When Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin over a decade ago, his vision was to give the people a decentralized alternative to the payment behemoths that control every aspect of money today. They fought back, and in order to limit Bitcoin, these behemoths infiltrated the industry, led by Mastercard, and took over what’s now BTC. CoinGeek’s Chief Bitcoin Historian Kurt Wuckert Jr. talked about how the payments giant nearly brought down Bitcoin, how Bitcoin SV restored Satoshi’s vision, and more on the Rethinking the Dollar podcast.
Wuckert has been in the digital asset industry for a decade now, and in that time, he has been a miner, a Bitcoin-focused hedge fund consultant, a cybersecurity consultant, and much more. During those times, he saw Satoshi’s original vision of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system take off, become hijacked and almost destroyed, and reborn as BSV.
As he revealed on Rethinking the Dollar, a lot of the blame for derailing this vision rests on the very institutions that Bitcoin sought to compete with. Mastercard was the leader of the anti-Bitcoin mafia, but it knew that it couldn’t stifle the digital currency as it was decentralized and had already brought in enough people.
So, it chose to do something more effective—destroy it from the inside. For this, it partnered with Adam Back’s Blockstream, digital asset investment giant Digital Currency Group (DCG), and others.
It’s with DCG that the group has been most effective. DCG owns, either partially or fully, every other entity in the space, from exchanges like Coinbase and FTX to stablecoin giants like USDC creator Circle to wallets and custodians like BitGo and Fireblocks and even BTC developers like Blockstream.
The group is also behind Lightning Labs, the company behind Lightning Network, “which is a way to allegedly scale Bitcoin by not really using Bitcoin at all.”
“They remade Bitcoin in their image, with a lot of money… the sort of thing that as a Bitcoiner feels predatory to me,” Wuckert Jr. stated.
The efforts were successful, and they managed to limit BTC to 7 transactions a second, barely enough even for the speculators, and kept the fees extremely high to discourage its use as a currency.
“Ultimately, BTC is the version of Bitcoin that looks the least like Bitcoin did before 2017 [when the BCH hard fork happened]. It kept the name, but it didn’t keep the appearance, the function,” Wuckert pointed out.
Despite the deviation from the white paper that has turned BTC into yet another system to prey on the weak, many still tout it as the future. In El Salvador, it even has legal tender status, and there are reports that other countries are considering following suit, which would be a big mistake for any nation.
The movement against having a Bitcoin that scales unbounded has evolved over time, with the entities linked to legacy financial institutions finding new ways to offer solutions to challenges that Satoshi solved with the Bitcoin white paper. A trillion-dollar industry has been built on this, with the likes of Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and others offering solutions that Satoshi built into Bitcoin in 2008, such as smart contract functionality. And then there’s Tether, a kind of digital currency federal reserve that plays by its own rule or at least has been for years.
Satoshi’s original vision has been restored through Bitcoin SV, Wuckert went on. He pointed out that BSV has seen huge adoption globally, growing to be more than just peer-to-peer electronic cash and underpinning applications that pull in tens of thousands of users daily.
“There are days when there are more transactions on BSV than on all the other blockchains combined. And it’s a mix of things, this is everything from e-gaming, it’s casino stuff, it’s NFT trading, it’s smart contracts, it’s even a bunch of commercial applications, stuff like tracking salmon across the sea,” he said.
BSV has proven that Bitcoin was meant to offer all the functionalities that newer blockchain projects have become big for and do it at minuscule fees. Bitcoin SV does 10,000 transactions per second regularly, and it has even proven in testing environments that it can hit 100,000 transactions per second, Wuckert Jr. stated. It’s doing all these things now, while the likes of Ethereum and co. are still working on getting there in the future.
“Everything you’ve ever heard about the blockchain, all these elevator pitches, all these things that blockchains can do, or will do, or should do – BSV is the only one that actually does all of them today, it’s the only one. Nobody else actually does all that cool stuff that you think a blockchain can do,” he said.
Wuckert also talked about Dr. Craig Wright and how he has continued working towards the vision he had in 2008 through BSV. To date, he has about 3,000 blockchain and Bitcoin-related patents filed, more than anyone in the space. Dr. Wright is one of the largest patent holders in history, even beyond Bitcoin.
Responding to an audience question on whether Bitcoin SV is centralized, he noted that the protocol is set in stone and will never change.
“So, there’s no roadmap and there’s nobody to become a political liability in advocating one roadmap or another. It’s ultimately up to proof of work,” Wuckert noted.
Watch: CoinGeek New York panel, BSV vs. Other Blockchains: Differences that Matter for Developers & Businesses
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.