As cryptocurrencies go mainstream, the challenges that have kept them from reaching their true potential as a currency-for-all still exist. Chief among these is the slow and expensive processing of transactions.

While some altcoins on the market, such as Ether, have demonstrated better transaction speeds than Bitcoin, even the fastest have run into serious bottlenecks. As serial entrepreneur, marketing expert, and Blockchain evangelist Ameer Rosic explains: “Ether can only do 7 transactions per second.” According to Rosic, this is still too slow to consider cryptocurrencies as a mainstream payment method.

Along with speed constraints, transaction costs have also grown prohibitively, in times of network congestion. On a recent day of trading, the average fee to process a Bitcoin payment in ten minutes was roughly $14. These fees make microtransactions impractical and limit cryptocurrencies’ growth as a vehicle for receiving payments for small businesses and retailers.

Fixing this bottleneck on transaction speed and cost has become a major focus among the community of miners, programmers, and investors who believe cryptocurrencies are the future of finance.