that you cant spend and cant convert to anything else? This is bitcoins trilemma. But for bitcoin, the fact that it is designed as a decentralized system means something else has to give. And the clue is its rapidly rising price. Thats how a gold standard works.
And although bitcoins are still being mined, the rate at which they are mined is nowhere near enough to meet demand and anyway, miners too can hodl their bitcoins. Miners verify transactions with higher fees more quickly than those with lower fees. Solving bitcoins scaling problem has become a principal concern of developers. Bitcoin is becoming illiquid. But since it is effectively fractional reserve lending, it would breach the gold standard principle of bitcoin.
Their solution is to take most transactions off-chain, and to share liquidity across the network. Bitcoins growing illiquidity is due to a toxic combination of high demand, hoarding and designed-in scarcity. This would mean that, at times, particularly for larger payments, it could be difficult or even impossible to find a payment route. A larger number of investors are therefore currently betting on Bitcoin Cash and not infrequently came the question or fear that it was now about the value of Bitcoin.
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Immobile money, in the gold standards of old, there was no trilemma. If a lot of people fund their channels at around the same time for example, if people fund their channels on payday, then pay them down over the next month liquidity across the network could vary considerably. But it is not certain that it will work. The first is that Lightnings pre-funded channels tie up funds that could be used for other purposes. Lightning developers are designing a routing facility that identifies which network nodes have sufficient funds to make a payment, calculates the shortest viable route to the payment destination across those nodes, and sends the payment.
But this would mean Lightning was not fully decentralized. Today it still only manages a tiny proportion of the traffic of, say, Visa or Mastercard, yet has become cripplingly slow and very expensive. The question is, how to enable it to be shared.
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