A New Bitcoin Operations Technology Initiative is Here to Scale Bitcoin
A team of Bitcoin engineers, product managers, and technical writers announced the launch of a new initiative called Bitcoin Operations Technology Group (or Bitcoin Optech, for short) on July 20, 2018, to solve the problem of Bitcoin’s scalability.
2017, made the world realize one of the major shortcomings of Bitcoin when fees of a transaction on the Bitcoin network jumped to as high as $26 during the price boom last December. This came as a disappointment to most people aiming to take Bitcoin towards “mainstream adoption.”
The initiative is led by engineer and Bitcoin Core developer, John Newbery, who says,
“I started Optech because if Bitcoin is to be successful, then one of the fundamental challenges facing Bitcoin services and businesses will be how to maximize customer utility by making efficient use of the blockchain. Helping Bitcoin ecosystem players adopt scaling techniques and technologies is one of the most effective ways we can help Bitcoin scale today.”
Bitcoin Optech aims to help Bitcoin businesses rapidly adapt to updates in the Bitcoin network such as Segwit, by gathering a group of skilled developers and engineers. As a part of its community-building efforts, the initiative also publishes a weekly newsletter, organizes workshops for developers and hosts online forums to discuss scaling issues.
They have also succeeded to garner the interest of Xapo CEO Wences Casares, bitcoin development group Chaincode Labs and others to sponsor the project and get it off the ground. Apart from having popular sponsors, the team also has member companies including big names such as Square, Coinbase, BitMEx etc.
One of the solutions proposed to scale Bitcoin is the Lightning Network which facilitates off chain transactions and removes the need for every transaction to be published on the main blockchain. Though the update is still in its early stages, the community is skeptical regarding its overall utility.
That being said, Optech aims to focus only on the technologies that are well understood, which businesses can inculcate today. Newbery feels that there is still time for Optech to have more advanced propositions but for now, it is helping Bitcoin businesses flourish by integrating useful updates in their businesses.