While aboard the recent Coinsbank Blockchain Cruise, hosted from September 7-11, 2018 on the Mediterranean Sea, litecoin (LTC) creator Charlie Lee sat down and had a heated discussion with bitcoin cash (BCH) supporter Roger Ver.
During their talk, Ver made the bold claim that bitcoin can no longer be used as peer-to-peer (P2P) digital cash. Charlie responded by putting forward that bitcoin is not actually peer-to-peer.
Roger seemed shocked by Charlie’s statement. Bitcoin is often described “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” the headline of the Bitcoin whitepaper authored by its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
To back up his claim, Charlie explained that on-chain transactions are not actually peer-to-pee as instead, the “payments are sent from sender to miners, who record it on a distributed ledger.”
He argued that while the network is P2P, “strictly speaking” payments aren’t as the sender can ignore the network and “directly communicate the transaction to miners to send payments,” which per Lee is a good thing as the receiver won’t have to be online to receive the funds.
3/ This is actually a good thing as the recipient doesn't have to be online to receive payments. Ironically, on chain payments resembles more closely to a hub and spoke model where the mining pools are the hubs and users just need to connect to those hubs to send payments.— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) October 6, 2018
From there, he illustrates how Lightning Network (LN) transactions are actually more peer-to-peer than on-chain transactions, because there are no middlemen, transactions are truly kept between the users.
Although transactions can be routed through different nodes, LN transactions are built by the sender and receiver in a peer-to-peer fashion. To expand on his claims, Charlie went to Twitter to further explain. Charlie’s tweets can be read here. In the end, he concluded LN payments are Satoshi’s true vision.
6/6 Bitcoin with Lightning Network more closely fits the Bitcoin whitepaper's title: "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." This is Satoshi's Vision.— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) October 6, 2018
The first part of the debate between Roger and Charlie can be watched on YouTube.
Lighting Up Lightning
Many in the cryptocurrency space, especially Roger Ver, do not believe in the future of the Lightning Network. They claim that it’s inefficient, that it’s possible to censor transactions, and could even be liable to money transmitting laws.
During the discussion, Charlie clears the air regarding the Lightning Network, and helps shed some light on why he believes it’ll be successful. Despite launching earlier this year, Lightning usage is still extremely small. The wallets and software are still in development, and are not yet user-friendly.
However, Lightning progress has been coming along rapidly. Since SegWit launched one year ago, the Lightning team has been hard at work building the infrastructure needed for this layer two solution.