In this interview with CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero, the nChain CEO discusses the three pillars of Bitcoin SV—stability, scalability, and security.
October 15 marks an important event for the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community. On that day, the release candidate of the Bitcoin SV client went live, one month ahead of the November Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrade.
Bitcoin BCH miners and mining pools are encouraged to begin using Bitcoin SV, which is a new full-node implementation for Bitcoin BCH designed to fulfill the vision set out by Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper. Currently, the Bitcoin BCH ecosystem has a number of full node implementations available, but what makes Bitcoin SV stand out?
The answer, according to nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen, is straightforward: Like its initials, which stand for Satoshi Vision, Bitcoin SV better fulfills the original vision for Bitcoin.
“The goal of Bitcoin SV is to restore the original Bitcoin protocol, and then create an implementation that enables a protocol that is stable, scalable, and secure,” Nguyen explained. “Those are our three main goals, and it’s designed to really allow a protocol to enable what bitcoin was always meant to be but could not be once Bitcoin Core [BTC] took over the protocol, but now that it’s been reclaimed in bitcoin cash, we want the software implementation to enable that vision to come to life.”
With a stable protocol, businesses—especially the big businesses—will feel comfortable operating on it. Take the internet, for instance. Its evolution has been very slow, which, according to Nguyen, makes sense since businesses or those running websites or mobile applications don’t want have to deal with time consuming, expensive protocol changes every six months. For BCH, some developers groups want to experiment by continually introducing new op_codes, changes and feature sets not found in the original Bitcoin protocol, which would lead to a continually shifting platform. In contrast, Bitcoin SV seeks to restore the original Satoshi client release 0.1 and then keep it stable and business-friendly.
“Do you want the big business of the world to build their house, their projects, on sand or on a rock foundation? We don’t want the platform and the protocol to be moving quickly every six months. We want foundation to be rock solid,” the nChain CEO noted.
Scalability is another key component of Bitcoin SV. While other implementations seek a gradual approach to scaling, nChain believes that the Bitcoin BCH network needs to scale bigger and quickly. With Bitcoin SV 0.1 version, the default maximum size of accepted blocks has also been increased from the 32MB soft limit to 128MB. The reason behind this comes down to one thing: economic reality. For Bitcoin BCH miners to remain profitable in two years, when the next block reward halving (from 12.5 to 6.25 coins) event is set to take place and even further halving after that, the network needs to start scaling now so miners earn more in transaction fees.
For big businesses, scalability is also critical. Nguyen said, “They want to know that the network will be able to sustain the large capacity that’s needed for their project and other companies’ projects because otherwise they’re going to be hesitant to say, ‘Why would I commit millions of dollars of resources and time to build let’s say my blockchain application on a network which may not be able to sustain that scalability issues?’”
Speaking of critical issues for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin BCH, we have security. For the Bitcoin SV team, it means developing a world-class security system for Bitcoin SV’s code.
“Security is definitely this key issue. We are going to work as hard as possible to implement the best practices possible and modeling some of the best practices from security systems and rigorous processes in some of the most mission-critical industries such as aerospace, national security, transportation. I think that will serve the bitcoin community well,” Nguyen said.
In closing, the nChain CEO addressed the potential split that could happen in November, saying that it’s natural in the Bitcoin ecosystem for groups to emerge with a different plan and vision—and it’s up to the miners to choose.
Unlike other implementations, Bitcoin SV is born out of the desire to empower miners to direct the future of Bitcoin and also to ensure BCH miners remain profitable. Miners will have a choice and a voice to drive the process of restoring Bitcoin to its optimal state—that of unbounded blocks, original op_codes, and no artificial limits imposed on the protocol.
“We believe it’s time for bitcoin to grow up. It’s time for bitcoin to professionalize. We want a massively scaled network, we want worldwide adoption and enterprise-level usage. We want 5 billion people using Bitcoin Cash in the years to come. To get there, we need to demonstrate that its ecosystem is professionalized with world-class security, quality assurance practices with a scaled network, with big blocks to support big enterprise and global payments. And, going back to the first pillar, a stable protocol,” Nguyen said.
The Bitcoin SV project was created at the request of and sponsored by Antiguan-based CoinGeek Mining, with development work initiated by nChain. The project is also owned by the Antiguan-based bComm Association on behalf of the global BCH community, and the Bitcoin SV code is made available under the open source MIT license. Check it out during Miner’s Day at the upcoming CoinGeek Week Conference in London next month.
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.