Since the inception of bitcoin, its scalability problem had been quite evident. As traditional payment methods such as Visa are capable of handling thousands of transactions per second, bitcoin is only able to allow at most 7 transactions per second. Therefore, the peer to peer payment system created by Satoshi Nakamoto is looked upon by roughly 200 developers for enhancements and improvements.
Due to the efforts of Anthony Towns who contributed to Hong Kong-based company Xapo Bitcoin, a platform was set up for developers to review Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) particularly for Taproot and Schnorr upgrades. According to Towns, the idea was to gather as many developers as possible in order to review the changes.
As per the organizers, BIPs is a quite different way of gathering developers. Regarding it as an experiment, organizers are uncertain about the end results of the gathering. However, according to the manager of Square, Steve Lee, the methodology of organizing people in this manner was welcomed and applauded. Elaborating the positives of the initiative, Lee said:
People from all over the world have registered, and many names I have not heard of before.
BIPs are available to the general public so anyone can view them and even give feedback or suggest an alternative. However, it may seem simple but in reality, people are not aware of the entire working process. At the moment, the study group gathered is looking into bitcoin’s code and proposing technical improvements. Regarding it as stage one and then explaining it further, Towns stated:
It’s where we get the details nailed down so that we can work out if things actually make sense or it’s all pie-in-the-sky dream.
In the past, Segregated Witness (SegWit) was a successful BIP that solved a very important problem for bitcoin. Due to SegWit, the bitcoin signature and transaction data were segregated in order to free up space in a block. The 65% space taken by the signature alone was freed to accommodate more transactions in one block. Consequently, the capacity of a block for transactions was enhanced from 1MB and scalability and performance of bitcoin were improved.
At the moment, the team of developers is in the initial stage of scrutinizing problems and suggesting BIP. Along the process, if a reasonable and valid problem shows up, there’s a possibility that the underlying protocol of bitcoin gets modified and upgraded.