an introduction to Bitcoin SV by former Ethereum developer Kevin Healy

Here’s an introduction to Bitcoin SV by former Ethereum developer Kevin Healy

Former Ethereum developer Kevin Healy released a viral video not long ago on how he came to realize that Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. He’s now releasing videos about developing on Bitcoin SV, and he recently published one to provide a simple, no-frills explanation of Bitcoin SV and why it is the original Bitcoin protocol.

BSV follows the Bitcoin white paper

Healy begins by stating that “BSV is just Bitcoin” before outlining how it follows the white paper and early writings of Satoshi Nakamoto. He points out that BTC does not follow the white paper, but most people don’t know that. Why so? He explains that BTC developers added things like SegWit and Lightning, and as a result, many of the core use cases for Bitcoin don’t work on BTC.

Healy rightly says that the term ‘Bitcoin’ was defined in the white paper and in Satoshi’s early writings. Therefore, calling BTC “Bitcoin” is just not accurate. He notes that some people will counter this reasoning by arguing that software evolves, but he believes this is incorrect because protocols usually do not. He reminds us that Bitcoin is meant to be a base layer protocol like TCP, the base layer protocol of the internet, which has not changed in decades because changing it would break everything built on top of it (such as email.) That base layer protocols don’t change is especially important when talking about one that deals with money. He explains it simply as such: apps evolve, protocols do not, and Bitcoin is not an app.

Healy then outlines in greater detail why BSV is the original Bitcoin.

Micropayments

According to Healy, the main reason BTC is not Bitcoin is that the primary use cases don’t work. The first of these is the ability to do micropayments

Why are micropayments important to Bitcoin? Healy says that the white paper talks about small casual transactions as the problem Bitcoin seeks to solve. This is extremely important as it means we can move away from the ad-based and data harvesting models that dominate the internet today. 

Healy says that micropayments allow us to be the customer of internet services and not the product. We need a micropayments system to make this possible because of the relatively low value of these services. For example, a Google search could cost 1/10th of a penny, but transactions on networks like Visa cost 2% + 10 cents, prohibiting many of these small, casual transactions Satoshi talked about. 

On the other hand, Bitcoin costs fractions of a cent, potentially allowing us to pay 1/10th of a cent for a search, among other use cases. We can even pay per packet of data rather than paying for the internet monthly or daily, opening up new models such as surge and dynamic pricing. Even annoyances like $3 minimum parking can be changed, allowing us to pay for the few minutes of parking that we need. Healy reminds us that micropayments are not possible on BTC, and this is the first reason why it is not Satoshi’s Bitcoin.

Programmable money or smart contracts

Moving on to programmable money, Healy notes how BTC Core developers disabled various Bitcoin opcodes. Vitalik Buterin looked at the opcodes as he was interested in programmable money, but since so many had been disabled and BTC developers would not reactivate them, he was forced to create the Ethereum blockchain.

Unfortunately for Vitalik, Ethereum does not and can not scale while BSV has re-enabled the original opcodes. As a result, everything on Ethereum, such as NFTs, fungible tokens, and smart contracts, are possible on BSV. Combined with BSVs micropayments capabilities, this is a hugely powerful platform to build on.

Delving into the language needed to write apps on Bitcoin, Healy notes that some say Bitcoin Script is too complicated. However, sCrypt has been developed, allowing developers to write code in a high-level programming language that can easily be compiled into Bitcoin Script.

No such development is occurring on BTC as the OPCODES have been disabled, and due to design changes, there’s no going back.

Improved record-keeping

Healy then gets into how the Bitcoin ledger can lead to many positive changes in the world, but only if transactions are done on the blockchain. Transactions on a transparent public ledger could have vast implications for fields like cyber security, fraud reduction, and more. Scams like Bernie Madoff’s, which relied on keeping two sets of books, could become a thing of the past.

Giving the example of cyber security, Healy explains how hackers will typically break into systems, make changes, and delete logs. By utilizing the Bitcoin ledger, the admin changes could be written to the blockchain where they can’t be deleted and/or changed. This would make it impossible for hackers to cover their tracks the way they do today. Indeed, Sentinel Node is being developed by Certihash and IBM to make just such a use case a reality.

Once again, none of this is possible on Bitcoin imposter BTC. This is another compelling reason why it is simply not Bitcoin.

None of these features work on BTC

After outlining the features that define Bitcoin, Healy notes that none of them work on BTC. There are no micropayments, the opcodes that allow for application development have been stripped out, and the improved record-keeping made possible by a globally scalable ledger has been rendered impossible thanks to design changes made by BTC developers.

Healy closes by reminding us about Error Code 402 – payment required. It’s rarely seen anymore, but the early designers on the internet imagined a system that required payments. This wasn’t possible at the time because no scalable, peer-to-peer cash system existed with low enough fees to make it viable.

Then came Bitcoin, and the world the early internet pioneers imagined once again became possible. It has been revitalized and restored as Bitcoin SV, and the building is just getting started.

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, The Future World with Blockchain

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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