Lorien Gamaroff: How Bitcoin can help fix things in Africa

“We think of ourselves as an ecosystem company,” says Lorien Gamaroff, founder and CEO of Centbee, the Johannesburg-based Bitcoin wallet business. “We’ve decided to think holistically and try to tackle the end to end journey of a user where they would actually be able to acquire Bitcoin very easily and then hold it, and then, most importantly, use it.”

Centbee’s first, and most visible product, was its wallet. Then it produced a voucher system which lets people buy Bitcoin from a network of 50,000 retail outlets across South Africa. That also allows Centbee users to issue invoices and be paid by customers who visit any of those outlets — as demonstrated in a case study they filmed. Coming next will be a cross-border remittance solution, to let people send money from one country to another faster and more cheaply than with conventional methods.

Lorien says that Centbee isn’t focused on existing Bitcoin enthusiasts, especially currency speculators, but instead, “We are very interested in trying to get the world to adopt Bitcoin.” And he predicts that more and more people will recognise the efficiency of using Bitcoin — especially its speed of transaction.

“I always feel very lucky [being born in Africa] and having this wonderful opportunity to take this novel new technology and to fix the way things are.” Lorien thinks that the success of Bitcoin in Africa will act as an example to the rest of the world, which will “take note.” In Africa “I have unique opportunity,” says Lorien, “That’s why I’m so excited about Bitcoin, and always have been.”

Being brought up in Zimbabwe, with its hyper-inflation, was “what got me thinking about money in general,” Lorien says, “where it comes from and what gives it value.” And then “this idea of Bitcoin just landed in front of me, and it seemed like such a wonderful solution for a country like Zimbabwe — the idea of a sound digital money.” In comparison to the volatility of the Zimbabwe dollar, Bitcoin’s occasional ten per cent up or down in a day is nothing, Lorien jokes.

The development of Bitcoin reminds Lorien of the early days of the Internet, when he was a computer science student. Now with Bitcoin, “We have another technology; it’s in its infancy; it’s confusing to most …if it unfolds in the same way as the Internet, then there must be the possibility that it will change the world.” In relation to Africa in particular, “I don’t know how anyone can not see the opportunity there to help a huge number of people with Bitcoin.”

Although Lorien sees opportunities for Bitcoin in situations where the local currency is unstable or untrusted, it’s not the case that Bitcoin would take an anti-government or anti-state role: for one thing, its ability to integrate taxation offers capabilities that traditional currencies can’t offer. “Taxation on Bitcoin is extremely easy. If you think about a smart contract that could pay a tax, collected directly on the transaction for that good, as a sales tax, that’s a very efficient mechanism of tax collecting.” Maybe one day, tax authorities will actually require businesses and individuals to pay tax using smart contracts, Lorien suggests.

It’s Lorien’s perspective as an African entrepreneur that gives Centbee its distinctive culture, with ambitions to build from its current staff of ten to becoming a big player in the future, combined with an awareness of a bigger social mission:

“In Africa, poverty is everywhere, it’s all around you. It’s impossible to ignore it. It makes you a lot more grateful for what you have.” Lorien hopes that Centbee will, in its own way, both change Africa and change ideas about Bitcoin: “I don’t want people to look at this as something that is only for speculating on or money-laundering. I want people to see how good it is — and that’s what’s driven me for years.”

Hear the full interview with Lorien Gamaroff on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 28 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Bitcoin’s scaling will create a global payment system: Jimmy Nguyen

It’s been over a decade since Bitcoin launched with the vision of a global peer-to-peer electronic cash system. However, ten years later, Bitcoin is yet to wage serious competition against the very systems it was invented to compete against. This has been mainly because the developers behind SegWitCoin (BTC) have failed to enable significant scaling of any kind, leading to slow and expensive transactions. As Jimmy Nguyen, the Founding President of the Bitcoin Association explained in a recent post on Payments Journal, Bitcoin SV (BSV) is addressing these challenges and creating the fastest and most cost-effective global payments system.

When Dr. Craig Wright launched Bitcoin a decade ago, he envisioned a network that had no restrictions in regards to the number of transactions it could process. Dr. Wright, better known in the crypto universe as Satoshi Nakamoto, wrote, “The existing Visa credit card network processes about 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. Bitcoin can already scale much larger than that with existing hardware for a fraction of the cost. It never really hits a scale ceiling.”

However, his vision failed to materialize after the block size was capped at 1MB early on in Bitcoin’s journey to protect the network from attack. While the capping was supposed to be temporary, BTC developers have failed to increase the block size as the number of users has increased.

The result has been very slow transactions, failing to compete with other centralized payment systems such as Visa. For instance, Visa processes 2,000 transactions per second on average while BTC can only perform an average of three transactions per second. The charges are also quite high, hitting $40 in January 2018 and currently standing at $4.

This all changed in November 2018 when BSV emerged to fulfill Satoshi’s original vision. BSV began with a larger block cap than BTC at 128MB. However, the team behind BSV didn’t stop there and with the recent Quasar protocol upgrade this month, the maximum block size has hit 2GB. And even this isn’t the ultimate goal, with BSV developers planning to remove the block cap entirely. Nguyen revealed:

In fact, one of the leading BSV development teams (nChain) is working toward terabyte size blocks (1 million megabytes!) to process billions of transactions per block and 4 million transactions per second. That future means BSV can be the world’s public data ledger, recording payments and all kinds of other enterprise data transactions.

BSV is a godsend for the payments industry, with charges being lower than 1 cent. Popular payment card systems charge as high as 3% per transaction. BSV will also revolutionize the cross border payments industry. Its global nature will ensure that no matter what part of the world you hail from, transferring value will be as easy as sending a message.

For merchants, speed is of the essence and BSV has solved this challenge. Transactions can be confirmed instantaneously and with the immutable nature of the BSV blockchain, they can’t be reversed. As Nguyen revealed, BSV development teams are also working on “solutions for safe instant transactions, so merchants feel comfortable accepting payments even before they are confirmed on the blockchain.”

He concluded, “Over 10 years since the birth of Bitcoin, it is time to fully realize the vision for a new electronic cash system. That requires big blocks to create a big global payment network. This “Satoshi Vision” will only happen on Bitcoin SV.”

Dr. Craig Wright talks to Bitcoin and Beyond on Bitcoin’s history

Following the momentous Quasar protocol upgrade, Bitcoin is closer to Dr. Craig Wright’s vision than it has been in years. The man behind Satoshi marked the occasion by sitting down for a chat with YouTube channel Bitcoin and Beyond, discussing a range of topics including the upgrade, Bitcoin’s purpose, and some of his detractors.

After introductions were out of the way, Connor Murray wanted to dig into some classic Satoshi quotes with Dr. Wright, beginning with how Bitcoin protects the value of currency better than fiat. Wright explained with a history lesson how countries like Spain have devalued wealth through gold rushes and issuing more fiat through central banks, two issues that simply aren’t problems with Bitcoin.

Next they moved into why Bitcoin is superior to Ethereum. “They never took the time to actually work out how Bitcoin actually works,” he declared. “Why it scales, they ignored my initial quotes. They have this idea that everyone should run a node, and they want to make something along those lines. It’s the opposite of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a capitalist system, they want to make a socialist system. They’ll call it anarchist, but the reality is if everyone is equal, it’s Marxist, and it is purely, exactly, communist.”

Next they touched on SegWitCoin (BTC), and how it hijacked the original idea of Bitcoin and took out the concepts that Wright originally envisioned. Quite simply, they needed Bitcoin to work for dark websites and for criminal transactions. Because Wright put in an honest, transparent system of peer to peer money, they needed to remove the tools that could be used to put them in jail.

Dr. Wright had to be careful with his words throughout the interview, as many of the rivals he’d like to discuss might be involved in lawsuits Wright is already pursuing. Quite simply though, those that are defending the system BTC has pursued need a currency to continue their criminal empires with. As Liberty Reserve proved, Dr. Wright points out, when the world discovers what they’re doing, their empire will fall quickly, as in that case, 42 countries turned on it very quickly and shut it down. 

The interview covers lots of ground about Dr. Wright’s earlier days, before Bitcoin and then shortly after its creation. He tells stories about his time with the Australia Stock Exchange, his time in the gambling industry, and his many battles to keep Bitcoin in his original vision.

The conversation then shifts to a look back at a Satoshi quote regarding the multiple uses Bitcoin could eventually adopt, exactly what it’s doing now with Bitcoin SV (BSV). That’s not what developers of BTC have pursued, with block sizes specifically kept smaller to keep users more anonymous, Wright points out.

As Wright concludes, now that the Quasar protocol upgrade has successfully pushed through, Bitcoin is realizing its dream of scaling to the needs of the world. It’s achieving the purpose it was originally designed for, specifically meeting the needs of the 99.9% of people in the world who need it for legitimate purposes, like those he recently visited in Bogota. He’s uplifted by the work of companies like Centbee who are helping to bank the unbanked. Speaking specifically about the path to Genesis, Wright concludes:

We’re going to get bigger. We’re going to build more. We’re going to let people come up with anything they want. 

Joshua Henslee: Making Bitcoin SV the choice for business

Persuading businesses to put their data on a public blockchain shouldn’t be a big deal, says Joshua Henslee. After all, it’s not long since they overcame their objections to storing their data on cloud servers instead of locally on their own computers.

Joshua is an IT professional from California who mostly works with Microsoft products. He believes the future for his clients, and for his own success as a consultant, lies with blockchain solutions using Bitcoin SV (BSV).

Joshua’s nightmare would be persuading a client to adopt a blockchain solution and then finding there were problems because there were too many transactions to process or fees rose: “That would be catastrophic.” But he is confident that BSV is now capable of providing the kind of service that he’d be happy to recommend to his clients: “I do think that we have the technology, with the recent developments over the past four or five months on the BSV chain.”

While private blockchains may sound appealing to cautious businesses, Joshua believes they’re not worth investing in. They’re effectively adding IT resources to business costs, whereas a public blockchain like BSV could produce savings throughout the business: “You’ll be able to streamline business processes such that you’ll have cost savings elsewhere. So even though you’re adding a tiny bit of cost, you’ll more than recoup that and have gains in other parts of your system — financial, supply chain, communication with vendors.”

With IBM, Microsoft, and now Amazon, all announcing their own blockchain products, “If BSV does start making moves, [the tech giants] will be victims unless they adapt and start to use it …It’s going to depend on how quickly they adjust.”

Out of all the possible public blockchains, Joshua believes that BSV has some unbeatable advantages: “One is the Metanet concept — the idea of putting data on chain and having users take control of their data. To me, it’s an upgrade on the way the Internet works today. It just makes sense.”

The BSV ecosystem is growing spectacularly, with new tools to help developers, especially those created by the anonymous and prolific inventor, Unwriter.“Unwriter’s tools have taken people’s excuses away,” says Joshua. “Even at the conference in November [2018], I was complaining that we don’t have tools to do some of this stuff …Ever since new year, all this stuff came out — it just makes it easy, so now all these ideas that people have can be implemented.”

In the immediate future, Joshua is trying to persuade his colleagues to take a serious look at BSV: “My goal is to demonstrate to my company how Bitcoin can be used, integrating with systems in a way that streamlines business processes and overtly reduces costs.”

Hear the full interview with Joshua Henslee on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 29 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Calvin Ayre: Bitcoin scaling is always important

Calvin Ayre, founder of CoinGeek and Bitcoin ambassador to the world, has seen the potential of Bitcoin for many years now. Thanks to its return to its original protocol, and a focus on massive scaling, that potential is now becoming a reality. He joined CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero at the CoinGeek Toronto 2019 scaling conference to talk about the great achievements he’s now witnessing.

As he’s previously made clear, scaling is the focus of Bitcoin in 2019, and it’s achieving it in spades, with the Quasar protocol upgrade increasing maximum block sizes to 2GB. “I want to quote Dr. Craig ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ Wright. ‘Scaling solves all problems,’” he told Liggero. “But scaling isn’t important only right now, scaling is always important. But if you look at it from a perspective of whether scaling is important now versus later, of course, sooner is better. But the reality is that scaling solves all problems. Craig said it could scale, Craig said Bitcoin, as originally invented by him, was born to scale. They said it couldn’t be done, and now we’ve proven it. And I think that’s what’s creating all the excitement.”

Dr. Wright has been steadily working to prove he’s the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and he’s proving that fact to new people every day, but more still needs to be done. “I think there’s people out there that still don’t feel that it’s been proven to them, but he’s proven it to me, multiple ways, multiple times over the last few years,” Ayre said. He added:

So, I’ve been saying that he’s proven it to me. What’s happening is more people are feeling that he’s crossed the proof threshold. But ultimately, the only way to really prove it, and will be accepted by all the people that matter in the world, and I’m not talking about the trolls, they actually do no matter, but all the people that matter are waiting for him to prove it in front of a respect arbitrator. And that’s why he’s attempting to get his facts into court, and letting a judge review them because the judge is going to come to the same determination as I did when you review all the material, which I have done.

Dr. Wright’s commitment to restore the original Bitcoin, now represented by Bitcoin SV (BSV) promises to provide real utility in peer to peer money and data ledgers. Unfortunately, some still fail to understand what Bitcoin was always meant to be. “Why is it so hard to understand?” Ayre asked. “I mean, people are out there saying that Bitcoin SV is not the original protocol, but in fact, it is. It’s the one that follows the white paper exactly. It’s Craig getting a branch of the original Bitcoin blockchain to go back and conform to the original white paper.”

That original vision of Bitcoin is now proving to be quite potent, and it’s a credit to Dr. Wright’s original work on the Bitcoin whitepaper. “What an amazing testament to how brilliant Dr. Wright is that people said that things couldn’t scale, they hadn’t figured the technology out, and all you had to do is go back to the original one that he invented ten years ago, and all of a sudden it works,” Ayre remarked.

Bitcoin has made a remarkable recovery because of this return to form, and CoinGeek Toronto 2019 was a celebration of unleashing the power of BSV. While Ayre himself is a huge reason for the conference being a huge success, many people contributed to the event that would give a voice to the real supporters of Bitcoin. “Because of the way the trolls have taken over the narrative online, it was important to create a parallel universe of people who wanted to focus on the technology,” he said. “And that’s what we’ve created here. And this is developers day, tomorrow is the main conference day. This conference revolved around the world, it will be in Seoul next, it was in London previously, Hong Kong before that.”

Thanks to CoinGeek conferences, the people who really matter can learn about and work on Bitcoin, and build something useful for the world. “This is an event for people to get together and talk about the technology, and what you can actually do with it,” he noted. “Applications that can be built on top of it. This isn’t about talking about the nonsense of speculating on tokens that have absolutely no reason to exist. This is about real technology that can solve real problems for people and hopefully, improve the lives of people.”

Steve Shadders: Bitcoin’s Quasar upgrade to return power to miners

The Quasar protocol upgrade is set to unleash new limits for the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain on July 24, increasing the maximum Bitcoin block size to 2GB. To explain the ramifications of this update, Steve Shadders, Technical Director of nChain, joined CoinGeek.com’s Becky Liggero. 

An important thing to recognize with Quasar is that it is an important step in Bitcoin’s path to returning to its original vision and protocol. “It’s kind of a preparation for the Genesis upgrade next year, so the key change in this particular protocol upgrade is a change in the default block size,” he said. “The default is being raised from 128MB to 2GB. Miners, however, are intending to manually set the limits, their own hard caps, to 512MB.”

Liggero asked why miners would opt to set a lower maximum cap limit on their blocks. “Simply because it allows the miners flexibility to exercise the governance role that they’re supposed to play in the Bitcoin block size,” Shadders replied. “The instances of Bitcoin SV that are not actually involved in mining, we refer to them as blockchainers, because they don’t actually write the blockchain, they don’t really have any influence over the maximum size of blocks that are being mined, but they still have this limit in place temporarily, for another six months or so, that governs what they will accept.”

Allowing the miners, rather than developers, to indicate their block size preferences is part of what Satoshi Nakamoto originally envisioned. “It allows the miners flexibility to raise their limit later on from 512MB to 1GB, or 1.5GB, or any number in between, and all of the other listening nodes are going to accept those blocks,” Shadders explained. “So it’s very important, I think, from a cultural perspective in Bitcoin because what we’re trying to do is shift the responsibility for block size governance away from developers and put it into the hands of miners.”

As Bitcoin moves towards its Genesis upgrade, Quasar will help miners re-learn the skills they need for the ecosystem. “So there will be two potential consequences of this,” Shadders offered. “The first I mentioned before which is the miners beginning to take a very active role in choosing the maximum block sizes they accept. But also, as miners start to do that, until they get kind of into the perfect sync on the next number up, what we will start to see is more orphans on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

Orphan blocks have been a bit of as sticking point, as the cryptocurrency world has come to assume that they indicate a problem; but that’s simply not true. “This has been something that’s traditionally been considered to be a bad thing in the history of Bitcoin, but it’s a bit of a misunderstanding because the simple fact that orphans can occur is actually a part of the core design,” he explained. “It’s the disincentive for Miners not to be in sync with other miners, it’s the disincentive for them to be recalcitrant about upgrading their hardware, their capacity, etc. So the whole ecosystem needs to kind of start getting used to the fact that this is a normal part of Bitcoin life.”

The important thing to not forget though is the new capabilities Quasar will unleash for Bitcoin. “We’ve taken away all the barriers to potentially being able to break the 1GB block limit,” Shadders said. “We’ve already seen blocks greater than one gigabyte. That’s a huge milestone because it’s a thousand times the limit that the other Bitcoins are working with. And it really shows that Bitcoin can actually scale.”

That ability to scale the blockchain, and become the public data ledger that big enterprises need to evolve their business models, will be a game changer, and what Bitcoin was always meant to do. “I think big data transactions we’re always meant to be part of the way that Bitcoin works,” Shadders concluded. “Satoshi’s original design allowed for 4GB transaction, a single transaction, not even a block. So being able to handle that kind of scale, volume of data, is just one of the requirements of Bitcoin.”

Osmin Callis: How nChain can promote global trade with Bitcoin SV

nChain is the London-based research powerhouse behind Bitcoin SV (BSV). Its mission is to “ignite global adoption and enterprise-level usage of Bitcoin.” To make that happen, nChain has set up a professional services unit to reach out to businesses and encourage them to design and implement blockchain projects, with Osmin Callis as its Business Development Manager.

While the company’s engineering team are responsible for developing the node software for BSV and the additional components that would allow businesses to connect to its blockchain, the research department develops nChain’s intellectual property portfolio—which is probably the largest in the world for open blockchain, Osmin says.

Then Osmin’s professional services team take the research output to work with businesses, commercialising the company’s intellectual property portfolio. “We have this treasure trove of ideas, of possible future applications,” Osmin says, “Things which are disruptive, which change the way we understand areas of technology that we take for granted today.”

When working with businesses, Osmin says, they have learnt to go easy on the tech discussions: “Experience has shown us that it’s of less value to talk about some of the more granular features of the technology in front of someone’s who’s responsible for making business decisions. It’s really about making sure the message fits the audience.”

Osmin says that nChain is in it for “the long game” and so while a meeting may not immediately result in a project, “Hopefully it’s contributed to the betterment of the ecosystem. If we’re too aggressive in trying to capture market share, it’s not necessarily to the benefit of all.”

One piece of conventional wisdom that nChain fights against it the idea that private blockchains are appropriate for enterprise while public blockchains are best for government or other entities. But “it’s really not as straightforward as that,” Osmin says. nChain believes BSV is always the best solution and the idea that enterprises can take “baby steps” by embarking on a private blockchain project may prove to be a waste of time and money. “In the long term, we know we’re all going to end up connecting on the same medium—the same blockchain.”

One advantage for a business of moving straight to the public blockchain is that if it wants to move from data to payments, then the currency aspect is already built into BSV, instead of having to be “bolted on” to a private blockchain.

In the immediate future, Osmin’s team is focussing on two sectors: financial services and online gaming—whether gambling or platform games. In financial services, “we’ve been getting a lot of interest from central banks” in Europe and West Africa. Some of these have “expressed a significant interest in the possibility of creating their own digital currency, using a base currency such as Bitcoin SV.” With a system utilising their own protocol on BSV, a bank would be able to control the money supply “in exactly the same way as they would do today.”

If this all goes according to plan, nChain will be contributing to fostering and promoting global trade. “The ramifications …are many and varied and I think it’s exciting because we have yet to discover what all of those things will be and what it’ll bring.”

Hear the full interview with Osmin Callis on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 28 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Media spins Bitcoin mining story to suit their own agenda

Cryptocurrency mining is under attack once again by the media, this time thanks to a scandalous comparison. The University of Cambridge has developed a tool that shows the annual energy used by SegWitCoin (BTC) mining, and it reveals a lot of interesting insights into how the mining industry works, and how wasteful the world is with energy in many ways.

The media response has universally focused on one comparison though: BTC mining consumes more power than Switzerland. That’s certainly the angle the BBC took, and they used a lot of ink to spin this fact into a tirade against the mining industry.

While the tool’s co-creator, Michael Rauchs, clearly told the BBC that they were simply providing data for the world to take its own conclusions from, the media giant specifically chose to go to an expert that would spin this information to make crypto mining look wasteful. Alex de Vries, an accountant from PwC, was quoted by the BBC to show exactly how impotent BTC is.

In their summary of de Vries comments, BTC is shown to process fewer than 100 million transactions per year, insignificant against the world’s 500 billion and growing transactions through traditional financial institutions. He states that BTC uses more energy per transaction thank banks do.

Finally, the article also cites CO2 usage from BTC equaling that of Kansas City, the 38th largest city in the United States.

Now many of these facts can be true about BTC, which has now real use and is used as a store of value by those who are OK with the fact that it’s no longer the real Bitcoin. However, the basic facts about the mining industry, and the potential of the real Bitcoin, now represented by Bitcoin SV (BSV), are very misleading.

For starters, while BTC is incapable of the scaling necessary to make it a useful asset, BSV scales massively, with 128MB blocks already mined on the mainnet, 1.4GB blocks on the scaling test network (STN) and plans for unlimited scaling in the future.

With that scalability, BSV is not only prepared to scale to handle all the transactions of the world, it’s also capable of supporting the Metanet, the data carrier network of the future. By allowing enterprises to use the Bitcoin blockchain as a data tool, and not just a transaction ledger, BSV is providing a utility that will far outweigh its energy costs.

Even then, the energy consumption of mining is easy to exaggerate if you don’t compare it to the comparative consumption of traditional fiat financial industries. A 2017 Bloomberg article titled “No, Bitcoin Won’t Boil The Oceans” covers this well. At the time, crypto mining was estimated to consume 8.27TW per year, much less than the 59.19TW Cambridge says it does now. Elaine Ou wrote:

“That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually less than an eighth of what U.S. data centers use, 1 and only about 0.21 percent of total U.S. consumption. It also compares favorably to the currencies and commodities that bitcoin could help replace: Global production of cash and coins consumes an estimated 11 terawatt-hours per year, while gold mining burns the equivalent of 132 terawatt-hours.”

While that’s already a compelling argument that mining is relatively innocent when compared against the power consumption of fiat and gold, it doesn’t even take into account that of the 59.19TW Cambridge estimates is consumed now, the majority of that is spent on mining useless BTC and criminal dark coins. Take that consumption out, and it’s sure to look much more innocent.

Add to that several facts that BBC flat out ignores. While the world struggles with how to fight climate change, Bitcoin mining companies like Squire have helped push the growth of the renewable energy sector.

Even by Cambridge’s data, the first number on the page is mining energy production versus consumption against the world’s total figures. Mining represents 0.24% of the total production versus 0.27% of the consumption, and that’s a gap that’s likely to shrink and flip over time.

It also shows that Americans absolutely waste four times more energy than the total consumption of mining on a yearly basis, indicating that there are bigger fish to fry.

Mainstream media outlets could be forgiven for not being waist-deep in mining knowledge, and not having the knowledge to know how BSV will change the world, or how Bitcoin mining is actually making a positive difference to the world. However, when they willfully ignore data from their own sources to spin the story they want to tell, and bring in experts to back up that story, they shameful misrepresent the truth, and that’s not OK.

Dr. Craig Wright, Jimmy Nguyen deliver Bitcoin’s truth at Oxford Union

Dr. Craig Wright, Jimmy Nguyen deliver Bitcoin’s truth at Oxford Union

The Oxford Union Society recently delved into a discussion about truth—the truth of Bitcoin, in particular.

Founding President of the Bitcoin Association Jimmy Nguyen and nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright, the creator of Bitcoin and the man behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, took the Oxford Union podium to talk about Bitcoin—Bitcoin SV in particular—and answer questions from the audience.

In his opening speech (0:42), Nguyen said, “In reality, Bitcoin is really about truth, and it’s not something people really think about, so I want to explain to you three things today: why Bitcoin was born for truth, how Bitcoin’s history has devolved from that truth to things that you probably don’t realize, and finally, how we, with Craig and our team at nChain and many partners around the world, are trying to bring back truth to Bitcoin in the form of Bitcoin SV and it’s true Satoshi Vision.”

“There’s far too many blockchain projects in the world. There’s far too many cryptocurrencies. Just like the world operates on a single, global, public internet, our vision is the world operates on a single, global, public ledger where the truth of information, title changing of property from one hand to another, the custody of goods and supply chain management is all tracked out in the open on a single source of truth, which is the Bitcoin blockchain ledger,” Nguyen added. (7:09)

Watch how it all went down:

Jack Liu: Just by living, you’re going to be making Bitcoin transactions

Jack Liu: Just by living, you’re going to be making Bitcoin transactions

“Three is kind of a lucky number,” says Jack Liu, “you’re not really going to get a fourth chance, fifth chance, a sixth chance—so I look at it as like this is all or nothing.”

Hong Kong-based entrepreneur Jack Liu sees the opportunities offered by Bitcoin SV (BSV) today as being the third and final chance to realise the potential he’s always seen for cryptocurrency.

After the decision was made, years ago, not to scale Bitcoin (BTC) and then the problems with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that followed, Jack is now pinning his hopes on BSV. But to work, he says, reliable revenue streams must be developed for BSV—and fast.

“I think as much as today we sit here with amazing optimism for BSV, if we cannot get BSV adopted on a transaction level, you’re going to see divisions again within BSV. So you’ve got to get transactions going as soon as possible—and that’s where the urgency comes from.”

To that end, Jack and his team—formed since he left Circle just a couple of months ago—have already released two products, FloatSV, an exchange, and RelayX, a ‘superwallet’ that connects BSV with existing payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat.

Jack’s concern is that transactions must sustain the network of BSV miners by providing them with micropayments. The danger is that the rival version of Bitcoin, BTC, is used purely as a store of value: “The great thing that banks would love to see is if they can make Bitcoin merely ‘digital gold’—they would love that because it would not alter the world that we live in …which is really not that interesting at all. If that was what you told me Bitcoin was going to be, I would never have joined this industry.”

Instead, Jack’s vision is to have BSV playing a part in every aspect of our lives, with micropayments being sent and received between people all the time—during work, rest and play: “I think in the future, if someone notices that you haven’t made a hundred transactions in a day, they might call the police and look for you—because just by living, you’re going to be making transactions.”

Although we may find ourselves making micropayments for things we now think of as free, Jack says that on the other side of the equation, “You probably will have hundreds more income streams daily.” But that doesn’t mean they’re all going to be big money-makers: “I mean income streams as in maybe you open a door for someone and they tip you one cent.”

But small payments made to people in developing countries for providing casual digital services, for instance, could make a big difference in those economies. The aim, Jack says, is for people to be able to start using RelayX with no BSV or fiat money. Instead, they would earn money through the app, and it would get into circulation that way.

BSV is uniquely able to make this possible because its rivals “never had the vision that Satoshi did for the entire system.” Instead, they’re marketing individual use cases, which, when the market changes, will have to pivot: “they’re kind of opportunistic blockchains” whose protocol will inevitably change, making them unsuitable for established businesses to build on.

Hear the full interview with Jack Liu on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is episode 19 of a weekly podcast series. Just search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe on iTunes, listen on Spotify or visit the CoinGeek Conversations website.

Dr. Craig Wright takes on the lie of unregulated crypto

Dr. Craig Wright takes on the lie of unregulated crypto

Many of the basic aspects of the alt-coin world, accepted by many to be the future of digital currency, are in fact based in criminality. Dr. Craig Wright explores how pervasive this rot is in his latest article, “MSBs and Account-Based Systems.

He begins exploring the basic natures of several cryptocurrencies and concepts, and breaking down how, even if their proponents don’t want to admit it, the law applies to them as they meet the definition of a money service business (MSB.) He writes:

“Monero and mixed coins (such as those using Schnorr) are engaged in the activity of money transfers and money handling… Every node and every software wallet engaged in mixing would need to fulfil the obligations that apply to a money transmitter…Peer-to-peer exchange is covered under the anti-money laundering (AML) rules.

“A money transmitter is any person engaged in the transfer of funds — any funds, including cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. If you are running a Lightning node, you are acting as a money transmitter. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like it. The law doesn’t care.”

This uncomfortable truth is something many in the industry don’t want to fess up to, as it would destroy their business models and wreck their prospects of bringing in money from more uninformed but idealistic investors. He adds, “The problem with the so-called “experts” is that they have no expertise. They seek to create a narrative and change reality such that it aligns with their beliefs, and believe that doing so will make them experts.”

The ideology they cater is the libertarian, anarchistic view that money should be divorced from government. Currencies like Monero specifically offer anonymity to attract this audience, and then end up being the tools of criminals. This is a dead-end trap, he notes:

“The error people make is that they think a cryptocurrency is inherently valuable because it can get around law. It cannot. The unfortunate aspect here for many investors is that they will wake up one day and find their holdings worth nothing.”

Bitcoin wasn’t made to be a method to escape the government’s reach, but as a method to keep all parties accountable via the blockchain. “I created Bitcoin to trump the anarchist ideas of money that could not be controlled and that acted outside of all regulatory controls,” he writes. “I created Bitcoin as an immutable evidence trail that is pseudonymous and cannot be made legitimately anonymous and continue to work.”

Those who praise the supposed anonymous features of cryptocurrencies, and doubt the government’s that want to crack down on them, notably John McAfee, are trying to create a system of lawlessness. That’s simply not a system in which a society can continue to build, or in which legitimate businesses can invest in.

Steve Shadders on his belief in Dr. Craig Wright as Satoshi

Steve Shadders on his belief in Dr. Craig Wright as Satoshi

Dr. Craig Wright has already told the world several times, and in several ways, that he is the creator of Bitcoin and the man behind Satoshi Nakamoto, but skeptics demand to see more proof. Steve Shadders, Bitcoin SV’s (BSV) technical director, has had the opportunity to see more proof than most, and took to Yours.org to talk about his feelings on the matter in his post, “On the Satoshiness of Dr Craig S Wright.”

In a beautifully written piece, Shadders notes that he chose to work with Dr. Wright without knowing the truth of if he really was Satoshi. He admired the man for who he is now, and the lessons he could share.

At this point, Shadders has come to accept that Dr. Wright was indeed Satoshi. Dr. Wright didn’t have to show him indisputable proof for that to be his conclusions, although it was offered on multiple occasions. He could probably ask at any time, and because they are friends, Dr. Wright would show him whatever proof he asked for.

He accepts the fact that Wright is Satoshi because of the immense knowledge and vision he shows for Bitcoin. The sacrifices he’s made, and the work he’s put into creating Bitcoin, are evident even on a cursory examination of his story.

Shadders reasons for not demanding to see proof are simple, but profound. The myth of Satoshi might have inspired the public to embrace Bitcoin, but the reality of who Dr. Craig Wright is, then and now, is even more impressive. Shadders concludes:

“Craig Wright has sacrificed so much more than a mere indulgence to bring Bitcoin to the world and I can never hope to match that. But I can at least give him my trust. It is the very very least I can do.”

As noted above, the entire piece is a touching testimony for why Shadders puts his faith in Wright. We really recommend you go over and read it in full to understand why, in Shadders eyes, Craig Wright has become a more important force for Bitcoin than Satoshi ever war.