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Bitcoin Has No Future as a Payments Network, Says FTX Chief (

Posted by msmash on Monday May 16, 2022 @10:02AM from the closer-look dept.

Bitcoin has no future as a payments network because of its inefficiency and high environmental costs, according to one of crypto's most influential chief executives. From a report: Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the digital asset exchange FTX, said the proof of work system of validating blockchain transactions, which underpins bitcoin, was not capable of scaling up to cope with the millions of transactions that would be needed to make the cryptocurrency an effective means of payment. "The bitcoin network is not a payments network and it is not a scaling network," said Bankman-Fried. His comments came as the fast-growing cryptocurrency market was hit by a punishing sell-off that left bitcoin down by more than 35 per cent since January, at its lowest level since late 2020.

Bitcoin is still seen by some crypto enthusiasts as a way to conduct everyday transactions. Countries such as El Salvador and the Central African Republic have adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender. But recent research by academics in the US found that Bitcoin has scarcely been used for daily payments in El Salvador, despite the rollout of bitcoin ATMs and other measures to encourage its use. The 30-year-old billionaire, who has expanded FTX into one of the world's largest virtual asset exchanges, said an alternative type of blockchain known as proof of stake, or other technological innovations, would be required to create a functional crypto payments network.

In a Twitter thread, Bankman-Fried clarified: "To be clear I also said that it does have potential as a store of value. The BTC network can't sustain thousands/millions of TPS, although BTC can be xfered on lightning/L2s/etc."

To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a test load.