When a Microsoft official mentioned that Layer 2 scaling solutions that use off-chain scaling and transaction methods are superior to those solutions which claim to enhance “on-chain transaction capacity (e.g. blocksize increases)”, it was not difficult for the cryptocurrency community to make the connection to prime examples of both segments.
While the Layer 2 scaling solutions essentially referred to the Lightning Network for the Bitcoin blockchain; the most relevant example for trying to enhance on-chain transaction capacity through blocksize was Bitcoin Cash.
Lightning network nodes saw an improvement after support by Microsoft
The comments by Microsoft were shared by Alex Simons, Director of Program Management at Microsoft’s Identity Division, after a year-long research program.
Talking about the initiatives led by the likes of Bitcoin Cash, Simons stated that their approach “generally degrades the decentralized state of the network and cannot reach the millions of transactions per second the system would generate at world-scale.”
On the other hand, while talking about off-chain transaction solutions such as those that are offered by the Lightning Network, he mentioned that “we are collaborating on decentralized Layer 2 protocols that run atop these public blockchains to achieve global scale, while preserving the attributes of a world class DID (decentralized identity) system.”
The notes made by Simons caused the Lightning Network proponents to celebrate, while leaving Bitcoin Cash supporters in an argumentative mood, since one of the major points upon which the hardfork was built had been its proposition to improve scaling on the Bitcoin network by increasing blocksizes, and Microsoft’s research notes challenge that claim.
It was not long after this development that the Lightning Network mainnet passed 1000 nodes. It stands at 1006 nodes with 1859 channels at press time.
Lightning network nodes increase just in time for its release
The nodes have increased notably amidst rumors of an official release for the Lightning Network.
However, this step seems too early to some, since the Lightning Network mainnet still poses risks of transactions not being performed properly or the amount being lost in between the process – something which the mainnet was bound to face since the Lightning Network is still under the process to be technically flawless.
There have been talks of a breakthrough by the Lightning Network developers that would ensure that such issues would not happen again. But even those speculations cannot curb the concerns that are being raised by community members who think that releasing a half-baked product which could create issues would only cause a good initiative to be smeared by bad execution. A negative perception that the Bitcoin network cannot afford at this point, not when the world’s first cryptocurrency is facing one of its toughest times in terms of battling a worrisome drop in its value.
This segment of the community proposes for the Lightning Network to take its time in order to perfect its operations, and roll out an official release only when it has achieved the status of being impeccable when it comes to processing transactions.
It remains to be seen how Lightning Network developers will move forward with the release, since no confirmed release date has been provided by them as of yet.