As Lead Developer for Bitcoin SV (BSV) at nChain, the London blockchain development company, Daniel Connolly understands more about the digital nuts and bolts of blockchain than almost anyone. But he’s equally interested in the bigger picture – namely, what the forthcoming Genesis hard fork that he and his nChain colleagues have been working on, will mean for BSV in the months and years ahead.
In the short term, it’s primarily the twenty or so blockchain mining groups who need to take action ahead of Genesis in February, but the upgrade will also affect the roughly 400 ‘listening nodes’ – businesses who keep a copy of the blockchain. Ordinary users with up to date wallets don’t have to do anything but in the longer term, should start to enjoy benefits thanks to Genesis.
The good news, Daniel reports, is nChain’s monitoring tools show that the message about Genesis is getting through and the necessary upgrades are already being made ahead of the February deadline.
As to what changes Genesis will introduce, Daniel says that “the biggest changes are philosophical”. He means that, apart from scaling – making the network continue to operate efficiently even with much higher transaction volumes -, there will be an “unleashing of Bitcoin script”, opening up a language that developers can use to write code for new kinds of functionality such as for complex automatic contracts.
If you think of money as just the first application of Bitcoin, Genesis will facilitate other possible uses. “Bitcoin has been misunderstood as just about transferring value from one place to another,” Daniel says, “it’s so much more than that.” Genesis removes the constraints that free up capabilities that were always present in the protocol but haven’t been usable until now.
One example would be around the ownership of digital assets, which Daniel sees as a potential area for exploitation – but more for business people than for developers like himself: it will be a question of “going out to businesses [and] presenting them with solutions that they can use”.
A former IT specialist for the UN, Daniel says that both that work and his current role have the ultimate aim of making the world a better place: “when I first looked at Bitcoin, it was primarily from the technology angle …but then when you take it a step further and look at the improvements it can make for everybody, that is what fascinates me about it. The possibilities are enormous.”
Daniel says he’s bullish about the prospects for BSV and especially for Genesis next month: “it’s wise to be wary of being over-optimistic, but in this case I think we’ve worked on it for a long time and we’re building on the foundations that were put in ten years ago – and I’m confident that everything will go smoothly with Genesis.”
Hear more from Daniel Connolly in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:
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