Bitcoin’s inventor, Dr. Craig Wright, has long challenged the notion of “decentralized” trust in the blockchain industry, arguing instead that Bitcoin’s security is rooted in transparency and every user’s ability to verify the state of the ledger.
In a recent X thread titled “Security Through Transparency: the Significance of Public Hash Headers in Blockchain,” Dr. Wright elaborated on his thoughts and explained why transparency, not secrecy, makes Bitcoin secure.
Security through Transparency: The Significance of Public Hash Headers in Blockchain.
— Dr Craig S Wright (@Dr_CSWright) August 9, 2023
Breaking down Dr. Wright’s thread
Dr. Wright begins by explaining that blockchain security is ensured through transparency and the ability of every user to verify and observe the chain’s state. The key to this, he says, is publicly available hash headers. The ability to do this allows users to detect any potential anomalies or attacks.
“Each block in the blockchain has a header,” Dr. Wright says, explaining how each header contains data such as the timestamp, reference to the previous block’s hash, and the Merkle root of the block’s transactions.
This data is hashed, allowing it to be publicly distributed, which has “profound implications for the security of the network.”
Why is public access to hash headers important?
Dr. Wright explains that:
Block headers allow for instant verification of the state of the network by any user without them needing to have all of the data in each block.
They also make it possible to detect tampering; each block references the hash of the preceding block, and any alteration of its content would change the hash. Tampering would disrupt the continuity of the chain and so would become immediately evident.
Public access to block headers democratizes vigilance. Dr. Wright points out that miners play a crucial role in verifying and appending transactions, but radical transparency allows users to stand vigilant.
“In essence, the public distribution of hash headers empowers every user in the blockchain ecosystem,” Dr. Wright tells us.
A vastly different vision for Bitcoin
Dr. Wright’s vision for Bitcoin is dramatically different from that promoted by advocates of BTC, a 2017 fork pitching itself as digital gold. In the world BTC maximalists want to bring about, transactions would be untraceable, the law in democratic nations would be rendered almost powerless, and criminals could operate globally with impunity. This dystopian electronic cash system would allegedly be secured by tens of thousands of anonymous ‘nodes’ accountable to nobody and nothing.
In the world Dr. Wright is working to create, Bitcoin would act as a tool for radical transparency, disincentivizing fraud, theft, and corruption by leaving an unalterable evidence trail of every transaction. As he has explained in the thread outlined above, the network would be secured by both miners and users, giving everyone power while holding all accountable.
Satoshi’s vision has the power to radically transform the world in positive ways, empowering the poor by making micropayments and microfinance possible, eradicating corruption by making sure there’s evidence of misdeeds and ushering in a new era of data security and ownership that will transform the internet and wider data economy.
For any of this to be possible, Bitcoin must work as he designed it. The BSV blockchain is the only system that conforms to Dr. Wright’s original Satoshi design.
Those interested in learning more about Dr. Craig Wright’s vision for Bitcoin can read How Bitcoin Won the Race on his personal blog.
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