Bictoin (BTC) managed to bring in numerous developers to improve and build innovations on its underlying code base, from layer 2 technologies to emerging smart contract solutions, but it remained the same – nobody so far managed to change its core properties, says Lucas Nuzzi, director of technology research at Digital Asset Research, a cryptocurrency research company. Not everybody agrees with Nuzzi’s conclusions though, the Ethereum (ETH) camp especially.
“So much is happening at the many layers of Bitcoin’s technology stack, it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of emerging solutions,” says Nuzzi in his recent report and adds that “Bitcoin, in its totality, is a constantly evolving suite of protocols.” This is due to two of BTC’s biggest values, he says:
- no single party can dictate how Bitcoin evolves;
- the lack of centralized control protects Bitcoin’s monetary properties.
But “In spite of the limits enacted by this constitution, innovation is still flourishing,” tweets Nuzzi. “There’s too much at stake to move fast and break things, so innovation is implemented as modules. These layers of software can ultimately fail without infringing upon the monetary system.” When it comes to BTC, leadership is minimized, says Nuzzi, and its technology is a sum of dozens of interconnected protocols. It is due to the inflexibility of Bitcoin’s core layer that several additional protocols specializing in various applications have been created in the Cryptoworld.
These are some of the reasons why Silicon Valley has had a hard time understanding Bitcoin’s biggest value proposition.
Bitcoin is not just a technology, financial instrument, or consumer application; it’s an entire monetary system.
— Lucas Nuzzi (@LucasNuzzi) December 3, 2019
Nuzzi shared a diagram, in an “attempt to map all relatively new initiatives and showcase a more complete picture of Bitcoin’s technology stack.”
(Find the full size diagram here.)
Layer 2: the Lightning Network
When it comes to adoption, metrics commonly looked at are the number of channels and total BTC locked in Lightning, which some find are in decline, but Nuzzi warns that these metrics are fundamentally flawed given the way Lightning operates.
“One of the most underrated virtues of the Lightning Network is its straightforward privacy properties,” he says. He cites the estimates of Christian Decker, core tech engineer at Blockstream (an important contributor to the Lightning Network), which says that 41% of Lightning channels are private, and 59% are public.
Any competent crypto analyst could tear that diagram to shreds. It is just fluff masquerading as innovation, in order to fuel the hopium needed to protect "number go up."
— cyrus.ismoney.eth (@cyounessi1) December 3, 2019
Others persisted that BTC is old technology, prompting another ‘new vs old vs innovative vs limited’ debate.
It’s not old technology, but it is limited by nature (non Turing complete, which limits how many devs actually want to build on top)
— Mike Czarny⚡️owns.eth (@r3lik) December 3, 2019
And then, ETH was mentioned. Some ETH supporters didn’t think BTC is that impressive or deserving of the praise, with BTC fans jumping to its defence.
Yup, but I don't recall "BTC CEO" asking for a reorg (sorry, intervened state)
— BTC Andres🛰️📻(285⚡🔦,9🌊🔦)🔑🦡🌮🥩🌽🐇🕳️☣️6.15 (@BtcAndres) December 3, 2019
Meanwhile, BTC is currently (15:23 UTC) trades at c. USD 7,500. It’s up 1.8% in the past 24 hours and 2.8% in the past seven days.