nChain’s Steve Shadders: Bitcoin SV needs to focus on scaling
Bitstocks, London’s first cryptocurrency market advisory firm, is a big fan of the work being done on Bitcoin SV (BSV). They recently invited Steve Shadders, technical director at nChain, to come on their Bitstocks Crypto Podcast to chat with Bitstocks Chief Technical Officer David Arakelian. They covered a wide range of topics including Shadders’s history with Bitcoin, why he believes in BSV, what he’s working on, and his hopes for the future.
Shadders wasn’t always a cryptocurrency expert. He told Arakelian, “I start off in the Bitcoin world in 2011, and I was a total newbie at that point. I actually went back a couple of months ago and found my first post on bitcointalk in which I was asking why we have a 10-minute block time, why can’t we shorten it to one minute.” He finishes with a laugh, “Everybody learns from their mistakes eventually.”
He really cut his teeth on mining pools back then, creating more powerful, efficient software engines to service miners. Eventually he got out, happy with what he accomplished. “At one point I think it was running close to 50% of the network,” Shadders noted.
After returning to the Bitcoin world, it didn’t take long for him to meet Dr. Craig Wright, and in 2017 he began working with nChain.
Now, he believes in BSV because of the pillars that nChain sticks to. With a stable protocol, he can focus his work on massive on chain scaling, which he feels is where Bitcoin can stand to grow the most. No time is wasted arguing about protocol changes, and all energy is focused on improving what’s there.
The nChain technical director also notes that security is being taken very seriously in their development cycle. Every new piece of code goes through a rigid set of steps to ensure its fit for public use, and as a last resort, lucrative bug bounty programs incentivize the public to look for flaws. If any are found, as one was recently, the team goes back and analyzes their process to avoid the same mistake in the future.
Arakelian and Shadders both agree, the Bitcoin world has fallen behind other industries in software development. Coders have been taught for too long to minimize memory use to accommodate for multi-app environments, however that didn’t take into account massive servers that can be focused to one task. Shadders believes that CPU cores, disk space and more memory can unlock the potential of BSV to meet any task.
Shadders seems most excited about the Metanet project, which he describes as akin to a global notary service. He imagines a world where entire supply chains are saved to the blockchain, and entire countries can tokenize their currencies, once they’re ready to give up control of their monetary policy to BSV.
What excited Shadders most about 2019 is that the distracts of protocol arguments are over with. He tells Arakelian, “We have an ecosystem full of businesses that are actually driven by solid business plans that are all aligned on the question of consensus, rules, stability, really means there’s no more wasted work. “
We recommend you check out the entire video, as it covers a lot more ground in fascinating detail. Watch Bitstocks entire interview with Steve Shadders below.
Some of the main topics discussed
4:05 Solve the technical problems encountered along the way to achieving the road map
10:43 Security and Quality Assurance and SV code audits
14:50 Scaling limitations in the current software limitation
16:19 External signature validation
17:23 Alternate UTXO data storage
21:00 Language limitations for bitcoin
24:00 Hardware utilisation
35:03 What can we expect from Nchain in 2019
• Scaling Bitcoin SV
• Merchant API- Secure instant transaction plan
• Teranode project
• Bitcoin Protocol specification
• Sustainable large blocks
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