It's been some really quite interesting weeks lately in crypto land. Scaling hasn't been much of topic for the last years - and boom
- now it's front and center. Bitcoiners used to clobber anyone who thinks miners having different incentives than currency holders is a problem. Now it's suddenly consensus on r/bitcoin. Not only are there repeated threads saying a change of the Proof of Work algorithm might be necessary, I'm actually seeing more and more suggestions to switch to Proof of Stake! I can't believe my eyes! Just the mere mention of it even half a year ago would have brought you into downvote hell and 500 angry "nothing at stake" chants, before your post got shadow banned. I'm not saying that it's a majority position by any means, but what a difference!
The changing tides are sweeping a lot of money into the alts. The combined crypto cap is exploding:
While Bitcoin's share of it is decreasing. The pace is accelerating towards parity. That could be a huge deal with unclear implications (...but don't dare mention this on r/Bitcoin).
There is a major sea change going on. Props to the dev team to see this long ahead: Designing Ardor specifically around scaling capabilities, puts it in a position to take advantage of the situation. Now there is just the question if this can somehow get attention. So far it is always Ethereum that gets used as example for Proof of Stake. Once again, it took the spotlight. It also gobbled up the biggest gains. Ardor seemed to have merely been swept up with the tidal wave that took all alts along.
I don't know if all that will change to the best of Ardor and NXT. But I'm sure: This ain't over. And people are still either in denial or stuck in old ways of thinking.
- The Bitcoin wars will get worse.
First off, there is AsicBoost, which is worth millions in advantage for parasitic miners. Why would they give that up for anything? Higher market cap doesn't help their bottom line, they live of higher margins. A fork of some sort either will happen or must at least come close enough that these miners must fear trashing their hardware.
- Disruption will be huge either way. The user experience will be a disaster. Alts will pick up refugees... but if Bitcoin suffers too much, all crypto will take a hit.
- The miner problem is of course deeper anyways. It's an incentive problem that will return. Miners they only care about users and hodlers if it somehow helps their short term earnings.
- What also clearly came to light is that the monopoly is even worse than anyone thought: It's the hardware! That's all done by basically one manufacturer in one location - with the ability to legally block supply for anyone who doesn't agree with their plans. Bitmain is abusing this already. That skews not just which miners can join, but also how much existing ones dare to contribute to debates.
- People still don't understand the scaling issue. It seems bizarre to me that Ethereum/Monero/Dash are seen as solutions. All these have exponentially worse situations should they ever catch on remotely as much as Bitcoin.
It's just that neither Ether or Litecoin are used enough to make clear to everyone that they have the exact problem Bitcoin has - or worse.
So there is Ardor, with an actual solution. My fear is that people might once again overlook it, just like NXT was laughed at when it pioneered what is now the altcoin standard. Maybe it's premature optimization. But it might be the right unique selling point at just the right time.
One joker card might be the Lightning network, or the "sharding" that Buterin promises. Basically they could change the landscape of the scaling discussion - and make it a non-issue. It's just promises so for. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can shed some light one that angle.
Anyways, the potential in the upcoming year is huge - and that's what speculators are trading on.