The Perfect Currency for a Fraud-Free World

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

This interview is pretty long, but it's worth a read. This bit stood out to me because it really does show the scale we're dealing with when it comes to Bitcoin.

The problem with the Global Public Square is that it is a single, limited entity, and you have only so much you can add to it at any given time. So Bitcoin burns that much of the world’s electricity to be able to process somewhere between three to seven transactions per second across the entire world.

3-7 transactions per second is just so absurdly slow. For context, I work for a large payments company and we process well north of 1 billion transactions per year. In 2018 there were 174 billion non-cash payments (mostly card, but some checks) in the US, or about 5,500 transactions per second. That number has only gone up in the past few years.

This will of course result in reference to the Lightning Network:

“Oh, but there’s this lightning network thing that allows these layer two transfers in a trustless environment, so you aren’t trusting the central Chivo app.” That is still limited to adding three to seven people per second globally to the system. So you can’t actually onboard that system. It just doesn’t scale.

And finally, the thing that always gets me: the "oh you had fraud, too bad for you" issue of crypto.

Modern finance has this rule that anything electronic needs to be reversible for short periods of time. This allows an undo in case of fraud. Have you had your credit card compromised before? I’ve had my credit card numbers stolen a couple of times. The amount of money I lost is zero. Because we have both good fraud protection and good ability to reverse transactions. That does not exist in the cryptocurrency space.