Bitcoin liberation: A retrospective

It’s been four years since the split of the Bitcoin protocol away from the coup d’etat called “UASF” which activated Segregated Witness on the BTC network. After a few years of bickering about how Bitcoin should be governed (if only there was a document that clarified governance…), on August 1, the ViaBTC mining pool split the ledger in order to allow the acceptance of blocks up to eight megabytes in size on Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in accordance with the Bitcoin protocol.

For years, small blockers ruled the narrative that blocks larger 1 megabyte were untenable, unsafe, “centralizing,” and/or that bitcoin couldn’t work unless it could be re-engineered ad infinitum by Greg Maxwell.

Gregory Maxwell
Gregory Maxwell. Blockstream CTO (at the time).

While the early days of the Bitcoin Civil War saw mostly bickering about the route to bigger blocks, by mid-2017, it was clear that small blockers wanted to keep bitcoin in a tiny box forever.

Adam Back
Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, back when we were all big blockers…

And so, the split was inevitable, and BCH launched to prove that Bitcoin always could scale on chain. While the route has been through more than its fair share of twists and turns, the big block vision of Bitcoin has been a resounding success as it continued on BSV.

The state of things

For years, it was hypothesized by the small blockers that blocks bigger than 2MB, then 8MB, then 22MB would bring the Bitcoin protocol to its knees. Today, four years later, the average block size on the BSV blockchain is over 40MB showing that since the beginning of the debate, Craig was (W)right about the abilities of the protocol.
Source: Coin.Dance

Since the split of BTC and BCH, there was a network upgrade to a 32 megabyte block size limit in 2018—a limit which persists on BCH today. In November 2018, BSV nodes split away from BCH’s small blockers to raise the limit to 128MB, and then in February 2020, the block size limit was eliminated altogether in the aptly named “Genesis Upgrade” to the network. The BSV blockchain now has over 97% of all the data secured by SHA256 on earth, and earlier this year, the BSV database become the largest set of data on earth to be secured by proof of work after passing up BTC and ending its 12-year run in the top position on that metric.
Source: Coin.Dance

As we look back on the scaling debate from a place of understanding that we were always right about Bitcoin, we should all take a moment and consider that BTC could have had the opportunity to benefit from the work of the big blockers; having a Turing complete stack, stable protocol and infinite scalability which would have negated the need for altcoins and Ethereum’s existence altogether. Instead, today, they beg for money from old world finance as we carry on with the restored Bitcoin protocol and no real competitors. As for BCH, their subterfuge has left them without any real vision and having smaller blocks than on BTC. Not long ago, the lead developer was removed from BCH altogether, splitting the small blocker camp into yet another political faction while BSV thrives.

The future

In June, nChain CTO and head of the BSV Node team Steve Shadders showed a public demonstration of Teranode doing about 50,000 transactions per second (in contrast to BTC at 5-7 and BCH at 150-200), and he explained horizontal scaling in such a way that millions of transactions per second become little more than a function of adding machines to the network.

YouTube video

We also praise the victories of CryptoFights generating hundreds of thousands of NFTs per week, MetaID bringing in incredible growth in data, RelayX creating the first on-chain DEX in Bitcoin Script, Twetch for creating a proof of work social network, Haste Arcade for showing that instant transactions make for an incredible gaming experience, kompany for making instant on-chain KYC a reality and so much more!

As we look to the future, only BSV allows the fulfillment of the original vision of Bitcoin which is a cash system built on proof of work enabling an unlimited amount of economic opportunity for the world!

Thank you, Satoshi Nakamoto, and Happy Anniversary, big blockers!

Watch: CoinGeek Zurich presentation, BSV Blockchain: Ignite the Power of Data

YouTube video

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.