There was one issue with Bitcoin when it was first proposed in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto: it couldn’t scale. Ten years later and Bitcoin has the same scalability problem. Throughout its existence, it hasn’t managed to go beyond processing more than seven transactions per second; which was enough in the beginning. Right now, the network has become too congested, boosting transaction fees and slowing down processing even more. To put things into perspective, by comparison, Visa can handle between 24K and 50K transactions per second.
One attempt at solving Bitcoin’s scalability concern was the development of a new protocol deemed as the Lightning Network. The idea behind it was that every transaction made on the Bitcoin blockchain doesn’t actually need to be kept on a record. The Lightning Network would add another layer on top of the Bitcoin blockchain to enable users to use payment channels between two parties on that layer; channels that only exist for a limited amount of time between the two users, thus making transactions happen instantly with very low fees. Simply put, via the Lightning Network users would have to go out of the main blockchain to conduct numerous transactions, and then record those transactions as one.
Blind spots of the Lightning Network
In spite of its potential, the concept for the Lightning Network is far from perfect. Although the system works atop of the blockchain, it doesn’t benefit from the security levels behind it. Payments often fail and feature unpredictable success rate when no route is found. The larger the payment, the less chance of a successful transaction because it’s harder to find a route with a channel size big enough to handle it.
Furthermore, the security of the Bitcoin blockchain is undermined; the block reward for miners decreases when the Lightning Network succeeds, creating instability. By design, growth in the revenue from a transaction in Bitcoin replaces block rewards. For the entire world to benefit from the perks of the Lightning Network, BTC blocks would have to be 100MB big. For that to happen, a hard fork would be required which some might find too risky.
A protocol that gives the Lightning Network a run for its money
Similar to Bitcoin, the ILCOIN project has developed its own version of a Lightning Network, deemed as a “command chain protocol (C2P).” According to the ILCOIN team, the protocol was built to help prevent fundamental challenges in the crypto world, namely “the 51 percent attack of the network.” As mentioned in the ILCOIN whitepaper, there is “a set of rules and policies carved in the source code which allows or blocks different types of activities to help prevent any blockchain corruption like the double spending issue and prepare the chain for having smart contracts safer and solid.”
C2P is made up of three different security layers that create a safe environment to end users. In simple terms, it’s a “hack-proof vest” placed atop of the ILCOIN SHA-256 algorithm to prevent double spending, rollbacks, or corruption to the network. By assigning different tasks to each node, the chain becomes stronger, more stable, and faster. C2P is a next-generation security step in the crypto work capable of preventing non-ethical hackers from constantly seeking for a faulty code to corrupt the network. With C2P, in every block there is the hash of the previous block, together with a set of certificates that the nodes can read and therefore double check the block’s origin and inputs.
By adding C2P to the ILCOIN blockchain, the developers made every certificate stamp unique in every block, and only non-malicious nodes are able to deliver the certificate. Furthermore, the protocol has a blocking mechanism that prevents coin theft and spending in cases a user loses their wallet.
The core development team at ILCOIN is in full control of its blockchain, as opposed to Bitcoin where 95 percent of all miners must agree to modifications of the source code. That’s one of the main reasons the 2MB block size hasn’t been solved yet. On ILCOIN, the block size limit has been increased to 25MB, making the process almost instant and being able to handle 170K transactions per block.
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