I am a software engineer, and I have some idea about how to scale things and the limitations of algorithms. I also try to inform myself and hear both sides. But it's becoming increasingly difficult with all the hate-posts. It's like the Democrats and the Republicans all over again.
In the final analysis, I keep coming back to this simple question. Does it really make any sense, from any point of view (practical, technical, ideological, anything) for my daily coffee purchase to be replicated to thousands of nodes and then recorded for-stinkin'-ever?
No. Again, no. I can't think of any good reason it HAS to be this way. And I can think of plenty of reasons (scalability, privacy, practicality) why this should NOT be.
I'd love to use Bitcoin for these everyday purchases though.
So this leaves me agreeing that we need off-chain extensions or layers on Bitcoin, such as the Lightning Network. Solutions that eventually do settle on the blockchain, while conveniently forgetting the minor details that I didn't want to share with the world anyway. Done right, these could even let me pay in pennies or fractions of a penny for web content, etc.
But of course, I also see the need for increasing raw throughput. If Bitcoin scales to billions of users, we'll need much larger blocks even just to settle on the blockchain once a month! It's simple math.
So why can't we have both? And why can't we work on both at the same time?
Because… politics. And personal issues. And the hardening of positions on both sides, digging their heels in and refusing, ridiculing or even ripping out the other side's solutions just out of pure spite. All while somehow managing to convince ourselves with "reasons" that show how right we are and how wrong… no, EEEEVIL, the other side is.
Calm down, stop the FUD and the conspiracy theories, and realize most people just want Bitcoin to succeed.
TL;DR 1. Recording coffee purchases on the block-chain makes no sense. 2. We need off-chain scaling and on-chain scaling. 3. Our stupid politics is hurting Bitcoin because we're separating the two necessary parts of the overall solution.
I've been getting a lot worried and pessimistic comments on my posts lately but I have to believe that those are from very misinformed people or intentional trolls.
To see miner support go to the bottom of https://coin.dance/blocks and note that over 99% of blocks are either signalling for segwit already or have indicated they are on board with SegWit2X, meaning they will shortly begin to signal for segwit and reject blocks that don't signal for segwit. So it doesn't look like there will be any chain split that lasts more than one block given that overwhelming support, and those are totally normal splits that get reorganized away all the time.
At https://uasf.saltylemon.org you will see that UASF nodes are steadily on the increase. These nodes will not diverge from SegWit2X miners if those miners simply follow through on their statements.
At https://bitnodes.21.co/dashboard/ you can see that well over 80% of nodes are running Bitcoin 0.13 or higher which means that they will also activate SegWit natively when the rest of the network activates it.
And of course 100% of nodes are going to continue to function fine because SegWit does not break legacy clients.
Oh, and also transactions are all clearing quickly at very reasonable fees.
Network uptime remains at 100% with no interruptions.
It's almost as if sensationalist reports and alarmism get a disproportionately high share of voice.