Time sometimes feels like it moves very slowly in the world of cryptocurrencies. When there is limited movement in the price of Bitcoin, people often begin to wonder whether enough is happening. We recently had a discussion on the Lightning Network for Coin Rivet TV, and one of my colleagues suggested that progress on the network is too slow. Whilst he does make a valid point, there is a reason for this slow development of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, in its 10-year life span, has worked almost flawlessly. People may argue that the fee market in 2017 suggests otherwise, but for most Bitcoiners, they are happy with where we are today. Other cryptocurrencies often see consistent new developments in order to keep up their hype cycle. Tron is one example of this, with its leader Justin Sun consistently announcing new developments.
Bitcoin’s main focus though is on the security of the network and decentralisation. This means that new developments such as Schnorr signatures or the Lightning Network itself must go through peer review to ensure their security and benefits. The fact is there are relatively few experts in the field of Bitcoin, so finding enough people to check new advancements will always take time.
Ensuring new developments work on Bitcoin resolves any issues that could arise that might be harmful to the network. Ethereum has had many of its own issues when upgrading its protocol, and with cryptocurrencies being so complex, there is a chance that a bug can always sneak through.
Bitcoin isn’t going to succeed in the next year or two. The plan for many developers is much more long term. Whilst it may appear that there isn’t too much happening on the development front for Bitcoin, once you dig a little deeper, there is plenty going on. So relax, be patient, and enjoy the ride.