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Derek Tonin

CoinGeek Toronto Conference 2019: Kristy-Leigh Minehan on BSV mining

Bitcoin SV (BSV) isn’t just pursuing massive blockchain scaling just for the sake of it, realizing that goal will have massive implications for the Bitcoin industry. As Kristy-Leigh Minehan, Chief Technical Officer of Core Scientific, told the crowd at CoinGeek Toronto 2019, the goals of BSV have massive implications for Bitcoin miners, and she’s really excited about it.

Because the Bitcoin Core team have limited the scaling capabilities of Bitcoin for so many years, resulting in the SegWitCoin (BTC) that they have today, miners have been shoved to the side. Their incentives very little thought of, but that’s not the case with BSV. “One of the things that excited me so much about BSV right now, in this critical moment, is that we have a chance to get mining right,” she said. “For 10 years, mining has been around, and for 10 years, no chain or coin has actually gotten it correct. See, most coins just treat miners as second class citizens. They assume that they chase profit, instead of actually understanding the dynamics or mechanics of mining.” (0:12)

Bigger block sizes mean an entirely new profit incentive for miners, and more money is definitely going to make for more miners, from which the BSV blockchain will benefit by having added hash power and security. “A happy miner means a happy chain,” she explained. “What that means is that, as a chain, we have a responsibility to ensure that miners revenues are secured. That means that we have to ensure that we have transaction fees, we have suitable block sizes. But it also means a little bit more than that. It also means that we have to ensure that we have partnerships in the ecosystem that help sustain and keep mining alive.” (1:08)

Those bigger block sizes, quite simply, result in more transactions per block, more transactions confirmed by miners, and more money for miners to sweep up. The incentive is clearly there for them to jump on, but as Minehan notes, so is the security of knowing that protocol changes won’t rob that away from them. “One of the things we need to do is ensure we don’t change the protocol,” she said. “Obviously, BSV doesn’t. That’s why I’m kind of excited about it.” (5:05)

It’s also a crucial moment in history, as miners are quickly coming up on a choice. “On BTC specifically, they have to make a choice of, ‘Hey, do we change and switch off our ASIC boost?’ Which actually brings a lot of longevity to a fleet of mining ASICs, specifically if your electricity cost is a little higher,” she offered. “‘Or do we go for SegWit, and capture the transaction volume?’ You have to understand, most miners right now out in the ecosystem aren’t very knowledgeable, they understand how to put an ASIC in a facility, they understand how to change their wallet. They don’t understand how to set up a SegWit node. They don’t understand what ASIC boost is. They just want a plug and play environment. This is one of the brilliant reasons why BSV has a future in mining.” (5:13)

That is a very simple and easy choice for many miners. For the nomadic miners who are chasing profits, this will be a simple game of which blockchain rises to the top. To get there, Minehan noted that BSV needs to win over the tribalistic miners that drive coins to success. “All of the tribalistic miners have turned into nomadic miners, simply because they’ve lost faith in their chain,” she noted. “They’ve lost faith in the social contract that has to be upheld. We have a chance to capture these miners again. Just through outreach, just through education, just through education.” (11:55)

To get there, a conversation has to happen with those miners, showing them how BSV’s future has them in mind, and will win with the best technology. “We have to let them participate, we have to educate,” Minehan explained. She concluded:

“Remember, a lot of them do not understand. So what can we do? How can we fix that? Part of it is education, part of it is making a name for ourselves in China. Specifically, attending some of these conferences and telling them that, ‘Hey, the rules of the game are not going to change anymore. You’re going to capture transaction fees. You’re going to have sustainable profits if you invest now for 10, 20 years. You have a sustainable base. That song has to be sung, because miners, again, are not networked in like we are as developers.” (14:23)

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