Light 'Em Up--Lightning Network Capacity Surge Attributed to BCH Hash War

Light ‘Em Up–Lightning Network Capacity Surge Attributed to BCH Hash War

The capacity of the lightning network has witnessed a surge in capacity since mid-November. With a 300 percent increase in capacity, some are pointing to bitcoin cash’s ego-driven hash war as the cause. But why?

Also read: Bitcoin Crash: Putting the Downturn Into Perspective

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Bitcoin’s Best Hope

The Lighting Network is a second layer protocol that sits on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Its intention was to help bitcoin scale and become usable as a spendable and receivable day-to-day currency, a property it has long lost. The lightning network has slowly grown in capacity over time, but its recent leap was uncharacteristic of its traditional growth pattern.

As bitcoin’s main hope for a scaling solution and a return to its peer-to-peer payments network credentials, the lightning network exploded in capacity over the past week. According to Bitcoin Visuals, the network’s capacity shot up from 111,725 BTC to 439,767 BTC, current at press time. This 300 percent jump has occurred since November 12th.

What Does the Hash War Have to Do With It?

The Wright vs. Ver cash splash for hash came packaged with straw man arguments, nauseating commentary and behavior from fairly nauseating people, and a well-reported waste of money on hash power. Jimmy Nguyen, of the wrong Wright camp, set the tone with his gaudy “truth and consequences” threats to the average crypto holder:

Ver’s snide personal attacks on Craig Wright, justified or otherwise, were on full display in this “fool me once” November 17th video. The smug run-on commentary makes for cringeworthy viewing. He simply couldn’t help himself:

And somewhere along the line, even the loudest proponents of the virtues of bitcoin cash may have been looking for a cryptocurrency without an unelected leader; a currency created not by egomaniacal attention-seekers but by, well, an entity that has chosen to remain anonymous.

They found themselves, perhaps, yearning for the spirit of Satoshi’s whitepaper:

“… an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

None of the “personalities” (inverted commas intended) involved in the bitcoin cash fork, with all their boorish commentary and posturing, could be interpreted as representing a “trusted third party”. But the stoush perhaps reminded bitcoin developers of the importance of making the original crypto work better as a currency.

Cryptocurrencies Were Designed to Avoid Bad Leadership, Not Encourage It

Many dislike the idea of off-chain solutions to bitcoin’s scaling problem. But insofar as the lightning network is currently the most advanced way forward for bitcoin to regain its ability to be micro-transacted, it appears to have benefited from the bitcoin cash spat. Lightning, surely, is not as frightening as a Wright wronged and a cocky Roger Ver flaunting his triumph.

lightning network

If bitcoin cash users have lost faith in bitcoin cash–and who could blame them–bitcoin stands to benefit. And the clearest way for it to take advantage of that loss of faith is for its most promising high speed and low transaction cost protocol to scale to allow it to scale.

If anything positive emerged from the bitcoin cash hash splash, it may be the renewed sense of urgency to “make bitcoin great again”.

Have your say. Do you think the bitcoin cash hard fork controversy has reminded developers of the benefits of a rudderless crypto and the urgent need to make it work well again?


Images via Pixabay

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