“The basic problem is this: The Bitcoin network is getting too popular; a growing number of payments is outstripping the network’s ability to process those payments. And the leaders of the Bitcoin community can’t agree about how to solve this problem — or whether it’s even a problem at all.
Bitcoin has captured the imagination of technologists because it’s the first global payment system that’s not run by any government or financial institution. Instead, Bitcoin uses a novel peer-to-peer design in which all transactions are published in a shared global ledger known as the blockchain. Thousands of computers around the world keep their own separate copies of the blockchain and verify that each transaction complies with the rules of the Bitcoin system.”