Despite reports, bitcoin isn't dead yet

“I’m not concerned in the slightest,” said Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group — a firm that oversees 62 companies in the virtual currency and associated technologies space. “In the short history of bitcoin it has been declared dead 90 times … and every week there’s something new that leads certain people to believe that bitcoin is failing or failed, and in my experience so far, everything that doesn’t kill bitcoin makes it stronger.” In his post entitled “The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment,” Hearn focuses on the decision-making process around bitcoin’s so-called block size debate — the ongoing disagreement within the community about how to store transaction data. The question is how to best structure bitcoin’s underlying blockchain (composed of sequential “blocks” of information). The current maximum size of 1 megabyte per block only allows about seven transactions per second, and some in the community say that’s too slow for bitcoin’s continued growth. The debate is as much philosophical as it is technical: Some are seemingly content for bitcoin to act like an investable commodity — not necessitating quick transactions — while others want it to compete with the likes of Visa as an international transaction network. But no matter where they fall in the debate, most members of the community say the media’s coverage distorts the seriousness of the disagreement. “It’s been blown way out of proportion,” Silbert said. “I don’t think this is going to be a permanent stalemate, but even if it were, there’s not an expiration date for bitcoin.” If bitcoin traffic continues to grow without a solution, experts say, then transaction fees would likely rise along with increasingly unpredictable payment settlement times. But that’s unlikely to be a permanent state of affairs, according to Pete Rizzo, editor of digital currency-focused CoinDesk, who said the community agrees broadly that the network needs to be scaled.

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Despite reports, bitcoin isn't dead yet

“I’m not concerned in the slightest,” said Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group — a firm that oversees 62 companies in the virtual currency and associated technologies space. “In the short history of bitcoin it has been declared dead 90 times … and every week there’s something new that leads certain people to believe that bitcoin is failing or failed, and in my experience so far, everything that doesn’t kill bitcoin makes it stronger.” In his post entitled “The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment,” Hearn focuses on the decision-making process around bitcoin’s so-called block size debate — the ongoing disagreement within the community about how to store transaction data. The question is how to best structure bitcoin’s underlying blockchain (composed of sequential “blocks” of information). The current maximum size of 1 megabyte per block only allows about seven transactions per second, and some in the community say that’s too slow for bitcoin’s continued growth. The debate is as much philosophical as it is technical: Some are seemingly content for bitcoin to act like an investable commodity — not necessitating quick transactions — while others want it to compete with the likes of Visa as an international transaction network. But no matter where they fall in the debate, most members of the community say the media’s coverage distorts the seriousness of the disagreement. “It’s been blown way out of proportion,” Silbert said. “I don’t think this is going to be a permanent stalemate, but even if it were, there’s not an expiration date for bitcoin.” If bitcoin traffic continues to grow without a solution, experts say, then transaction fees would likely rise along with increasingly unpredictable payment settlement times. But that’s unlikely to be a permanent state of affairs, according to Pete Rizzo, editor of digital currency-focused CoinDesk, who said the community agrees broadly that the network needs to be scaled.

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