KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid); a great principle that could have saved Bitcoin BTC from the stagnation which resulted upon pursuing the layer 2 scaling ‘solution’, Lightning Network. If you’ve been living under a rock for the last four years, Lightning Network (or LN) has been the banner that Bitcoin Core developers took to fight several problems in an ‘elegant way’. About as elegant as killing a fly with a bazooka.
The truth is that since its proposal, LN has been at the center of debates regarding its feasibility and has been the source of a large number of memes, due to it remaining eternally in development for ’18 months’. The perpetual proposal of delivery, which has been promised since the whitepaper released four years ago. Elizabeth Stark, Lightning Labs boss, had even stated in 2015 that it was less than 6 months away.
— elizabeth stark (@starkness) December 15, 2015
Bitcoin Core developers have turned to stupidly complex ‘solutions’, which they refer to as elegant, in order to solve simple problems. The real elegance comes with keeping things simple and effective. The Lightning Network proposal also brings a series of worries to the table; it is well known that LN nodes need to be always online and under custody because every node is a weak point in the integrity of the system. Bitcoin Cash took the obvious approach by tweaking the block size to allow secure on-chain transactions with non-existent fees, while also reintroducing 0-conf. Instant payments for an enhanced experience in commerce.
Lightning payments require a channel between nodes that is funded with at least the amount of money you want to pay, locked up in order to exchange Lightning IOUs. This heavily restricts the use of this kind of payment and removes the practicality Bitcoin once had.
Andreas Brekken, CEO of Shitcoin.com, took a trip to hell for us by by reviewing the mess that is Lightning Network; along the way he brought light to some uncomfortable truths the BTC supremacists would have you not know. There is zero possibility for a non-tech-savvy user to effectively use Lightning Network payments. He, a hardened dev, experienced a lot of issues while trying to use LN to purchase goods and services. Many payments did not route efficiently, and some require him to open channels at the moment.
Once a dud, always a dud. After four years the Lightning devs haven’t managed to progress beyond the alpha state of their software and it’s clear they will remain a failed startup, at least for another 18 months. Don’t believe in Lightning or in thunder, Bitcoin Cash has the same supposed benefits of LN, but tried, true and available now (eat that, Elizabeth Stark).