INTERNAL POLITICS IN CRYPTOSPACE – (PART ONE)

by Lumai Mubanga; mlumai@gmail.com


They say debate is healthy and healthy debates leads to success. However, much depends on how the debaters finally agree to compromise their differences and adopt a common middle ground, which satisfies both sides.

Politics in general is littered with unending debates. But there is a certain type of “politics” in crypto space that seem to be silently waged on the sidelines of progressive block chain and bitcoin successes. What is this type of politics and will it eventually end?

Crypto currencies are built on consensus building by all nodes in the ecosystem. Without such consensus, it would be almost impossible to write about the current successes in block chain technology. Unbelievably, there is always some internal political debate going on within the bitcoin community.

In this article, we discuss two of these debates and their effect on the progress cryptocurrency may face in the near future.

Miners Vs Merchants

Bitcoin miners demand a higher transaction fees. Merchants on the other side wants a lower transaction fees. This debate is ongoing. Transaction fees are included with every bitcoin transaction you initiate in order to have your transaction processed by a miner. This is later or has to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network. These fees are not static. They change several times on a daily basis. The transaction fee does not depend on the amount transacted but on the network conditions among other factors. Who monitors these factors and who fixes these fees is a matter of debate.

Below is an example of how dynamic these fees are and why the debate ranges on. The extract is from billfold.com website.

While there are many market forces behind price fixing, the debate seem a long way to be settled. However, the comforting aspect is that mining and transactions shows no signs of reducing.

Bitcoin Scalability

The rate at which bitcoin transactions are confirmed in the network is currently limited. Therein lays the bitcoin scalability problem. In 2017, business Insiders characterized this debate as an “ideological battle over bitcoins’ future.” Why the debate?

This debate is directly connected to the first debate mentioned in this article. Transaction fees are directly affected by the number of users on the network at a given time. Scaling bitcoin will directly increase the number of players in the network and ultimately the transaction fees will go up due to delayed processing times. This is an ideological battle with a direct effect on the future of bitcoins. Scale and face the undesirable consequences of delayed processing and an increase in processing fees. Not scaling has potential to allow another powerful, scalable currency overtake bitcoins in market value. The debate continues. Which side would you take on this debate?

In the block chain community, consensus is reached in different ways. The process is not always smooth.

As a longtime user or prospective user of the crypto currencies, you will do well to form your own opinions.

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