Jacobs Technion-Cornell professor and member of the Cornell Tech Security Group Ari Juels recently spoke to the MIT Tech Review about fundamental technical challenges Bitcoin needs to overcome before it reaches wider-spread use.

Factions in the community are arguing over proposals to adjust Bitcoin’s software so it can handle more than a measly seven transactions a second across the whole world. Yet no tweak to Bitcoin could allow transactions at a scale close to that of conventional payment processors such as Visa without compromising the digital currency's decentralized design, says Ari Juels, a cryptographer and professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, and a coauthor of the study. Visa’s system processes 2,000 transactions per second on average and can handle up to 56,000 transactions per second, the company says.

“The current debate is missing the forest for the trees,” says Juels. “We have to think in terms of a fundamental redesign if we’re going to see robust scaling in Bitcoin.” Juels worked on the new study with 11 other researchers from Cornell, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Maryland, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and the National University of Singapore. The group's analysis is being presented in a position paper at the Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference in Barbados later this month.

Read the full article on MIT Tech Review.