The topic of scaling Bitcoin has been kicked around several dozen times over the past couple years. While the network has finally received its Segregated Witness update, some developers are already looking toward the future. The Revive scaling proposal can be considered the most radical scaling plan for Bitcoin to date. The concept was conceived by researchers at ETH Zurich and was designed to make off-chain solutions more scalable.
Revive is More Advanced Than the Lightning Network
It is always good to have some alternative scaling solutions available on the Bitcoin network. With Segregated Witness activating on the blockchain not too long ago, a foundation has been laid for future solutions. The Lightning Network is one of the more obvious proposals, as it will introduce off-chain payment channels and reduce transaction time. It may provide a way to introduce lower transaction fees as well.
However, there are always concerns over new scaling solutions. It is unclear how well the Lightning Network will scale when it comes to off-chain transactions. Most developers are not overly concerned about this, but scientists at ETH Zurich are preparing for the worst-case scenario regardless. Their solution is called Revive and is widely considered to be a radical change.
Payment channels are of the utmost importance for the future of Bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency which aims to improve its transaction capacity. While the Lightning Network will introduce a whole new degree of transaction scaling and throughput, it may not be sufficient, and no one wants to go through a multi-year scaling debate again.
Revive effectively allows users to move money from one channel to another payment channel without using the Bitcoin blockchain directly. Its mechanism is very different from that of the Lightning Network. The whitepaper for this project explains a few of its aspects in detail, although it remains to be seen whether or not this theory will be turned into a feasible technological solution.
In their current form, Lightning-style payment solutions rely on on-chain transactions and the associated fees. Revive does things very differently, as it cuts out the on-chain component and allows users to open and close channels as they see fit. This also means channels do not need to be refunded, as users can leverage existing channels to balance poorly funded solutions.
Revive can be used with any project seeking capabilities similar to the Lightning Network, on any blockchain necessary. This solution was not designed for Bitcoin itself, although that network will benefit the most from solutions such as Revive. Bridging the gap between different blockchains using these payment channels will herald a new era for cryptocurrency altogether – that is, assuming it is a feasible concept in the first place. Only time will tell whether or not that is the case.