Owen Vaughan on his interview with Becky

Owen Vaughan: Why IPv6 is a major research program for nChain

The first IEEE Exeter Blockchain Event discussed many exciting innovations in the blockchain, Bitcoin, and IPv6 world. The University of Exeter saw many thought leaders from all over the world, like Dr. Craig Wright, share what IPv6 is and teach the students of the university how IoT can work with blockchain to connect us all.

One of those present during the event was Owen Vaughan, the Director of Research for nChain, who was interviewed by CoinGeek Backstage reporter Becky Liggero.

Vaughan starts by sharing the exciting research and projects that nChain is currently working on—revealing that IPv6 is their main research focus.

“IPv6 is a major research program for us, so we’re looking at how both technologies (IPv6 and Bitcoin) can benefit from one another. So firstly, how IPv6 can help make Bitcoin payments secure, private, and scalable,” he said.

Vaughan explained that IPv6 is an older protocol that inspired the creation of Bitcoin as well as its white paper.

“IPv6, well, the final design was proposed in 1998, and in Bitcoin, of course, that was 2009. But you can see they have a very similar structure. So you have source addresses and destination addresses and a payload in IPv6, and in Bitcoin, we can have exactly the same. We have source addresses, destination addresses, and we can add data to the transaction as well,” he said.

Vaugh added that IPv6’s largest packet size was 4GB, similar to the largest Bitcoin transaction.

“So you get the idea that they built Bitcoin with IPv6 in mind. The other similarity is they both rely on a fixed protocol. So IPv6 was proposed in 1998. We still use the same protocol now, and it’s still gaining more adoption. And it’s exactly the same with Bitcoin. Its power is in its fixed protocol and hopefully will get to that type of adoption that IPv6 has got as well. The link between the two is cryptographically generated addresses. So this is something else we’re touching on at the moment in nChain research,” he noted.

Liggero asked that if IPv6 is doing notable work, how come this iteration of the internet hasn’t reached 100% adoption?

“I think it may be took a long time for people to realize what you could achieve with IPv6 and why it was necessary and a certain network effect as well. It takes a certain amount of adoption before you get this, the snowball effect, and then you very quickly get this S-curve to mass adoption,” Vaughan answered.

Wrapping up, Vaughan shared what they prepared for the university students at Exeter:

“[Our topics] ranged from economics to central bank digital currencies through to security, zero knowledge produce, and IPv6. So it’s very exciting to have all those ranges of topics in one place and share ideas. And we even had a very interesting talk by a security expert [who] really challenged us on the security of blockchain.”

Watch: Dr. Craig Wright’s keynote speech: A Better Internet with IPv6 and BSV 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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