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Bitcoin’s [BTC] Lightning Network is semi-custodial banking, says Bitcoin Unlimited’s Peter Rizun

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has become one of the most popular topics in the cryptocurrency space. Lightning Network is a second-layer mechanism used for transmitting off-chain payments by utilizing the security of the Bitcoin blockchain. The channel enables two participants to create a channel for the purpose of transferring Bitcoin, without the need for recording it on a blockchain.

The hype for the Lightning Network gained momentum after the Lightning Torch campaign on Twitter. Influencers such as Jack Dorsey, Charlie Lee, Samson Mow, WhalePanda, CZ, and Riccardo Spagni, have all participated in passing the torch around the Twitterverse.

However, the second-layer network has been questioned by many despite its rising popularity. Peter R. Rizun, Chief Scientist at Bitcoin Unlimited, is one of the critics who remarked that the Lightning Network “is a semi-custodial banking.”

He further stated that “the degree of custodianship is proportional to the fee required to escape from a non-cooperative channel.” Rizun added that if the fee required to escape from a non-cooperative channel was in the “same order of magnitude” as a user’s

channel balance, then the Lightning Network is “effectively full-custodial banking.”

Rizun views were backed by Emin Gun Sirer, a Cornell Professor, known to give his views on cryptocurrencies and the financial system on a regular basis. He said,

“Peter nails it. If channel creation is expensive, LN turns into a re-creation of the banking system.”

Rizun further explained his pointers on a Reddit thread. He said,

“Imagine that fees averaged $100 per transactions. You’ve been using a channel for a while and now your remaining channel balance is near $100. When I say “your remaining channel balance,” I mean the amount you actually have available in that channel, already net of the $100 fee to close the channel to the blockchain.”

Source: Reddit
He further added,“$100 fees are a low estimate in a future where most transactions are done on LN. But $100 is a lot of money to most people in the world. This means that for most people, LN will not bring them financial freedom and the ability to be their own bank and send payments to anyone they choose. For most people, LN will look like banking looks today.”

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Visa continues to dwarf Bitcoin in this important metric

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Despite optimistic predictions, Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it can compete with companies such as Visa. The fiat currency giant reported transaction volume of over $11.2 trillion in 2018, while Bitcoin network only managed to transact around $2.2 trillion until 2019.

Visa dominates all payment processors with $11 trillion transaction volume

While the crypto industry as a whole seems confident that digital assets will ultimately replace traditional fiat currencies, the reality is that there’s a long way to go before the two can even compete in the same category.

The growing transaction volume of most high-market cap cryptocurrencies definitely shows that major improvements are made. However, most of that growth fades away when compared to the big players in the payment processing industry.

According to its annual performance report, Visa saw a total transaction volume of just over $11.2 trillion. The volume is the sum of both the payment volume and cash volume, with the payment volume being the total monetary value of transactions on Visa-branded cards and payment products, the company explained in the report.

This is a huge increase from the $10.3 trillion the company reported in 2017 and an even bigger increase from the $8.1 trillion in total volume

reported in 2016.

Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018
Image showing total volume recorded by Visa in 2016, 2017, and 2018. (SourceVisa)

Bitcoin still has a long way to go to catch up with Visa

Bitcoin‘s numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as these. However, it’s worth noting that digital asset data can often be misleading and can never be taken at face value. As a Fidelity Digital Assets research put it, one of the most commonly overstated measures is Bitcoin’s transaction volume.

Most data providers use an unspent transaction output (UTXO) system, which doesn’t distinguish between economic and non-economic transactions. Because of that, the difference between the adjusted and unadjusted transaction value figures are often very significant.

According to the report, Bitcoin’s total adjusted transaction value from inception to Dec. 11, 2019, was approximately $2.2 trillion. It’s unadjusted transaction volume, however, stands at approximately $7.5 trillion.

Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value
Chart showing the difference between cumulative raw transaction value and the adjusted value. (SourceCoinMetrics)

While the $2.2 trillion is a significant achievement for a system as young and as novel as Bitcoin is, it’s still a long way behind Visa. Bitcoin’s transaction volume was amassed over a period of more than 10 years, while Visa recorded its $11.2 trillion from September 2017 to September 2018.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Cannot Be Used for Payments, Your Coffee Will Be Cold, says Ripple CEO

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Ripple CEO: Bitcoin (BTC) Cannot Be Used for Payments, Your Coffee Will Be Cold

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse sat down for an interview in Davos, Switzerland, to talk about the rapidly changing financial industry. Among many other things, Garinghouse discussed Bitcoin’s use cases and his company’s IPO plans. 

A failed means of payment 

Garlinghouse reiterated that Bitcoin is not suitable for micropayments. He took a jab at the coin’s scalability problem, claiming that your coffee will be cold if you order it with BTC at Starbucks.

“You don’t want to use BTC at Starbucks b/c by the time you get your coffee, it’ll be cold.”

Bitcoin is only capable of processing about seven transactions per second, which prevented it from becoming a widely accepted means of payment. For comparison, XRP is able to process up to 1,500 transactions per second.   MUST READRipple CEO Brad Garlinghouse: 99 Percent of All Crypto Goes to Zero – 

Still bullish on Bitcoin  

Nevertheless, Garlinghouse is still bullish on Bitcoin as a store of value, which means that he sees

the orange coin in the same category as gold. However, numerous skeptics in the likes of Bridgewater Associates co-founder Ray Dalio believe that Bitcoin cannot retain its value because of its immense volatility. 

The price of the leading cryptocurrency has recently plunged by nearly 10 percent in just four days.   MUST READRipple CEO Buys Bitcoin (BTC) with XRP Dumped on Retail: Adam Back – 

Is Ripple going public?

Garlinghouse also predicted that 2020 will be the year when many cryptocurrency companies will follow the lead of Canaan Mining and go public. He considers an IPO to be “a natural evolution” for Ripple but didn’t specify the exact time when the blockchain giant is going to hear the sound of bell ringing. 

“In the next 12 months, you’ll see IPOs in the crypto/blockchain space. We’re not going to be the first and we’re not going to be the last, but I expect us to be on the leading side… it’s a natural evolution for our company.”  

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC/USD is at risk of an extended sell-off towards $8,000

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  • The number of Bitcoin addresses with unrealized gains decreased significantly.
  • BTC/USD needs to regain $8,6500 as soon as possible.

Bitcoin (BTC) is under selling pressure on Thursday. The first digital coin has lost over 3.5% since the beginning of the day amid growing bearish sentiments and expanding volatility. At the time of writing, BT/USD is changing hands at $8,350. Bitcoin’s market share has settled at 65.8%.

Notably, the share of Bitcoin addresses “in the money” dropped from 74% on Wednesday to a mere 63% by press time, according to the statistics provided by Intotheblock. The breakeven point for the vast majority of Bitcoins is located around $12,000, which means that an even moderate push towards that area might improve the sentiments significantly. However, considering the recent developments, it seems that we will have to live through another bearish wave

before things turn for the better.

BT/USD: technical picture

BTC/USD bears try to take the price below critical support area created by 50% Fibo retracement for the upside move from December 2018 low to July 2019 high. If they are successful enough to engineer a sustainable sell-off below this level, a psychological $8,000 will come into focus. This zone is reinforced by SMA100 daily, and it has the potential to slow down the bears.

On the upside, we will need to see a strong move above $8,650 to mitigate the initial downside pressure and create a pre-condition for a recovery. This area served as a support zone in recent days, which means it may take some time to take it out as resistance. Once it is out of the way, the upside is likely to gain traction with the next focus on $9,000. This is an ultimate short-term target for Bitcoin bulls protected by SMA200 daily.

BT/USD daily chart

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