Editorial

Charles Miller

Toronto: Big visions and practical solutions

Bitcoin was always a mix of idealism and more practical ambitions, like money-making and the ironing out of knotty coding problems.

As the Bitcoin Toronto conference kicks off, Bitcoin SV (BSV) shows every sign of “growing up,” as Bitcoin Association President Jimmy Nguyen likes to put it. Every day new products and services are coming online, some in early forms but good enough show the promise of what they will offer in future.

So is it just hard graft and practicalities from here on? My conversations with a few entrepreneurs who have come to Toronto to take the temperature of BSV suggest not. There are also radical visions, to transform society, transform money—transform just about everything in fact. And BSV is seen as uniquely able to make that possible.

If you spend some time with Jack Liu and his colleagues from RelayX, you’ll understand what I’m talking about—if not exactly what they’re talking about! Jack is a big thinker and is working with energy and commitment to transform our world into one powered by BSV. Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s work or play, microtransactions would come into it. You could ‘tip’ someone for opening the door for you. If you run a coffee shop, you’ll pay back the customers who clear up their plates. And if you’re hiring people, you can pay for exactly what you want them to do and nothing more. It’ll all be possible on the blockchain.

Toronto: Big visions and practical solutions

Then I spoke to Adam Kling from Kronoverse—which already sounds like some kind of sci-fi world. It’s great to be talking to an entrepreneur whose vision for the online future can best be expressed by reference to Ready Player One. Adam’s world, at least to start with, won’t require the VR headsets. But it will be one in which you can build a parallel set of experiences, moving from game to game, or from game to education or other activities, keeping your online life in order, with everything built on the Kronoverse platform. Adam will freely admit it’s not there yet. But that’s what he’s working towards, and practical steps are underway.

Finally, I met Josh Henslee, who comes to Bitcoin from an established career working with Microsoft products and conventional businesses. But he’s a convert, and is finding what it’s like to try to sell the BSV vision to his tech colleagues. No private blockchains: that’s an unsatisfactory halfway house, he believes. Companies would gain real practical benefits from adopting BSV solutions. They just need to be persuaded.

So that’s all good. But the visionaries are not expecting us to sail peacefully towards utopia. Jack Liu and his colleagues in particular never forget the halving of the block reward that Bitcoin miners—of all stripes—will all experience next year. That will change the economics of the ecosystem. And BSV will need to be able to attract miners with sufficient transaction fees when block reward income is cut. That’s what’s put the urgency into Jack’s speedy delivery of RelayX—a payment system that integrates BSV with existing payment platforms. Because if those transaction volumes aren’t there by next year, the miners could look at their numbers and switch off or move elsewhere, and those radical visions could come to nothing.

That’s why the energy and excitement in Toronto this week is so important. It’s exactly what’s needed to power BSV from here to the exciting worlds these visionaries are planning.

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