Dear Mr. Antonopoulos,
In an effort to learn more about the Lightning Network, I watched a recent video you posted (link at the end of this article). I've highlighted some of the statements that caught my attention with my questions/responses to those statements below.
0:27 - "A block size increase can push the can down the road, but you don't change scaling by orders of magnitudes with block size increases. It's not possible to do order of magnitude block size increases without fundamentally destroying the decentralization principles of Bitcoin, at least not yet."
This is the most common argument I've heard from small blockers, and I've only highlighted this here because I want to point to it later in my article.
5:10 – "Yeah 2nd layer does make it harder to do hard forks. It makes it harder for hard forks to be beneficial to those who hold. It makes it harder for the air drop to be successful."
I've often heard from Lightning Network proponents that if they eventually need to hard fork to increase block size, they will. I acknowledge that you're not saying the Lightning Network will make hard forking impossible, but thank you for pointing out that this is just something else to consider.
10:10 - "Now Lightning Network uses source routing for now. And the reason for that is because it's one of the simplest implementations you can have. There are some criticisms that source routing won't scale, and that's absolutely right, source routing will not scale, but Lightning Network is not committed to using just source routing. There are a number of other routing algorithms that could be used, and in fact many could be used simultaneously on the network to optimize for different things. Maybe a routing algorithm that optimizes for privacy, or for fees, or for the minimum amount of hops, or for large payments, or small payments. Who knows? This is still an area of active research."
12:12 - "So when people say how surmountable are Lightning scaling challenges, and is Lightning Network viable, and does routing scale, that to me is a matter of engineering optimization. Meaning that it is naive to say at this stage that, because the routing that we have today doesn't scale to billions of nodes, that means that no routing can ever scale to billions of nodes or without centralizing the network, or creating a hub-and-spoke system, or destroying privacy, etc. etc. To say that it is not possible ever because it is not done today is to misunderstand how engineering works, and to me I think this is an area of active research. The routing algorithm that exists today works for the Lightning Network that exists today. And one of the key tenets of engineering is that you don't optimize something before it's necessary to optimize something. Premature optimization is a bad engineering practice. There's no reason to introduce, or waste resources trying to build a routing algorithm that today scales to millions of nodes when we have thousands of nodes. Because there are other more interesting engineering problems to solve at this point. I would argue that issues of user interface design, or ease of use for end users, is far more important to solve at this stage of the Lightning Network, and solving problems of routing at scale will happen when it needs to happen and not yet. Is the Lightning Network really viable? Yes, it is, it works, today, and I think there is far far more research and development than most people realize is happening in this exciting space.
You admit the routing method currently used by Lightning Network won't scale, but maintain that there is still a ton of research being done in this area. Then you go on to say that just because something isn't possible because it isn't done today is to misunderstand how engineering works. Well, by that same token, can't I argue that just because you can't do order of magnitude block size increases today doesn't mean it can't EVER happen. Finally, when you say the routing method used today works for the Lightning Network that exists today, wouldn't Bitcoin with 32 megabyte blocks WORK TODAY FOR THE NUMBER OF USERS WE HAVE TODAY? The last part of your statement is just as infuriating. Isn't the Lightning Network the very thing you're arguing against? Isn't it an optimization of something before it's necessary? PREMATURE OPTIMIZATION IS A BAD ENGINEERING PRACTICE! Your words, not mine. And yes, I completely agree that there are other more interesting engineering problems to solve like user interface design, or ease of use for end users, which is what the developers in the Bitcoin Cash community are focused on.
It's almost as if you're making the case for Bitcoin Cash instead of the Lightning Network. Do you disagree?
 

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He wont response, its sad to see him go the other way.
It comes down to one of 2 things assuming good intentions of both:
- Andrea and BitcoinCore ppl want to improve the economic freedom for the world after 10 or 20 years from now.
- BitcoinCash ppl want to improve the economic freedom for the world TODAY!
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Exactly...
I would also add that his statement in the first quote you pulled, "It's not possible to do order of magnitude block size increases without fundamentally destroying the decentralization principles of Bitcoin, at least not yet." Is fundamentally flawed, as it puts forward this nebulous idea of "decentralization principles," which he is likely using to refer to the number of nodes being run. But not only has the "full nodes matter" argument been thoroughly debunked, it's also just plain wrong if he's going beyond that to suggest that mining will be more centralized if the costs of running a node is higher. This is a point I've argued on extensively, and a summary of those arguments can be found in the following threads of tweets: https://twitter.com/MZietzke/status/996126089742200832 https://twitter.com/MZietzke/status/976866605333348353
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Andreas used to make a lot of sense but sold out for some reason (money?, threats?). Regardless, now he is part of the problem instead of the solution and I hope history reflects as much.
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Spark: " It comes down to one of 2 things assuming good intentions of both:- Andrea and BitcoinCore ppl want to improve the economic freedom for the world after 10 or 20 years from now."
Only problem with that is by then the block-reward will be such that miners (if any are left on BTC) will have to be sustained primarily by tx fees. Which likely means BTC/on-chain fees astronomical... which means the "network" still not viable...
We likely only have 6-10yrs to get high enough tx (~1-M+/block?) volume to sustain miners to keep fees ultra-low before the block reward becomes too low by itself.
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He will not respond or engage in any serious discussion.
He is making money from saying the things the Bitcoin Core crowd wants to hear. Why would he rock the boat?
He is their entertainer.
We just have to give up on this people. He is not about banking the unbanked anymore.
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A lot of people in these comments calling Andreas intellectually dishonest rather flippantly by saying that he sold out or changed his mind. I don't think he's changed his mind all that much over the years, the political landscape has gotten more diverged but as far as I can tell, Andreas has been rather stationary in his worldview.
Why don't you guys assume good faith with Andreas? He has been one of the most influential speakers in the space and has added a lot of value to our community. Period. Shitting on him because he happens to disagree with you is not honest as far as I can tell.
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@chaz carlson i'm not shitting on him. just calling him out to respond. everything he says in the video in support of the Lightning Network goes against what happened with the block size debate. i don't think you can deny that. how is LN not a "premature optimization" as compared to simply increasing the block size?
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He does not seem to understand that there would be no reason to run multiple routing algos "simultaneously", you just run the most efficient.
The guy has lost all credibility but he doesn't care, he has his safe spot doing talks for fees and doing book signings for the Blockstream Trolls.
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Andreas is 100% a sellout. Thank you for pointing out hypocrisy and flawed logic he presents. To me it is very clear that he is paid to advocate for the Lightning network, fact that he also says that hard forking will be much harder just adds even more points that this is actually what they (Blockstream/Core/bankers) want.... not to allow increase of capacity on the Bitcoin layer so that people simply can't use it.
Enough said... Andreas is a sellout... I don't expect him to ever admit his own flaws in thinking (more like programming to say these things), no one ever that works for those bankers admitted that they are/were wrong.
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Wow, AA just parroting the party line at this point. Kool-aid status: fully imbibed.
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Good work. There's still so much he has to explain, like how does the LN helps "verifying your own tx" when the tx's are offchain?.. How will it prevent centralization in hubs? How are hot wallets even safe? Why 2X was a bad idea when the 2nd layer is only meant for buying coffee?
Preventing any future hardfork and locking people in the LN is the most important LN feature. AXA doesn't plan to profit from the BTC price - they don't speculate or hold any - they plan to profit from the network, a Paypal 2.0 solution.
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