The Core Development Scalability Roadmap

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Around summer 2015 when the scalability debate was heating up, two bitcoin conferences were organized. One in Montreal and the other in Hong Kong.

After Hong Kong, an email was written to the bitcoin developer mailing list. It became the unofficial manifesto of the pro-Core side in the scalability debate.

This "Core Scalability Roadmap" is well worth a read: https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-December/011865.html

18 months on, it's interesting to see how much of it has happened.

Libsecp256k1 has been added to bitcoin and provided a 7x speed up for initial blockchain synchronization. Pruning has been added, which allows a full node to be used without storing the entire blockchain. A number of options for limiting traffic have been added which makes it easier to use a full node on a bandwidth-constrained computer. OP_CLTV and OP_CSV have been added to bitcoin as soft forks. Lightning exists now on the testnet in alpha, it allows instant bitcoin transactions that are much cheaper and more private.

The major feature missing is segregated witness, which increases the block size as a soft fork along with several other features. The way soft forks work right now is that miners have a veto on them, and it seems many miners don't want to take either side in the scalability debate. So nothing happens. Which is understandable in a sense that miners didn't ask to be political entities, their job was only ever to set the history and ordering of bitcoin transactions. There are some new thoughts about user-activated-soft-fork which could activate soft forks without all this politics that miners have to keep up with, although the idea is still in the early stages.

Back when the scalability debate started the bitcoin price was about $250, as I write today it's nearing $1280; higher than it's ever been. So despite the holdup with segwit it's fair to say things are going pretty well.

submitted by /u/belcher_
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Kryptous

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1 BTC = $36817.68 USD  (via Coinbase)
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1 LTC = $146.46 USD  (via Coinbase)
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