12 Nov '13, 8pm

Bitcoin needs to scale by a factor of 1000 to compete with Visa. Here’s how to do it.

Bitcoin needs to scale by a factor of 1000 to compete with Visa. Here’s how to do it.

Mike Hearn (Photo by Andy Artz) At the heart of Bitcoin is the blockchain, a global, shared record of every Bitcoin transaction that has ever occurred. It gets its name from the fact that every 10 minutes, on average, the peer-to-peer Bitcoin network adds a new "block" containing records of recent transactions. The blockchain is shared among the numerous computers that participate in the transaction-clearing process known as "mining." To avoid overloading those computers, Bitcoin software currently limits each block to one megabyte in size. The result: right now, the Bitcoin network is only capable of processing around 7 transactions per second. For comparison, the Visa network is designed to handle peak volumes of 10,000 transactions per second. So far, that hasn't been a problem because Bitcoin users are only generating around 1 transaction per second. But if the Bitcoin...

Full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11...

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