Libra’s co-creator favors Bitcoin over ‘centralized’ altcoins

Libra co-creator David Marcus says Bitcoin’s alternatives are too centralized and not secure enough.

Lightspark CEO David Marcus is apparently a big fan of Bitcoin (BTC), as he believes that the cryptocurrency made by Satoshi Nakamoto is the only “viable neutral settlement asset” that can “usher in a new era of global real-time payments.”

In a recent X post published on Nov. 19, Marcus — who’s now a Chief Executive of crypto startup Lightspark, which works on the Lightning Network — categorically rejected altcoins, saying other cryptocurrencies distinct from Bitcoin are “too centralized, not secure enough” and do not have the required regulatory clarity.

Yet, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization underperforms its rivals, such as Ethereum (ETH) or Solana (SOL) on a technical side, which prevents it from further adoption. While Solana is doing over 4,300 transactions per second, the Bitcoin network can only support up to seven transactions per second.

To scale Bitcoin, developers have to retain the network’s trust and security principles, which means that no new consensus can be brought, Marcus noted. Hence, according to the Lightspark CEO, Bitcoin’s layer-2 solution, Lightning Network, is the only way for the network to move forward “at least for now,” he added.

Marcus admitted there are still challenges for the Lightning Network but noted it will be “more efficient” once developers find a way to bring stablecoins and other assets onto the network.

“It needs more work for non-custodial wallets and applications, and to bring stablecoins to the network.”

David Marcus, Libra co-creator

Yet, cross-chain compatibility appears to be not the only issue the Lightning Network is facing with.

As reported in late Oct. 2023, a newly discovered flaw allows hackers to steal funds from the Lightning channel, potentially impacting the future peer-to-peer package relay. Blockchain security developer Antoine Riard outlined the scenario of embezzling funds from the Lightning Network by exploiting “replacement cycling attacks,” a type of attack where malicious actors can replace an unconfirmed transaction with a different tone.

As per the developer, only a “sustainable fix,” such as a “consensus upgrade” in the Bitcoin network, can solve the issue. However, Riard admitted that no replacement cycling attacks had been observed or reported for the past ten months.

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