While most people are still figuring out how to use newly released technology at any given time, inventors are already working on their next big project. And the same can be said for nChain Chief Scientist and Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig S. Wright, who can usually be found creating new patents or reading one of his 50,000 books.
One trait that Dr. Wright demonstrates is remarkable foresight when it comes to technologies like the internet and cybersecurity. Dr. Wright recently presented before the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Committee. The topic: IPv6 and blockchain.
On this special episode of The Bitcoin Bridge, Dr. Wright shares for the very first time the presentation he gave before a panel of industry experts deciding on the future of the internet. Host Jon Southurst also digs into what the scientist has been up to since his historic win at a Florida court late last year.
Speaking of remarkable foresight, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been working on the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) as far back as the early 90s. And it is this collection of standards that Dr. Wright had in mind when he was still creating Bitcoin.
“When I first released Bitcoin, ironically, IPv6 was part of the protocol,” he told The Bitcoin Bridge. “It got pulled out, and I listened to people who told me no one can manage it so it’s a security concern at the moment, blah blah blah.”
In hindsight, trusting these people was apparently a bit of a mistake.
“I was silly enough not to think that these guys had a different agenda to me,” Dr. Wright said.
The scientist then went on to explain just why he believed IPv6 is the appropriate protocol to pair with blockchain technology, citing multiple reasons. One of them is the ability to get through firewalls without Network Address Translation (NAT), which works by blocking internet traffic unless requested by a device within the private network.
Another reason is IP to IP transfer, which he explained is one of the key aspects of how Bitcoin is meant to work, grow, and scale. Dr. Wright specifically pointed out the workings of Simplified Payment Verification (SPV), a concept that he described in the Bitcoin white paper.
“It’s not meant to be Alice sends to the miners who send to another miner who sends eventually to Bob,” Dr. Wright explained. “It’s meant to be Alice sends to Bob, and Bob and Alice can communicate and set up any information that they need.”
In practice, he explains, the two parties in a transaction can agree on invoices and exchange contract information before updating the blockchain with the completed transaction.
This scenario, which does not require any intermediaries, is a key concept on how Bitcoin and the blockchain work.
“IPv6 was instrumental in that in the early days, allowing any number of machines to connect directly,” Dr. Wright said. “IPv4 is problematic in that because although there are four billion IP addresses in IPv4, only 2 billion of them are actually usable.”
‘It’s fairly much all IPv6 now’
While IPv6 developed pretty early, Dr. Wright said it has taken quite a long time for it to get to where it is now. He pointed out that Google held IPv6 day just a few years ago, and it is also fairly recently that the backbone of the internet has started moving towards IPv6.
Now, the protocol suite is finally gaining more traction than ever.
“It’s fairly much all IPv6 now,” Dr. Wright said. “There are lots of reasons for this, including ones most people don’t think about.”
A significant part of what the nChain chief scientist discussed in front of the IEE is how to use Bitcoin and IPv6 as well as how to integrate transactions natively. In his presentation, Dr. Wright gave several use cases as an example of the potential of the integration:
- Web Server Access
Web servers can easily integrate Bitcoin IP transaction functionality to charge clients for access.
- Local Link Payments
IP transactions would be useful when making a payment to someone near you or on the same local network link.
- IP Messaging
The system can be used for any type of messaging, including email.
- Public Transport Terminals
The concept of making Bitcoin payments directly to an IP address is particularly powerful in scenarios where automated tasks are performed by electronic devices, that each have an associated IP address.
All in all, Dr. Wright told The Bitcoin Bridge that his presentation was received incredibly well, and all the participants there were interested not only in the integration of IPv6 with blockchain but also in next generation solutions.
These “next-gen” solutions include mesh networking, wireless mesh, 5G, and remember what we said about remarkable foresight? Some companies that attended Dr. Wright’s presentation were even already interested in 6G integration for even faster access way into the future.
‘There’s only one protocol that does this.’
Asked about how likely the Standards Committee would be to actually act on his recommendations, Dr. Wright says the members are incredibly interested in integrating blockchain.
This is because the blockchain has an unalterable record of all the interactions, information that hackers won’t just be able to delete.
“It makes a lot of sense from a security point of view,” Dr. Wright explained. “It makes a lot of sense in integrating Internet of Things, Industrial Internet of Things-based devices.”
The scientist added that while there is over 100 different IoT standards right now, part of the ongoing effort is trying to get that integrated and start moving towards a single methodology.
“Like with Wi-Fi and other methodologies, people started moving towards a single way of connecting. So over time, what we will hopefully see is all of that migrates in. And the good thing that we have is that’s going to bring more and more connectivity, more and more access. And to be honest, there’s only one protocol that does this.”
Bitcoin creator and nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright discusses all these and more on The Bitcoin Bridge. Watch this special episode on the CoinGeek YouTube channel to see his full presentation to the IEEE and to hear exactly what he has to say about his detractors in the tech industry.
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.