Bitcoin use and market has grown tremendously over the past few years (between 2014-2017), and because of this, the Bitcoin network can sometimes face lagging bottlenecks.
Basically, that means that there are just too many Bitcoin transactions happening at once which requires processing (imagine you're in a 100 seater restaurant with 5 waiters, and 3 cooks - imagine the ordering, table management, food, spillage, delivery of food etc).
Let us not be unnecessarily worried - this IS a good thing, adoption.
However, as we grow and transition, this means in Bitcoins transactions, it can take minutes to hours to verify Bitcoin transactions.
Bitcoin, like any new business or tech, is growing. As a business owner, I understand this phase and I highly welcome it - it is very good.
Bitcoin network needs to grow to support the growing needs and demands
Bitcoin is founded based on blockchain technology, which is a digital public ledge that tracks Bitcoin movements and transactions.
The way to imagine this is to imagine Bitcoin blockchain as a simple two-lane highway that started in a small town. As the town grows to a city, megacity, megapolis, and more people live there and drives there to work, trade, live, play - traffic increases tremendously (think of cities of Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New York, London etc during peak hours) - everything slows down right?
And that is what happening with Bitcoin now - mass adoption and use is beginning to happen, but the large institutions are not fully onboard yet (some investment companies have started pumping clients money in, but not at scale).
There are three things slated for Bitcoin that will improve the situation.
In layman terms, SegWit2X doubles the blockchain capacity (from 1 MB to 2MB) - making Bitcoin 2X faster and scalable.
SegWit is already helping Bitcoin now, and accounts for more than 7+% of all Bitcoin transactions, and we believe that that percentage will keep growing.
So SegWit2X basically 2X the speed and capability of Bitcoin.
Lightning Network works ON TOP of the Bitcoin block chain. Using payment channels, it allows very, very high speed (near instant) transactions at the rate of millions per second...PLUS the fees are JUST fraction of a cent.
The local payment channels tie into the global Bitcoin network.
That's part one of Lightning Network.
The second part of Lightning Network is...atomic swaps.
In simple terms, Lightning Network can work with AltCoins through atomic swaps by enabling the decentralized trading of blockchain assets WITHOUT going through a centralized exchange.
For example, you can trade/swap Bitcoin (BTC) for Litecoin (LTC) without going through any centralized exchanges.
This Lightning Network will give Bitcoin the speed, efficiency, capability demands of the growing crypto and retail marketplace. It can enable trust payment processors and decentralized exchanges.
Root Stock has many features, but the most important feature is that is has smart contract functionality.
This feature will strongly increase the capability of the Bitcoin Network.
If Bitcoin manages to adopt all three modifications...that will take Bitcoin's two-lane highways to a super-efficient 6-8 lane freeway, and solve many of Bitcoins lagging problems.
And that means that Bitcoin can truly scale and serve the entire world.