One aspect of cryptocurrencies that some users aren’t aware of is that decentralized blockchain based currencies are in their own ways their own worst enemy. The blockchain is the problem, as currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum keep getting slower due to their limited transactions per second, and the blockchain gets large this has started the end game. The end game is clearly spelled out in Ethereum’s current white paper and it’s that essentially the blockchain will get so large no small players (individuals) will be able to participate. This is because all transactions are stored in the blockchain ledger, and the more transactions the larger it gets. Eventually the blockchains will grow to several terabytes and require more memory. This will mean that only big corporate, government and banking players will have the resources to control these so-called decentralized currencies. It is really inevitable unless a mechanism is adopted for off-loading this storage to trusted third parties.
I may not be a huge Microsoft fan but I think Ankur Patel has stated what many in the cryptocurrency already understand to be correct.
Patel said that blockchains that increase network capacity through on-chain scaling, which involves raising the blocksize, will eventually experience degraded centralization and will not be able to function on a “world-scale.”
This is something that Stellar Lumens and Ripple essentially do. They are a centralized blockchain that are generally faster than the competitors but are centralized and literally supported by big corporate players and banks. These have pros and cons. As an investment they are an excellent hedge against threatened regulations that people fear for the decentralized currencies and they also provide real value and work very well.
Is this all bad? It’s hard to say because public blockchains can be attacked literally with DDOS/SPAM/bad blocks and this has happened with all the major currencies. On top of that you are still giving up trust to unknown people and the value and stability of these currencies are at risk for other reasons such as hardfork cash grabs like Bitcoin Cash and the Bitcoin Gold Group.
The future is bright for crypto but these uncertainties need to be accounted for and sorted out. It may be that the future is going to involve a combination of foundations and semi-decentralized currencies.