Dr. Craig Wright on Bitcoin Masterclass #7

The Bitcoin Masterclasses #7 tackles the limitations of sovereign nodes and blockchain

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“There’s a lot of information already in government databases, and now we have to start migrating this,” Dr. Craig Wright said.

In the fifth session of The Bitcoin Masterclasses Season #7, Dr. Wright describes some of the limitations of the “Sovereign Node” concept in blockchain. When advocating for a world built on blockchain, it’s important to remember these limitations need to be addressed. What are they?

Blockchain, and particularly the BSV blockchain, promises a future world of accessible, verifiable data that could store the entire planet’s needs. It would also hand ownership and control of personal data back to ordinary users and the public. However, many of the advantages and use cases detailed in The Bitcoin Masterclasses series haven’t been built yet—so there’s still a lot of work to do.

We talked about “cleansing data” and “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) in the previous sessions. Those problems aren’t going to magically disappear the day governments and large enterprises decide to start using blockchain to process their data. In fact, they are even building alternate registry and identity systems as we speak, most of which don’t involve blockchain. They’ll be built on Access or Excel, “held together with sticky tape and band-aids—and those are lucky ones.” Others will exist on proprietary third-party databases that only their creators understand.

“Who here has worked on key-value databases (other than Bitcoin)?” Dr. Wright asks. We must start thinking about interaction points and ways to integrate them into a Bitcoin-based system. There will need to be templates to structure data in a way that fits into Bitcoin transaction format, verifying that it’s correct and raising a flag if it isn’t.

He reminds the audience that it took the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (one of the country’s largest banks) seven years and over A$2 billion to migrate to a more modern database format. If you’re wondering why blockchain and its startups haven’t taken over the world yet, this is one answer.

(Hint for prospective entrepreneurs: You’ll find some business ideas whenever Dr. Wright talks about hypothetical back-end support use cases. Not everything is front-end, end user-focused, and glamorous—and these support structures will need to exist before that happens anyway.)

“Think about how database records are structured. What information goes in, how you fill out fields.” The audience gets ten minutes in this session to explore what they don’t already know about database formats.

Dr. Wright asks if anyone in the room has worked with Regex (Regular Expressions). Yes, this is a daunting topic even for developers, but it can actually be pretty useful for checking information in databases and designing the templates we need.

Has anyone heard of RBAC? Or role-based access control, a security administration function. “Active Directory is actually, in part, designed to be RBAC, it was just never implemented.” This allows roles to be assigned to positions and groups, and users requiring those privileges can be dropped into those groups.

These are just a few things to consider. National security is another, and the notion that foreign governments or non-government bad actors may try to interfere with or even sabotage your data systems. Then there’s regulatory compliance (for both governments and citizens), privacy leaks, how much information large organizations should hold, and restrictions on this.

So, another one of the significant issues with Sovereign Nodes is ensuring they stay sovereign.

As much as we love to talk about the benefits of blockchain, there’s still a lot of detail to cover that’s pretty mundane—security, data cleansing, and migration. When selling the “why” of new technology, it’s essential not to lose focus on the “how.”

You can view all other sessions and previous seasons of The Bitcoin Masterclasses on the CoinGeek YouTube channel.

Watch The Bitcoin Masterclasses #4 Day 1 with Craig Wright: nLocktime and Delayed Transactions

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