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                                                   Bitcoin Articles

                The science around Bitcoin is new and we don't know exactly where the breaking points are--
                   I hope we never discover them for sure-- we do know that at the current load levels the
                decentralization of the system has not improved as the users base has grown (and appear to
                 have reduced substantially: even businesses are largely relying on third party processing for
                                 all their transactions; something we didn't expect early on).

                       There are many ways of layering Bitcoin, with varying levels of security, ease of

                implementation, capacity, etc. Ranging from the strongest-- bidirectional payment channels
                  (often discussed as the 'lightning' system), which provide nearly equal security and anti-
               censorship while also adding instantaneous payments and improved privacy-- to the simplest,
                using centralized payment processors, which I believe are (in spite of my reflexive distaste for
                 all things centralized) a perfectly reasonable thing to do for low value transactions, and can
                be highly cost efficient. Many of these approaches are competing with each other, and from
                                that we gain a vibrant ecosystem with the strongest features.

                  Growing by layers is the gold standard for technological innovation. It's how we build our
                       understanding of mathematics and the physical sciences, it's how we build our
                  communications protocols and networks... Not to mention payment networks. Thus far a
                 multi-staged approach has been an integral part of the design of rockets which have, from
                                        time to time, brought mankind to the moon.

                 Bitcoin does many unprecedented things, but this doesn't release it from physical reality or
                 from the existence of engineering trade-offs. It is not acceptable, in the mad dash to fulfill a

                   particular application set, to turn our backs on the fundamentals that make the Bitcoin
                   currency valuable to begin with-- especially not when established forms in engineering
                   already tell us the path to have our cake and eat it too-- harmoniously satisfying all the

                 Before and beyond the layers, there are other things being done to improve capacity-- e.g.
                     Bitcoin Core's capacity plan from December (see also: the FAQ) proposes some new
               improvements and inventions to nearly double the system's capacity while offsetting many of
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