Business 17 April 2018

Erik Gibbs

Roger Ver wins bet: Lightning Network fails at simple task

Everybody wants them. Faster transaction times, smaller fees, lesser blockchain congestion. Some might even say they want a lightning-fast cryptocurrency payment system. Unfortunately, a recent demonstration designed to show why Lightning Network (LN) is positioned to revolutionize SegWit-Coin BTC (also known as Bitcoin legacy or Core) transactions only fizzled—no lightning, no thunder.

The LN would allow smaller transactions to be conducted on sidechains, and not on the main SegWit-Coin BTC blockchain. This would purportedly allow for less congestion and, in theory, faster processing times. Nodes would govern the sidechains and would help to create additional decentralization across the network.

The demonstration started with a bet. Felix Weis, a known BTC enthusiast, ran into Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponent and Bitcoin.com owner Roger Ver at the recently held Bloomberg conference in Hong Kong. The story goes that the two met at Hong Kong’s Genesis Block, an over-the-counter trading floor in the city, when Ver offered Weis a small wager. The task was simple, and should have been a sure-thing win for Weis. All he had to do was prove that the LN was able to perform the task for which it was designed.

For the bet, Weis would have to purchase a few items from the Blockstream eCommerce site. Blockstream is commonly used by SegWit Core supporters to test developments of the blockchain. The purchase would tally up to no more than $9, and Weis would use SegWit-Coin BTC and the LN to complete the transaction. If Weis won, Ver would be stuck wearing a BTC shirt; if Ver won, Weis would be the one sporting a BCH shirt.

Weis accepted, and the challenge began. Weis selected his items, made sure the purchase followed the guidelines of the bet and completed the transaction. At no time was Ver involved with the transaction, to ensure that he couldn’t manipulate the results. The pair waited for the transaction to come back as approved, and waited, and continued to wait. The transaction only got as far as ‘Pending,’ without ever registering as being approved.

Ver won, and Weis donned the BCH shirt. In a tweet, Weis told his followers: “Paying my gambling debt to @rogerkver. A bet is a bet. Congratulations.”

The exercise proved that the LN still isn’t quite ready for prime time. Meanwhile, BCH is pushing forward, and continues to gather strength among cryptocurrency enthusiasts. With its bigger blocks, faster speed, and lower transaction fees, BCH represents the truer vision of Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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