Bitcoin Industry Artificially-Crippled for Years, Brought Competing Blockchains
In this interview, Jimmy Nguyen, the founding president of the Bitcoin Association, continues with his organization’s push to return the Bitcoin and blockchain field to its roots in the ‘Satoshi Vision of the original Bitcoin via Bitcoin SV (BSV)’.
Nguyen believes there is much attention now on Bitcoin SV as it is pushing scaling boundaries to support transaction volume required for enterprise use to handle Visa payment network levels of transactions, and beyond.
8BTC: As a global advocate for Bitcoin SV (BSV), what could make you change your mind about this fork of BCH in the face of the recent criticism of a key figure, Craig Wright?
Jimmy: Bitcoin SV has always been, and is, more than Craig Wright or any one individual. Bitcoin SV is about fulfilling the original vision laid out for Bitcoin – to become a global peer-to-peer electronic cash system, and to massively scale to become the global public blockchain to support enterprise applications used by billions of people across the world. I believe in that vision for Bitcoin and BSV’s technical capability to deliver it. And many developers and ventures across the world share in that belief, because they are building powerful new applications on BSV using its bigger block scaling and micropayments capabilities.
We don’t ask people to support BSV or build on BSV because of Craig Wright or anyone else. People should – and do – support BSV because they believe in its technical fundamentals, and its roadmap to be the only massively scalable blockchain. At the end of the day, nothing else matters.
And by the way, BSV did not fork away from BCH. BSV is the only Bitcoin project that continues the original Bitcoin protocol and design. BTC forked away from Bitcoin when Bitcoin Core added SegWit in 2017. And the BCH-ABC camp forked away from Bitcoin, yet again, with the protocol changes it added to the Bitcoin ABC implementation in November 2018.
8BTC: Taking a cursory look at the global crypto industry, is Bitcoin as well as the blockchain technology where you think they ought to be?
Jimmy: No, Bitcoin and blockchain technology should be much farther along now. But Bitcoin and the entire industry were artificially crippled for too many years because BTC would not raise its tiny 1MB block cap. That prevented Bitcoin from growing earlier to support global adoption for payment transactions and for enterprise blockchain applications. The artificial 1MB limit on BTC also led other competing blockchain projects to emerge, and helped create today’s world where we may have far too many competing blockchain, distributed ledger and cryptocurrency projects.
Bitcoin always had the capacity to be the one global data ledger, and to power all the other advanced functions people want from blockchain – smart contracts, tokens, decentralized apps, and much more. Had BTC scaled to bigger blocks much earlier on its life, blockchain technology would be much farther along than it is now. Enterprises are still struggling to find a blockchain that fits their needs, especially from a scaling perspective. Ethereum’s struggles to scale demonstrate that, with Vitalik Buterin recently acknowledging that the Ethereum blockchain is almost full and that is inhibiting on-boarded of new businesses onto its network.
These are the reasons why BSV emerged. But we and the entire blockchain industry have years of catching up to do.
8BTC: Why did the Bitcoin Association choose to back BSV and not BCH?
Jimmy: It was an easy choice. The Bitcoin Association is here to support Bitcoin’s original design, protocol and vision. That original vision only lives in BSV, which is committed to restoring the original Satoshi protocol, keeping it stable, and enabling the chain to massively scale.
In addition, the BSV Node team is committed to shifting power away from protocol developers as the key decision makers for the Bitcoin network (such as determining the network’s block size), and instead is pushing responsibility for consensus on such matters into the hands of miners. Miners should be managing block sizes based upon market forces and their own economic incentives, rather than leaving block size to be arbitrarily dictated by protocol developers. This is how Bitcoin’s economic system is meant to work for long-term viability, and this is why we support BSV, rather than BCH or BTC.
8BTC: It’s been said that BSV’s proposed solution is based on misinformation. How is BSV pushing scaling boundaries to support the massive transaction volume required for enterprise use?
Jimmy: BSV’s approach is based upon the original Satoshi vision that Bitcoin’s blockchain can massively scale. On April 12, 2009, very early in Bitcoin’s life, there is a Satoshi Nakamoto email to Mike Hearn saying that “Bitcoin never really hits a scale ceiling.” That email stated that Bitcoin (back in 2009) can already scale much larger than the Visa credit card network – which was then processing 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. In that same email, Satoshi Nakamoto also predicted “There is only one global chain.” To achieve that vision requires massive scaling.
We fully recognize however that it takes real work to push the scaling boundaries. That’s why the Bitcoin SV Node team is conducting research and testing about bigger blocks and technical improvements needs to push scaling boundaries. The team has introduced improvements to the Bitcoin SV Node software to support massive scaling. Version 0.2.0 of the Bitcoin SV Node implementation released in May delivered a new API to support mining massive blocks. Version 0.2.1 released in July includes an improvement which substantially decreases the time it takes to produce blocks with many transactions, enabling miners to produce even larger blocks than are already common on the BSV blockchain. Our team is also working on parallel validation techniques to make bigger blocks more efficient.
In addition, our team runs a BSV Scaling Test Network – testing bigger blocks there first, before on the mainnet. For example, on July 24, the day of BSV’s major “Quasar” protocol upgrade, the team ran a test on the Scaling Test Network that successfully produced a long series of consecutive 2GB blocks (2000 MBs). This Scaling Test Network is open for any business or developer to use to test their own applications.
Finally, nChain is working on its previously-announced Teranode project. Teranode is the next evolution of the Bitcoin SV Node software; it will be an enterprise-class version that separate four core functions into modular microservices architecture approach. This microservices architecture will allow big enterprises to customize the software for their needs, and optimize performance at higher scale and for higher transaction volume – including for a future we foresee of terabyte size (1 million MB) blocks.
In sum, the BSV Node team is doing the technical work necessary to massively scale to support enterprise-class use.
8BTC: What to expect of BSV in coming months or years?
Jimmy: The next major step in BSV’s roadmap is the “Genesis” upgrade on February 4, 2020 – which is 11 years, 1 month and 1 day after Bitcoin’s original Genesis block. The network update event is named “Genesis” because this will restore the Bitcoin protocol almost completely to the original “Satoshi” protocol.
The Genesis upgrade will completely remove the default hard cap for block size – or more accurately, the default hard cap will be infinite. The BSV network block size will be determined by miner consensus depending on market forces and their economic incentives, rather than being dictated by protocol developers. Over the next months until the Genesis upgrade, we hope miners will begin to learn their new role in managing the consensus hard cap on the BSV network. During this time, the Bitcoin SV Node team will work on getting miners better tools to manage uncapped block sizes more safely.
In addition, we are seeing an explosion of exciting new applications being built on BSV. Expect to see more projects emerge, and transaction volume on the BSV chain to continue its organic growth in the coming months. In the coming years, expect to see enterprise use of the BSV blockchain. It’s an exciting time, and we invite developers and businesses of the world to come build on BSV.