Brock Pierce: Bitcoin’s Scalability Issues Are a Sign of Its Success
While many people take the view that Bitcoin is dying or failing due to its current issues with governance and scalability, Blockchain Capital founder and managing partner Brock Pierce believes this current controversy is a good sign. In his view, the fact that there are so many transactions on the network should be seen in a positive light because it’s a sign of the technology’s success.
Scalability Is a Good Problem to Have
The key point that Pierce, who is also the chairman of the board at the Bitcoin Foundation, wanted to make in regard to Bitcoin’s scalability issues had to do with the perspective that most people take on the topic. Instead of the usual, negative view, Pierce stated:
“Bitcoin is so successful ‒ it’s growing exponentially ‒ and as a result of that, we’re running into scalability issues.”
Pierce went on to note that scalability is an issue that often impacts the most successful companies and technologies. He explained:
“These are the problems that Facebook has. This is the problem WhatsApp has. This is the problem of very, very successful technologies, so let’s make sure that we understand that we’re not talking about Bitcoin as a failure; we’re saying, ‘Bitcoin is a success, and as a result of that, we need to scale it.’”
Pierce then added, “Bitcoin is becoming a victim of its own success.”
Not Willing to Say He Has a Solution
Although Pierce believes that Bitcoin’s scalability issues will likely be solved eventually, he does not want to say that he has all the answers. For this decision, he prefers to defer to the people who have been developing and scaling Bitcoin up to this point. Pierce stated:
“I don’t think I’m the person who’s best qualified to say, ‘This is the right approach.’ ... I’m going to defer to the Core developers. I spend a lot of time talking with many of them, trying to understand why they have differing views, and then try to help bring people together so people can understand concerns that another might have, so we reach consensus sooner rather than later.”
The Blockchain Capital founder also pointed out that Bitcoin developers are issuing their own proposals for how to scale the system, and Bitcoin’s governance system should be able to take care of the rest. In the past, Pierce has compared the developers, miners, companies and stakeholders in Bitcoin to a system of checks and balances.
Scaling Bitcoin Is Causing Uncertainty in Bitcoin Market
Although he’d like to see the system scale sooner rather than later, Pierce seems prepared to leave this decision to the experts. Having said that, he also understands that the current controversy is causing uncertainty in the Bitcoin market.
“Financial markets really hate ‒ they dislike ‒ uncertainty,” he noted.
Pierce also explained how the current issues around the block size limit and governance are affecting the view of Bitcoin from the outside:
“The people who were thinking about getting involved, the people that like the technology, and the people that had ambitions or plans to play here ‒ a lot of those people are being turned off by what I like to think of as self-inflicted wounds.”
One of the final points Pierce made on this matter is the effect a hard fork to another development team could have on the Bitcoin price. Although he said he doesn’t have a crystal ball, and hindsight would be preferred in the development of an opinion on this, Pierce stated:
“We could end up seeing a hard fork [away from Bitcoin Core]. I think that’s going to end up having a negative impact on price in the short term. In the long term, it might be healthy.”
Kyle Torpey is a freelance journalist who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. His work has been featured on VICE Motherboard, Business Insider, NASDAQ, RT’s Keiser Report and many other media outlets. You can follow @kyletorpey on Twitter.