How could 6 billion people be onboarded to Bitcoin and Lightning today?

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The short answer is we’re not quite there yet but almost…the things we need to accomplish this goal however are on the roadmap. I say this to address the common FUD which states that Bitcoin can never scale to world adoption due to its 1MB block size and slow transaction rate. This is false. Not only have scaling solutions been thought of but they are on the active roadmap of lightning and bitcoin developers going forward. So if you think Bitcoin is some dead and ancient protocol with no clue as to how to move into the future…think again.

So what is needed? First, a future and not controversial upgrade to Bitcoin via soft fork implementing some form of SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT. (hopefully in Segwit v2) In addition, the implementation of eltoo and finally, channel factories. (look up info on eltoo and factories if you are not already familiar) Assuming micropayment channel networks like Channel Factories come to life on Bitcoin, onboarding the planet would be a fairly arbitrary thing to do. Channel factories would allow us to onboard 20 people at once onto the lightning network. From there, 100 lightning channels can be created. Assuming that the driving narrative is that 6 billion people want to use the Lightning network ASAP, then this can be easily achieved using channel factories and direct cooperation with the KYC exchanges. (This is assuming the world did not mind using exchanges to onboard themselves and that using peer-to-peer atomic swaps wasn’t of critical importance) Coinbase, for example, could conceivably ask for a public-key from a user’s custodial wallet after withdrawing funds from a person’s account. They would group at least 20 people together and use their public keys to derive the 20 of 20 tapscript address. They would send out the applicable information to all parties involved and then send the sum of all 20 peoples funds to the taproot address effectively onboarding 20 people onto the Lightning Network and thus Bitcoin network with 1 transaction. By my calculations, the exchange could create a massive transaction that fills an entire block with 1 P2TR to 23,230 P2TR outputs. The arbitrary fee Coinbase would charge each person and thus put towards the massive transaction would more than incentivize any miner to mine the massive transaction into their block since the fee would be larger than any other combination of other transactions in the mempool. Given that each output is effectively representing 20 new people being onboarded to the network, this would mean 20*23,230 = 464,600 people could be onboarded per block. (That comes out to 774 tx/sec) This would mean that you could onboard 6 billion people in 90 days. Even if you were just allocating 25% of each block for transactions like this and leaving the other 75% for regular transactions, that would still mean you can onboard the entire planet in 1 year which seems more than reasonable to me. Granted, I realize I am neglecting the time it would take to offboard all those people but I’m dealing with just the idealized best-case scenario here. (Especially since FUD is always centered around perfect worst case scenarios) In addition, the entire point of payment channels is to keep them open and not close them arbitrarily and regularly. Channel Factories allow people to open multiple channels at once and to re-balance their channels without any on chain transactions. And while this compressed onboarding allows for such speed by my calculations the worse case scenario to offload 6 billion people from the channel factories to on chain P2PK addresses would be 4 years. 1TR to 20 PWSPKH is 2,752WU. 3,996,000 WU / 2,752 = 1,453. So 1,453 trans can fit in a block. 23,230/1,453 = 16 so it takes 16 blocks to offload one original block. 90 days * 16 = 4 yrs (BitcoinCore Max WU per block: 3996000)

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