Given Bitcoin takes 45 min per Transaction, and consumes lot of energy (around 1 million Visa transactions), https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption/

This is more of a history question, Did Bitcoin founders (Satoshi Nakamoto) know that Bitcoin would not be Scaleable?

Did they only create a Base Layer on purpose, and expect other people to create second derivative layers like Lightning Network?

Currently Bitcoin is not economic, without the key Lightning network, and certain provinces in China and other countries are attempting to shut down nodes. Lightning network has taken 10 years to release, since Bitcoin creation, and environmental politicians are starting to complain about power consumption. Just wondering if the founders, had foresight about this, and if they noted future goals for Bitcoin to work. I did not see it in their whitepaper. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

  • this question is Not a criticism on bitcoin, more of a historical question, and future goals in the whitepaper documents,
    – mattsmith5
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 21:26

1 Answer 1


If you look at the announcement of bitcoin and the very first response to it, you can read James A. Donald pointing out that bitcoin (which we today call the base layer) "does not seem to scale to the required size".

Partial quote of James A. Donald's response:

We very, very much need such a system, but the way I understand your proposal, it does not seem to scale to the required size. [...] hundreds of millions of people are doing transactions, that is a lot of bandwidth - each must know all, or a substantial part thereof.

This response was sent more than two months before the genesis block was mined. Thus, it is fair to assume that Satoshi was well aware of the scalability concerns.

  • yeah, interesting, I read that earlier in the newsletters, did he address James's point later? I think he kept coding, knowing somebody else would prob fix the issue in the future ? not sure, its interesting he addressed many points in the newsletter, but not that particular one
    – mattsmith5
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 22:18

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