The Bitcoin SV vision is to give miners a choice

The Bitcoin SV vision is to give miners a choice

To read in Chinese click here.

In one of Satoshi Nakamoto’s early writings, it was noted that “the nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime.” But does that mean that not a single change can ever happen?

That was the one of the questions posed by nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen at the recently held The Future of Bitcoin Summit Bangkok 2018 in Thailand. During the two-day summit, Nguyen, along with Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright, addressed an audience of miners and developers to remind everyone that the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was birthed “to restore what Bitcoin was from BTC,” and that they pooled together because they want to create “a Bitcoin protocol that we believe will fulfil Satoshi’s vision.” The full transcription of Jimmy Nguyen and Dr. Craig Wright’s speech by Yours.org user cryptomic can be read here.

“We believe it’s time for Bitcoin as an entire world and ecosystem to group up and professionalize, and that’s what we’re advocating,” Nguyen said. “And what do we mean by that? What we mean by that is a protocol that is stable.”

One of the most promising Bitcoin BCH node implementation is Bitcoin SV, a project born out of the desire to empower miners so they’ll make informed decisions about critical protocol upgrades. Contrary to widely held belief, Bitcoin SV is not a fork—it will lock the “battle-tested” Bitcoin BCH protocol in place. In turn, miners will have a choice and a voice to drive the process of restoring Bitcoin to its optimal state. That of unbounded blocks and original OP_Codes.

This November, mining nodes running Bitcoin SV will enable a short list of upgrades on the BCH network, the most important of which is increasing the default maximum block size from 32MB to 128MB.

But why is it important to scale now, and scale fast in terms of block size? After some modelling with business analysts, Nguyen said the reason is simple: There’s a direct economic need for miners.

“In two years the block reward will be split in half again to 6.25 BCH. So anyone who’s mining now will in two years receive half of what they’re receiving today. In order to maintain even current profitability, what that means is in two years they have to make up that 6.25 coins worth of value in something else, which has to come in transaction fees and which has to come in higher transaction volume,” Nguyen explained.

He added, “If we have to get anywhere near 4, 16 gigabytes in two years, we can’t wait a year from now. We have to start that process now. That’s critical because otherwise in two years mining is going to become less profitable and that threatens the whole viability and security of the network if the miners cannot make up the actual revenue they need to make up in transaction volume and fees.”

Nguyen said the advocacy to scale quickly and safely was not born out of a desire for bigger blocks.

“There is an imperative economically built into the system to do this and do it now. We want to lock the original Bitcoin protocol so that businesses can reliably build on it. Professionalize the whole process with quality assurance and security audits. Promote zero-conf security,” he said. “We want to create a pathway to rapid adoption globally, and not just for payments but by the big enterprises which will lead to the miner revenue which is critical. Unless they are being profitable and making money, miners will not continue doing this after two years, and the approach we’re advocating will also lead to premium services for them, such as data, such as this property registry type venture for which they’ll get paid more money given the data capacity needed.”

Read the full transcription of Jimmy Nguyen and Dr. Craig Wright’s speech here. Audio recordings of the two-day proceedings in Thailand are available here.

Over 200 Bitcoin BCH miners sign up ahead of SVPool’s official launch

Over 200 Bitcoin BCH miners sign up ahead of SVPool’s official launch

More than 200 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners have already pre-registered to join SVPool ahead of its launch later this month, a sign of a growing appetite in the community for ‘Satoshi Vision’ and the Miner’s Choice initiative.

At press time, some 233 miners and groups around the world have already signed up for SVPool. Majority of these registrants come from the United States, followed by Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China, India, South Korea, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, and Venezuela.

These groups are joined by miners from Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Finland, France, Iran, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Qatar, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Chile, and Colombia. Groups from Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Portugal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Swaziland, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Belgium round up the first batch of early registrants for SVPool.

A personal initiative of nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright, SVPool is a public Bitcoin BCH mining pool that will represent miners following the original Satoshi Nakamoto vision via the Bitcoin SV implementation of the BCH protocol. SVPool stands in solidarity with CoinGeek in the belief that BCH is the only true Bitcoin that fulfills the Satoshi Vision.

SVPool will have an initial Pay-per-last-N-Shares (PPLNS) offering when it goes live towards the end of September, while a Pay-per-share plus (PPS+) option will be added in November. SVPool, managed by CoinGeek Mining, will help and remunerate miners—large or small—to ensure BCH remains a truly trustless and decentralized system, in accordance with the original Nakamoto white paper.

Want to help Bitcoin BCH realize its full potential? Pre-register now for SVPool.

Bitcoin BCH – The value proposition

比特币现金——价值提议

比特币在2017年8月分裂为两条链,这是因为比特币最初的路线图被劫持,且存在着实现最初愿景的经济压力。这种经济压力不但催生了比特币以比特币现金(BCH)的形式脱胎换骨,而且也引发了多种加密货币(统称为“代币”)的价值陡增。比特币拥挤的区块链“助长”了很多代币的市值,这是难以辩驳的事实。诚然,比特币区块“变满”(从而限制比特币使用)和代币交易效用(和市值)增长这两者的时间关联性也是不可忽视的。

原始比特币并不意味着我们要删除十万行代码以回到中本聪最初发布的那三千行。重要的是设计理念,即简单的电子现金。

我说“简单”,是因为简约是一个安全稳定系统的关键所在。每个拥有多年经验的资深软件工程师都谙熟其意。当然,绝大多数安全性研究人员也非常明了这一点。复杂性不是安全性的益友。

ABC有争议的交易规范排序规则(CTO)变化,以及随后,CoinGeek和nChain旨在恢复执行中本聪原始协议而创建竞争客户的做法,造成了比特币现金生态系统的分化。

这种非中心化系统内的分化不仅是可能的,而且是必然会发生的。几乎可以肯定的是,将来还会重复很多这种性质的分化。

Bitcoin.com的首席执行官罗杰·弗尔(Roger Ver),在最近与Bitcoin Core的吉米·宋(Jimmy Song)进行的一场现场辩论中指出了这一事实。比特币现金内部的分化是一个迹象,证明了不同阵营需要竞争并投资,让他们的首选客户决定共识的规则。群龙无首,这也是争斗如此激烈的原因。有趣的是,在这场辩论中,非常自信的吉米·宋是通过读稿开始他的辩驳,但渐失阵脚,到最后开始支吾着胡言乱语。我跑题了。

不论十一月结果如何,肯定会有一个阵营胜出,而另一个阵营伤心落败。但比特币现金的发展只会继续下去。而且毫无疑问,将会有其他竞争客户在某个时候发起另一场挑战。我们称之为“竞争”客户是有原因的。在某个节点上,他们会试图对代码发起挑战。

锁定协议

CoinGeek和伙伴们已经表明他们希望“锁定协议”。这收到了毁誉参半的回应,有些是积极的,有些是粗暴的反对。我想解释此声明背后的含义和动机。

首先,让我们辟一个谣。锁定协议的意图是维护一个稳定的协议,从而不会被每个开发者随心所欲地更改。但这绝不意味着协议在任何情况下都不能更改,那样无疑是愚昧的。

哪些更改是受欢迎的?

两个词:风险和机遇。随着时间的推移,编程人员、测试人员和善意的个人很可能会找到并披露漏洞。根据问题的重要性,更改可以快速得到执行。

而另一方面,机遇需要更加严格地评估。和风险不同,机遇不会出现一颗“滴答作响的定时炸弹”,并且可以经得起相当长时间的评估、研究和测试。

从安全的角度来看,代码的稳定性是至关重要的。事实上,大量的研究已经证实了长期以来人们对复杂性与安全性下降之间关联性的疑虑。

CoinGeek并没有对协议改进的机遇关上大门,但他们深信,对于不是修复潜在漏洞的任何更改,都应当进行严格把关。这些严格把关涉及以下问题:

  • 当前的这套操作码能否实现同样理想的输出?
  • 所建议的功能是否以任何方式影响现金用况?
  • 该功能是否影响网络拓扑?
  • 该功能是否影响系统内置奖励机制?
  • 我们是否能以任何其他方式实现相似的功能?

这些是CoinGeek希望在考虑对协议进行适当更改之前能切实解决的问题。此外,在不引入任何风险的情况下还需要有实质性的益处。

为什么采取这些措施?

nChain的赖特博士(Dr Wright)关于协议需要稳定性的说法绝对不是信口雌黄。这个立场具有合理性和学术严谨性,且受到绝大多数安全性研究人员的支持。

布鲁斯·施内尔(Bruce Schneier)是一名广受尊敬的密码学家和安全研究者,曾著有大量相关论作。他总结道:“复杂性是安全的最大敌人”。

根据相关数据图表显示,一个程序越大,攻击面就越大。这其中涉及若干原因。麦凯布(McCabe)所著《越复杂=越不安全:漏掉一个测试路径你就会遭到黑客袭击(原题:More Complex = Less Secure: Miss a Test Path and You Could Get Hacked)》的学术论文中剖析了下列关键原因:

  • 复杂的系统有更多的代码行数,因此有安全漏洞。
  • 复杂的系统有更多的互动,因此有更多的安全漏洞。
  • 复杂的系统更难测试,所以更有可能存在未经测试的部分。
  • 复杂的系统更难被安全设计、安全执行、安全配置和安全使用。
  • 复杂的系统更难被用户理解。

这就是以太坊遭到了如此多黑客袭击的关键原因,从The DAO大劫案(导致当时15%的流通以太币失窃),到Parity冻结(造成五十万以太币被冻结)。以太坊当然强大……它图灵完备,让我们能够创建几乎任何链上应用,但也有诸如量测性、可用性方面的缺陷,重要地是,它安全性上的缺陷更让人担忧。

比特币有十万多行代码。相比之下,以太坊的代码超过一百万行。以太坊的错综复杂不仅在于自身结构,还源于其建立的智能合约,难怪以太坊的优势也成为了它的弱式。

施内尔在一篇题为《呼吁简化(原题:A Plea for Simplicity)》”的帖子中写道:

“我们几乎在所有的地方都看到了安全漏洞:操作系统、应用程序、网络硬件和软件,甚至安全产品本身。这是系统复杂性的直接后果。一个系统越复杂——它的选择、功能、界面和互动就越多——它分析起来就越困难。因此所有方面都变得更加复杂了:规格、设计、执行和使用。而这一切都与安全性分析息息相关。”

很多开发者忽视了测试的关键性。很多人测试各种功能,并在一系列输入中运行模拟程序。但极少有人测试每一个路径,也极少有测试者会进行二进制分析。

每个添加的虚拟码都会随着时间推移增加复杂性,但这绝不会抹杀未来改进的机会。CoinGeek也许会选择能推动比特币现金效用的深刻变革机遇。但CoinGeek和伙伴们更愿选择谨慎行事。

请允许我重申,锁定协议不等同于再也不碰协议。此外,在一个新矿工随时都可能带头行动的去中心化环境中,对协议的共识可以随时发生变化。

杀手级应用

我们很容易对最新的装置或理念感到过度兴奋和投入,因此落得只见树木却不见森林的下场。比特币是唯一基于工作量证明且规模足以实现全球应用的加密货币,而且它有着进一步全球性化的受众基础和动力。杀手级应用就是金钱,CoinGeek在努力让比特币现金不仅成为市场最占主导地位的加密货币,还要成为世界流通的全球现金。

CoinGeek寻求稳定协议的立场可能会让一些人感到不快,但这一立场是得到了研究并有一些备受尊敬的安全性研究人员支持的。比特币中本聪愿景计划复苏原始的比特币,没有封顶,并启用所有的虚拟码。这种做法不可怕,也不危险。事实上,这正是比特币最初的价值提议。CoinGeek支持这样的路线图:首先寻求恢复最初执行,然后再考虑其它更改。

我们相信,为了让比特币现金成为全球货币并让其实现全球应用,我们需要证明平台确实稳定而且企业可以“相信”协议的发展不会阻碍他们的行动。比特币有过篡改代码扼杀商业的历史。持续性很重要,稳定性也很重要,而电子货币的用况是重中之重。

Bitcoin BCH – The value proposition

Bitcoin BCH – The value proposition

To read in Chinese click here.

When Bitcoin split into two chains in August of 2017, it did so because the original roadmap for Bitcoin was hijacked, and there existed an economic pressure to see the fulfilment of the original vision. This economic pressure not only resulted in the rebirth of Bitcoin in BCH but was also the cause of the sudden increase in value among numerous cryptocurrencies, which we have collectively come to refer as “alt-coins.” The fact that BTC’s congested chain ‘helped’ the market cap of many of these alt-coins is rather difficult to dispute. Certainly, the timed correlation of events between BTC blocks ‘becoming full’ (therefore limiting BTC usage), and having transactional utility (and market cap) grow in alts cannot be overlooked.

Original Bitcoin doesn’t mean that we need to strip back a hundred thousand lines of code to go back to the original three thousand lines Satoshi had in his first release. It is the design concept. That is—simple, electronic cash.

I say simple because simplicity is a fundamental key to a secure, stable system. Every hardened software engineer with years of experience under their belt knows precisely what this means. Certainly, the vast majority of security researchers understand this. Complexity is no friend to security.

ABC’s controversial ordering change CTO, and subsequently, CoinGeek and nChain’s move to create a competing client designed to continue in the restoration of the original Satoshi implementation, have caused the Bitcoin BCH ecosystem to become divided.

Such division within a decentralized system is not only possible but bound to happen. And almost certainly, there will be many repeats of divisions of this nature.

Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com, recently pointed out this very fact during a live debate with Bitcoin Core’s Jimmy Song. The division within BCH is evidence that teams have to fight and invest to have their preferred client decide the rules of consensus. There is no leadership, and this is why the struggle is real. Amusingly in this very debate, we did see a very confident Jimmy Song who started out his debate by reading from a script, slowly become relegated into a mumbling mess by the end of it. I digress.

No matter what outcome in November, one team will get their way, and the other team, sadly, will not. But BCH development will continue. And assuredly, another challenge will come from another competing client at some point. There is a reason we call these “competing” clients. At some point, they intend to mount some challenge over the code.

Locking down the protocol

CoinGeek and friends have already stated that they wish to “lock down the protocol.” This has received some mixed, some positive, and some violent opposition. I want to address the meaning behind this statement, and the motivation.

Firstly, let’s do away with the rumours. Locking down the protocol translates to a desire for a stable protocol that does not change at the whim of every developer. It does not in any way, mean that the protocol must not change under any circumstance. Such a move would be very foolish.

So what changes are welcome?

Two words: risks & opportunities. Over time, coders, testers, and well-meaning individuals may very well find and disclose vulnerabilities. Depending on the criticality of an issue, a change may be executed rather quickly.

Opportunities on the other hand need to be evaluated more critically. Unlike risks, opportunities do not present a ‘ticking time-bomb,’ and can afford the luxury of considerable time, research and testing.

Stability of code is mightily important when dealing with security. In fact, numerous studies have already confirmed the long-suspected correlation between complexity and security reduction.

CoinGeek is not closed to protocol improving opportunities. But CoinGeek does believe in employing stringent measures on any change that is not deemed a fix to an underlying vulnerability. These stringent measures involve questions such as:

  • Can the current suite of opcodes achieve the same desired output?
  • Does the function proposed affect the cash use case in any way?
  • Does the function affect the network topology?
  • Does the function affect the inbuilt incentives of the system?
  • Can we achieve a similar function safely in any other way?

These are some of the questions that CoinGeek would like to see sufficiently addressed before considering opportune changes to protocol. Further, there needs to be a substantial benefit without introducing any risk.

Why these measures?

nChain’s Dr. Wright, stating that the protocol needs to be stable isn’t some misplaced comment. It is a sound, research-backed position that a vast majority of security researchers agree with.

Bruce Schneier, a respected cryptographer and security researcher, who’s written volumes of information on the subject, concludes: “complexity is the worst enemy of security.”

The bigger a program, the bigger the attack surface. At least, that’s how the correlated graph goes. There are a number of reasons for this. A research paper from McCabe titled “More Complex = Less Secure: Miss a Test Path and You Could Get Hacked” lists the following points as key reasons:

  • Complex systems have more lines of code and therefore security bugs.
  • Complex systems have more interactions and therefore more security bugs.
  • Complex systems are harder to test and therefore, more likely to have untested portions.
  • Complex systems are harder to design securely, implement securely, configure securely and use securely.
  • Complex systems are harder for users to understand.

This is actually a key reason why Ethereum has suffered so many hacks, from the DAO hack (which resulted in the theft of 15% of all Ether in circulation at the time) to the parity freeze which saw half a million Eth frozen. Ethereum sure is powerful… It is Turing complete, enables us to create practically any application on-chain, but also has drawbacks in scalability, usability, and importantly, security.

Bitcoin has over 100,000 lines of code. Ethereum on the other hand has well over a million lines of code. Given the complex architecture of, not just Ethereum itself, but of the smart contracts built on top of it, it is no wonder that Ethereum’s strength, is also its weakness.

In a post titled ‘A Plea for Simplicity’ Schneier once wrote:

“We’ve seen security bugs in almost everything: operating systems, applications programs, network hardware and software, and security products themselves. This is a direct result of the complexity of these systems. The more complex a system is–the more options it has, the more functionality it has, the more interfaces it has, the more interactions it has–the harder it is to analyse. Everything is more complicated: the specification, the design, the implementation, the use. And everything is relevant to security analysis.”

Many developers overlook the significant importance of testing. Many will test various functions, and run simulations across a range of inputs. Rarely is every path tested. And rarely do some testers ever even look at binary analysis.

Every opcode we add over time results in an increased complexity. This in no way shutting down future opportunities for improvement. And CoinGeek may choose to welcome profoundly opportune changes that can catapult BCH utility. But CoinGeek and friends choose to err on the side of caution.

Let it be re-stated that locking down the protocol does not equate to never touching the protocol again. Moreover, in a decentralized environment where at any point a new miner can take the lead, consensus over the protocol can change at any point.

The killer-app

It’s easy to become excited and consumed by the latest gadget or idea that we often lose sight of the forest for the trees. Bitcoin is the only Proof of Work based cryptocurrency that can scale to global adoption, and it has the community and the drive to do so. The killer-app is money, and CoinGeek seeks to propel BCH to become not only the most dominant crypto-currency in the market but also become world-wide global cash.

CoinGeek’s position on seeking a stable protocol may upset some people, but the position is backed by studies and by some of the most well-respected security researchers. Bitcoin Satoshi Vision intends to resurrect original Bitcoin, uncapped, with all opcodes enabled. This move isn’t scary, nor is it dangerous. It is in fact, the original value proposition of Bitcoin. CoinGeek supports the roadmap that first seeks to restore the original implementation first and foremost, before making considerations for other changes.

We believe that in order to become global money and see BCH reach global adoption, we need to prove that the platform is indeed stable and that businesses can ‘trust’ that protocol development will not impede their actions. BTC has a history of tampering with the code in a manner that kills business. Consistency is important, stability is important, and the electronic cash use case comes first.

Eli Afram
@justicemate

‘Satoshi Vision’ Public Mining Pool prepares for launch

‘Satoshi Vision’ Public Mining Pool prepares for launch

SVPool is almost ready for launch later this month as a brand new competitive, public BCH mining pool to represent miners following the original Satoshi Nakamoto vision via the Bitcoin SV implementation of the BCH protocol. SV Pool is a personal initiative of Dr. Craig S. Wright, one of the world’s most prominent Bitcoin scientists and thought leaders. Currently, pre-registration for SVPool is available to all Bitcoin BCH miners large or small.

The full site and SVPool will be launched towards the end of September with an initial Pay-per-last-N-Shares (PPLNS) offering, with the Pay-per-share plus (PPS+) option being added in November. BCH is the only true Bitcoin that adheres to the original Satoshi White Paper, namely, a low transaction fee, electronic cash system.

SVPool is managed by CoinGeek Mining, and stands in solidarity with Coingeek in our steadfast belief that BCH is the only true Bitcoin that fulfills the Satoshi Vision. SVPool will help, and remunerate, miners of all sizes to ensure BCH remains a truly trustless and decentralized system, again, as the original White Paper demanded.

If that’s your vision, then pre-register and let’s make BCH realise its potential.

coinex-misleading-statement-bitcoin-cash-fork

CoinEx produces a confusing and misleading statement about supposed Bitcoin Cash fork

Yesterday morning, CoinEx, a company whose CEO, Haipo Yang of ViaBTC, supports Bitmain on the ABC stance, issued the following statement concerning the Bitcoin Cash hard fork in November:

The statement has caused confusion among investors, who were otherwise led to believe by Bitcoin SV supporting teams that the competing client would not produce a split.

nChain and CoinGeek, two of the biggest mining backers of the Bitcoin SV client, categorically deny any willingness or attempt to create an alternate fork chain, and will instead be competing over Bitcoin BCH directly, by the very definition of ‘Nakamoto consensus’. That is, the consensus mechanism inherently built into Bitcoin, as referenced in the founding whitepaper.

CoinGeek has noted a number of factually incorrect statements and issues the following responses:

“Bitcoin-SV (BSV) is the altered version of Bitcoin Cash protocols.”

This point is blatantly false. CoinGeek would like to request from CoinEx, a definition of ‘Bitcoin Cash protocols’. By implying that Bitcoin SV introduces an altered set of protocols, then by definition, so does ABC with their November hard-fork. Any upgrade would be effectively doing this.

Interestingly, ABC lead dev also made a remark in similar vain, stating the following:

We are therefore led to believe the only possible explanation to this statement is that CoinEx believes that ABC holds literal ownership of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) brand.

This is not too dissimilar to a time in 2015, when Bitcoin XT, a competing client to the ‘BitcoinCore’ client was incorrectly labelled an alt-coin. Despite being an optional fork of the client with slightly different network protocols, Bitcoin XT was misleadingly branded an alt-coin on all BitcoinCore backed websites and forums. We fear the implication here is similar.

The next point on CoinEx’s statement follows on:

“BSV is likely to bring a potential fork of Bitcoin Cash by causing incompatibility with Bitcoin Cash network and therefore create a new cryptocurrency asset – Bitcoin-SV (Token: BSV)”

If Nakamoto consensus rules that Bitcoin SV is the dominant client, then there is no “incompatibility”. In fact in such a scenario, the only incompatibility will come from non Bitcoin SV compliant nodes in that case, which would mean ABC in this case.

Fundamentally it is premature to specify which client is “incompatible” and which client will be majority or minority. Nakamoto consensus determines this, not exchanges. Bitcoin is not democratic. The vote isn’t 1 vote per person, but 1 vote per CPU (hash).

In response to the statement, CEO of nChain Group, Jimmy Nguyen makes the key point that “Bitcoin SV is not intending nor trying to fork off from Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV is not intending to create a new coin or token. Instead, as stated in its announcement, Bitcoin SV is a professionally-driven implementation of the Bitcoin full node software for use on BCH, and is intended to provide a clear BCH implementation choice for miners who support Bitcoin’s original vision. Bitcoin SV intends to compete for miners’ votes (under Nakamoto consensus) to be the winning BCH chain”.

It is worth also noting, that recently, yet another team announced a new BCH implementation, like Bitcoin SV, it intends to fulfill the original Satoshi vision. This is called “Protocol Client” and its github repository can be found here:

CoinEx has made no mention of “Protocol Client” however, despite this being another client with different rules.

Eli Afram
@justicemate

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.