There are hundreds of crypto-currencies, each acclaimed by fans or their respective developers as being faster, safer against possible attacks, with greater decentralization than Bitcoin. The experts never give credit to this nonsense, but the usual users and speculators have an unfortunate tendency to drink those rumors. This is the usual theme of scalability. More and more transactions are made on the network by creating a fee market. Currently, we are not able to evolve scalability. By cons, many are less scalable than Bitcoins. So why are there cryptocurrencies faster and cheaper to process? There are three answers:
1. They are rarely used, but if they were used as Bitcoin, they would have the same problems
2. They’ve increased the block-size (such as Bitcoin Cash)
3. They’ve reduced the average time difference between the creation of a block and the next one (like Ethereum or Litecoin)
The real innovation, in terms of scalability, is the Lightning Network protocol developed on Bitcoin, which can be used thanks to the SegWit upgrade, which took place on August 24, 2017. A transaction on LN is instant, to very low frequency on the blockchain, because it is registered exclusively on the portfolios of transmitters and receivers, locally. Transactions in bitcoins are pseudo-anonymous and public, and therefore perfectly traceable. By simply knowing the name of the last recipient who received bitcoins, it is possible to try to follow the chain and find who is behind each address where these bitcoins come from. If Monero saw the same Bitcoin transaction figures, its blockchain (whose size grows by about 60 GB per year) would see an increase of 3,600 GB per year, a clearly unsustainable number. Lightning Network is above all a revolution in every way: LN transactions are written locally on the wallet, not on the blockchain where only the opening and closing of the channel is followed. It is complicated to track bitcoin movements with LN even if you check an intermediate node between the recipient and the sender. In fact, bitcoin can be moved for a single transaction on multiple channels, one after the other (routing) and even for parallel means (Alice pays Bob 1 bitcoin, using as intermediate Charlie to move 0.5btc and Dave to move the rest of 0.5 btc). Therefore, it is extremely difficult to rebuild the transfers, even if you are able to monitor carefully some controlled channels. In this way, it is possible to obtain greater confidentiality in the blockchain, at no cost, in terms of fees and weight. The main advantages of Bitcoin are its network effect and its proven security. Both are almost insurmountable advantages. Bitcoin is a proven use case as a store of value. It is instructive that most pieces try to differentiate based on much smaller use cases, such as prediction markets, totally anonymous purchase, or the addition of a decentralized name server. Bitcoin has a big lead as a store of value after having existed for 8 years without fail. The security of Bitcoin has been proven far more than its much younger counterparts, with use of almost all metrics exceeding that of altcoins. In addition, Bitcoin is more accessible, with more exchanges, more merchants, more software and more supportable hardware. Bitcoin is much more liquid, with much larger volumes than each altcoin. Bitcoin has the largest ecosystem of developers with more software and more implementations than any altcoin. Bitcoin brings together the largest number of entrepreneurs who create businesses with great intelligence, dedication and creativity to make them more useful.