Money Button hit a bit of a stumbling block recently, experiencing three hours of downtime when their Bitcoin SV (BSV) node ran out of memory and crashed. While they’ve fixed the underlying issue by upgrading their node, the lesson for the industry is to move closer to the original Bitcoin white paper.
In their blog explaining what happened, “Towards Scalable Wallet Infrastructure,” the Money Button team noted that this is likely to happen again to any wallet attempting to run its own node on underpowered hardware. The solution isn’t to enter an arms race of upgrading infrastructure to keep up with block sizes, but rather, to move towards Simplified Payment Verification (SPV), as Dr. Craig Wright has argued they should. They write:
If wallets mutually adopt paymail, BIP 270 (with some extensions, including BIP 271, BIP 272 and BIP 273), and Miner ID, no wallets will need to run a node, and every wallet will be substantially less expensive to operate at scale.
Every wallet will be able to scale to arbitrarily large block sizes at a cost that depends only on the number of transactions for that wallet, not the number of transactions for the entire network.
Turning to SPV is in the spirit of the Bitcoin white paper as written by Dr. Wright, writing as Satoshi Nakamoto at the time. It called for peer to peer transactions, or pay-to-ip. By only verifying with miners the transactions that wallets care about, they can significantly reduce their own hardware requirements and simplify the whole system.
Money Button goes on to add that Paymail, the easy to use protocol they rolled out earlier this year, can further help simplify the wallet system:
Thus, using paymail, BIP 270, and Miner ID, we can deliver transactions peer-to-peer, making it possible for wallets to drop the requirement of running a node…
Wallets will no longer send to addresses. Only to paymails.
The details of how wallets can come together and accomplish this mutually beneficial goal are well spelled out by the Money Button piece, and if you’re a Bitcoin wallet developer, it’s must-read stuff.
While Money Button’s three hour outage looks like a set back for the BSV community, it’s much more accurate to look at it like a springboard. With the lesson that wallets need to evolve and move way from running their own nodes, we can step into the system the Bitcoin white paper originally described.
The Genesis protocol upgrade on February 4, 2020 is a monumental step in the history of Bitcoin, and will see BSV returned as close as possible to the original protocol as envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto. Visit the Genesis Hard Fork page to learn more.
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