding experience. Because people have different levels of coding ideas is easy, but it is very difficult to implement. Even building the simplest looking project or performance will reveal some hidden complexity issues or the ensuing challenges that emerge, all of which need to be highlighted and solved with great pain. As a result, this real sense of boring can be magnified many times as people begin to build an ecosystem of this unprecedentedly distributed, secure financial program.

When a complex job has not fully progressed, the developer faces another problem: and then decides what to do next.

Encrypting money and blockchain is a field filled with the rapid development of unknown, accompanied by a variety of possibilities, but also accompanied by an endless negation.

Much like the example shown by Scaling Bitcoin, a lot of ideas were raised at any time, many of which caught the public's attention, but the public did not notice that the vast majority of those images might have Ideas are marginalized or thrown directly into the trash.

Although this seems to have many problems, it is a necessary consequence of developing an unknown frontier. Very often it is clear that an idea can work, but more often than not.

After all, as Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core contributor, told me: "You never really knew something was safe, you only knew when he was used and no longer safe."

This dynamics has also drawn a lot of debate, including questions about which technologies are likely to be implemented and which ones should be implemented, and where the power in the domain should be concentrated when considering multiple threat models.

The result is that in this area to find the same advice or ideas for different developers make a consistent evaluation is impossible, in the process of complementary research and hard work to ignore any consensus is the most worthwhile one thing. A lot of experimentation and mistakes are the only options for us to decide which ones work and which ones do not. Of course, this process requires more high-level developers.

A difficult road

This is exactly what Dev ++ and other projects such as Chaincode's internship program and Jimmy Song's Programming Blockchain program attempt to emphasize. While these programs are all striving to improve teaching tools, resources and courses available, becoming a blockchain developer is going through a long, difficult and challenging path.

These more often are psychological.

For aspiring blockchain developers, the steep learning curve naturally present in this area can easily scare them. As a former student and later as an aide to the Ironhack Coding Camp, I realized that this fear was a huge hurdle for students wishing to master any kind of software development technology.

Paradoxically, this feeling is even further deepened by people with deep skills like Dev ++ lecturers, and some who already have a degree of development feel that there is not much to gain. This feeling is even further reinforced by the attitude of Bitcoin Core contributors in the very well-known, very rigorous met- something interview process.

When I asked Bitcoin Core maintainer Biltmore about how to contribute to the metabase in the easiest way, he replied, "Of course it's about reviewing the code he wrote."

He continued:

However, this approach is simple and inaccurate, and the criteria for reviewing contributions and Bitcoin Core are quite high. "
There is a reason Bitcoin Core is tightly tuned to the quality of the code and it is not easy to reach a level of knowledge of contributors like Biltmore and John Newbery. However, every programmer needs to get started, and it is a huge mistake for ambitious blockchain developers to confuse the high standards of the database and their ability to make a valuable contribution to this larger ecosystem.

Countless projects aside from Bitcoin Core can all benefit from extra talent and can open the door for inexperienced programmers to get involved in the field.

As Elizabeth Starck emphasizes:

"Fortunately, learning how to build a Lighting app is a lot easier than learning how to get involved in building a treaty, which means that adding Lightning app development really gives you a good place to learn more about treaty development way."
There's a lot of development and testing going on, and exploring the mainstream acceptance of lightning networks is also a great opportunity for those developers. But there are other results that are easier to achieve.

As a web developer, I was a solicitor of not less than three separate APIs

feedback of. APIs allow other developers the ability to use blockchain features, such as proof of existence, without having to run a complex full node.

Building and contributing to this form of digital infrastructure is not only necessary for the development of the industry as a whole, it also gives developers who do not have a background in the blockchain more readily available results. This opportunity not only makes a meaningful and necessary contribution to the entire ecosystem, but also enables those developers to become familiar with deeper technologies that simply have no disadvantages.

Make sure the future

As we are about to enter 2018, all eyes will be on exciting things that people can easily see.

Just like this year, price volatility and industry dynamics will still capture headlines and mainstream attention and will catalyze the generation of more clicks, tweets and comments.

But the really underrated story will still be those who tinker with little inventiveness, not those who contribute to the Bitcoin Core and Lightning Network. Those who are outside the spotlight and are quick to fix subtle and intractable problems are just as important.

Despite their hardships and lack of financial support, these people are still insisting on slowly changing the world and creating a new world. It is also these seemingly insignificant improvements that are made at the same time by the accumulation of these individuals, which, when united, allow the entire ecosystem to move forward.

Whatever the final look, 2018 will not be the year when bitcoin and cryptocurrencies can reach or break through.

The size and outcome of the most important and fundamental jobs will increase significantly next year, not focusing on the news technology itself, but on those who want to develop the blockchain.

As Jimmy Song once again said:

"I believe Bitcoin will be an anti-fragile thing not only because the code is smart but also because of the large number of clever developers behind it who are constantly strengthening the network ... At the same time, I believe that as more and more high-level developers get into the system, the system will be better, and at the same time undertake to store it for better value. "
Maybe traders will make the market fluctuate, but it is the unknown technology developers who will ultimately determine the future. As we are about to enter the new year, we need more high-level developers.