Bitcoin Server Network or ‘Teranode’ to handle enterprise level applications

Bitcoin SV Node Project Lead Developer Daniel Connolly gave a brief preview of “Teranode” at the CoinGeek London conference. Teranode is nChain’s version of the Bitcoin protocol aimed at enterprise-scale applications, on networks that process massive amounts of data.

“Bitcoin is now stable, it is fixed,” said Connolly, summarizing the past year that culminated in the activation of Bitcoin v1.0.0, or Genesis, on February 4. With the protocol and network now unleashed with no restrictions on the amount of data it can process, it’s time to move to the next level.

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Connolly revealed that Teranode will represent the Bitcoin Server Network, since it focuses on communications between enterprise-tier servers rather than the “P2P” interactions people often refer to. To do this, nChain developers have “gone back to the beginning,” identifying blockchain users and their needs. This included big data paradigms and horizontal scaling.

Complex transactions

Connolly gave the example of a pay-to-public-key-hash (P2PKH) script, which until now has been most blockchains’ ideas of a complex transaction.

“On many blockchains it’s the dominant transaction type, but that’s the simplest thing on Bitcoin”, he said, noting his example had only four operations. “Imagine tens of thousands, some containing complete programs—that’s what Genesis does.”

Scrypt (pronounced “ess-cript”) is a higher-level programming language on Bitcoin that will allow for smart contracts, R puzzles, escrow, and more, Connolly added. He provided an example that restricted a transaction from being spent until a given time.

Teranode and the Bitcoin Server Network aim to separate the control functions from the data they serve, to prevent channels getting clogged with too much information. Notably, it does not change the Bitcoin protocol itself, which is now locked or “set in stone”. It concerns only the way large-scale servers talk to each other.

“It’s not the node’s job to serve up 10-year-old data,” he said.

Connolly said he “expects a huge amount of applications” to be built on Bitcoin now Genesis is activated. Teranode will use and refactor code from Bitcoin SV Node for enterprise—first by extracting and separating its communications functionality.

nChain will start releasing prototypes for Teranode later this year. Connolly’s presentation at CoinGeek London was just a teaser, but it highlighted the scale of Bitcoin’s aims as well as its protocol—it’s far beyond anything that Bitcoin, or anything on blockchain, has done before.

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