Brendan Lee: Building the knowledge base for Bitcoin

Brendan Lee is gathering together the collective wisdom around Bitcoin SV (BSV) and making it digestible for developers – both for newbies and for the battle-hardened. “I wanted to take my knowledge of Bitcoin and get it out to as many people as possible,” he says.

BSV is still less than a year old, since its fork from Bitcoin Cash, so it’s surprising how much there is to learn and to impart. But at the CambrianSV Bootcamp in Bali recently, Brendan, the new Training and Development Manager for the Bitcoin Association, demonstrated the fruits of his studies in a series of well-received seminars for the 30 or so developers who were attending.

He’s also taken on a second new job, as Head of Technology for Faiā, a management consultancy that works with companies who may be taking an interest in the potential of Bitcoin for the first time. For complete newcomers, Brendan admits there are often some prejudices to overcome. The “civil war” in Bitcoin is “very hard to explain to people”. But “as soon as you start talking about an honest money system, that’s transparent, where transactions are instant and extremely cheap …people actually hear that and they go ‘wow, I want to learn more’.”

One example of a consultancy project that makes use of Bitcoin is the development of a system to allow the automatic payment of royalties to an artist by an end consumer – making use of Bitcoin’s ability to pay out to multiple parties from a single transaction: “the fan pays the artist directly”.

In his work for the Bitcoin Association, Brendan says that what’s being built today still needs to achieve “feature parity” with existing applications on the Internet. “But once we get to the point that they do achieve feature parity, and start executing features that are in addition to what’s already available, we will see a moment where people start sitting up and listening” because they’ll have learnt that “if you use this application on Bitcoin, you can earn money really quickly”.

Brendan admits that there isn’t yet a defined body of knowledge around Bitcoin SV. In preparing his sessions for the Bali Bootcamp, he’s been “scouring the Internet” and talking to researchers at nChain to make sure that “my ideas and understanding of things is correct”. The result of the work will be a series of educational resources that the Bitcoin Association will release “so that people who are new to Bitcoin can come in and learn about these concepts – a lot of which are extremely important to understand if you are looking to build an application that works on top of Bitcoin”.

But Brendan is making no claims to be the final authority on the matters he’s teaching: “I’m working this out as I go along, and I have learnt so much in the process of putting these lectures together. What I’m really hoping for is that at some point someone comes to me and says ‘hey, I was thinking about what you said but here’s an even better way to do it’. That to me says that I’ve hit the right notes, I’ve got the creative juices flowing.”

Hear more from Brendan Lee in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is the fourth episode of the podcast’s second season. If you’re new to it, there are 30 episodes from season one to catch up on.

Here’s how to find them:

– Search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts
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Bitcoin Association sponsors Cambridge University Metanet Society to advance internet future on Bitcoin SV

Bitcoin Association announces its title sponsorship of the Cambridge University Metanet Society for the 2019-2020 academic year to support study and development of Bitcoin SV. The Society will use the financial support to conduct events that educate and promote the powerful capabilities of the BSV protocol, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Association is the global industry organization for the business of Bitcoin. It supports Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) as the only cryptocurrency with a blockchain that significantly scales (now), has robust utility (now), and is committed to a set-in-stone protocol for developers to build enterprise-level applications (now). BSV is also the only project that adheres to the original design of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. In short, BSV is Bitcoin.

Founded by Robin Kohze, a Cambridge genetics PhD student, the Cambridge University Metanet Society recognizes that the Bitcoin protocol has more to offer than just a decentralized cryptocurrency. The Society draws its name from the “Metanet” project designed by Dr. Craig S. Wright – Chief Scientist of nChain, the leading blockchain advisory, research and development firm with an office in London. The Metanet is a global protocol and framework for structuring and facilitating an Internet that operates on the Bitcoin blockchain. It combines Bitcoin’s dual capabilities to send financial payments and transmit data simultaneously in the same native transaction. The Metanet can create a better, more commercial Internet where all user activity and data has value to users. It is only possible on the Bitcoin SV blockchain, due to its massive scaling capability.

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Kohze recently took 2nd place at Bitcoin’s Association’s second BSV Hackathon, with final judging at the CoinGeek Seoul conference in South Korea. His project “Hive” drew upon his genetics background; it creates a “beehive” that connects information added by individuals around the world. Every content node containing the information needs one or more linked nodes and for every link to a node, it has a dynamic cost. The users are notified when new content is added, and the information is fetched directly from the BSV blockchain. 

The Cambridge University Metanet Society advances study toward achieving Metanet projects on BSV. It hosts weekly meetups and programs on the Cambridge University campus for students and thought leaders to hear speakers, debates and tutorials.  

As President of the Cambridge University Metanet Society, Robin Kohze remarks: “Cambridge is traditionally a place to bring the bright and creative together to exploring daring ideas and challenge the status quo. We thank Bitcoin Association for its financial support, enabling us to host 22 events this academic year to teach and support a new generation of Bitcoin developers that focus on real world utility applications.”

The first event under the sponsorship will be the evening of October 17, with featured speakers Dr. Craig Wright and Jimmy Nguyen, President of Bitcoin Association.

Nguyen comments: “As Bitcoin’s true power is finally being unlocked on Bitcoin SV, we are thrilled to support bright, daring minds at Cambridge University learn how to build the Metanet.  Their work will contribute to a future Internet that truly rewards users for their data, creates monetary value in user online activity, and incentivizes higher quality content – all only possible on BSV.”

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Register to attend the Metanet Society: The Bitcoin Vision event, organized by Cambridge University Metanet Society, here

BITCOIN ASSOCIATION СТАНОВИТСЯ СПОНСОРОМ CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY METANET SOCIETY ДЛЯ ПРОДВИЖЕНИЯ ИНТЕРНЕТА БУДУЩЕГО НА ОСНОВЕ BITCOIN SV

Bitcoin Association объявляет, что становится генеральным спонсором сообщества Metanet Society при Кембриджском университете на 2019-2020 академический год с целью поддержки изучения и развития Bitcoin SV. Metanet Society будет использовать данную финансовую поддержку для проведения мероприятий по продвижению и распространению информации о возможностях протокола BSV, блокчейна и криптовалюты.

Bitcoin Association — это глобальная отраслевая организация для биткоин-бизнеса. Ассоциация поддерживает Bitcoin Satoshi Vision BSV как единственную криптовалюту с блокчейном, который уже сейчас обеспечивает эффективное масштабирование, имеет многочисленные способы практического применения и нацелен на создание надежного и стабильного протокола для нужд разработчиков приложений корпоративного уровня. Кроме того, BSV — это единственный проект, который следует оригинальной концепции создателя Bitcoin Сатоши Накамото. Другими словами, BSV — это и есть биткоин.

Сообщество Cambridge University Metanet Society, основанное аспирантом факультета генетики Кембриджского университета Робином Козе (Robin Kohze), признает, что протокол Bitcoin может предложить намного больше, чем просто децентрализованную криптовалюту. Название сообщества содержит отсылку к проекту Metanet, который был создан д-ром Крейгом С. Райтом — главным научным сотрудником nChain. Это ведущая компания, занимающаяся консалтингом, исследованиями и разработкой в сфере блокчейн, офис которой находится в Лондоне. Metanet — это глобальный протокол и основа для структурирования и обеспечения функционирования интернета, работающего на основе блокчейна Bitcoin. Он сочетает двойную функциональность Bitcoin, которая позволяет одновременно с отправкой платежа осуществлять передачу данных в рамках той же платформенно-ориентированной транзакции. Metanet может создать улучшенную, более коммерчески-ориентированную версию интернета, в котором вся активность и все данные пользователей будут представлять для них реальную ценность. Реализация подобной идеи осуществима только на базе блокчейна Bitcoin SV, поскольку только он поддерживает массивное масштабирование.

Недавно Козе занял 2-е место на хакатоне Bitcoin Association BSV Hackathon, финальный этап которого прошел в рамках конференции CoinGeek Seoul в Южной Корее. Его проект Hive связан с генетикой и ставит целью создать цифровой «улей», который сможет объединять данные, предоставляемые людьми со всего мира. Каждый узел, хранящий данные, нуждается в одном или нескольких связанных с ним узлах, а каждая привязка имеет динамическую цену. Пользователи получают уведомления о добавлении нового контента, а информация берется непосредственно из блокчейна BSV.

Cambridge University Metanet Society продвигает исследования, направленные на реализацию проектов Metanet на основе BSV. Еженедельно в кампусе Кембриджского университета проводятся мероприятия и встречи, в ходе которых студенты и ученые могут слушать выступления докладчиков, а также принимать участие в оживленых дебатах и семинарах.

Робин Козе, президент Cambridge University Metanet Society, отметил, что «Кембридж традиционно является местом, где интеллектуальные и творческие личности встречаются для совместного изучения самых смелых идей и бросают вызов статус-кво. Мы благодарны Bitcoin Association за финансовую поддержку, которая позволит нам в этом академическом году провести 22 мероприятия для обучения и поддержки нового поколения биткоин-разработчиков, создающих приложения для практического применения в реальном мире».

Первое такое мероприятие состоится вечером 17 октября, и на нем выступят д-р Крейг Райт и Джимми Нгуен, президент Bitcoin Association.

Джимми Нгуен прокомментировал это так: «Истинный потенциал технологии Bitcoin наконец раскрывается благодаря Bitcoin SV, и мы очень рады оказывать поддержку ярким и смелым умам Кембриджского университета в освоении искусства построения сети Metanet. Они несомненно внесут свой вклад в создание будущего интернета, который будет вознаграждать пользователей за их данные и сделает пользовательскую активность по-настоящему ценной, стимулируя создание более качественного контента. И все это может быть реализовано только на основе блокчейна BSV».

비트코인 협회, 비트코인 SV를 기반으로 한 인터넷의 미래를 앞당기기 위해

캠브리지 대학교 메타넷 소사이어티 후원

비트코인 협회는 비트코인 SV의 연구 및 개발을 지원하기 위해 2019~2020학년도 캠브리지 대학교 메타넷 소사이어티에 대한 타이틀 후원을 발표합니다.  소사이어티는 재정 지원을 이용하여 BSV 프로토콜, 블록체인 및 암호화폐의 강력한 기능을 교육, 홍보하는 행사를 실시하게 됩니다.

비트코인 협회는 비트코인 기업을 위한 전 세계적인 산업 기구입니다.  (현재) 크게 확장할 수 있고, (현재) 강력한 유용성을 지닌 블록체인을 바탕으로 한 유일한 암호화폐로 비트코인 사토시 비전(BSV)을 지원하고 (현재) 개발자들이 엔터프라이즈급 응용 프로그램을 구축할 수 있는 명확한 프로토콜 개발에 헌신하고 있습니다.  또한, BSV는 비트코인 창조자 사토시 나카모토(Satoshi Nakamoto)의 원래 디자인을 그대로 따르는 유일한 프로젝트입니다. 간단히 말해 BSV이 비트코인인 셈입니다.

캠브리지 유전학 박사과정 학생인 로빈 코제(Robin Kohze)가 설립한 캠브리지 대학교 메타넷 소사이어티는 비트코인 프로토콜이 단지 탈중앙화된 암호화폐 이상의 것을 제공할 수 있다는 점을 인식하고 있습니다. 소사이어티는 런던에 사무소를 둔 주요 블록체인 자문, 연구 및 개발 회사 nChain의 수석 과학자 크레이그 라이트(Craig S. Wright) 박사가 고안한 “메타넷” 프로젝트에서 그 이름을 따왔습니다.   메타넷은 비트코인 블록체인을 기반으로 운영되는 인터넷을 구성, 촉진하기 위한 글로벌 프로토콜이자 프레임으로서, 동일한 속성을 가진 거래에서 동시에 금융 결제를 전송하고 데이터를 전송할 수 있는 비트코인의 이중 기능을 결합합니다.   메타넷은 모든 사용자 활동 및 데이터가 사용자에게 가치를 지니는 더 나은, 더 많은 상업 인터넷을 창출할 수 있습니다.  이는 대규모 확장 기능으로 인해 오직 비트코인 SV 블록체인에서만 가능합니다.

코제(Kohze)는 최근 비트코인 협회의 제2회 BSV 해커톤에서 2위를 차지했으며, 한국에서 개최되는 코인긱 서울 컨퍼런스에서 최종 결선을 앞두고 있습니다.  그의 프로젝트인 “하이브(Hive)”는 자신의 유전학적 배경에 기반한 것으로, 전 세계의 개인들이 추가한 정보를 연결하는 “벌집(beehive)”을 만들어냅니다. 정보가 있는 모든 콘텐츠 노드는 하나 이상의 연결된 노드가 필요하며, 노드에 대한 모든 링크의 경우, 동적 비용이 있습니다. 사용자는 언제 새 콘텐츠가 추가되는지, 그리고 언제 BSV 블록체인에서 직접 정보를 가져오는지에 대해 알림을 받습니다. 

캠브리지 대학교 메타넷 소사이어티는 BSV를 기반으로 한 메타넷 프로젝트를 달성하기 위한 연구를 추진하며, 학생들과 선구자적 이론가들을 위해 캠브리지 대학교 캠퍼스에서 주간 회의와 프로그램을 주최하여 강연, 토론 및 튜토리얼을 진행합니다.  

캠브리지 대학교 메타넷 소사이어티 대표인 로빈 코제(Robin Kohze)는 다음과 같이 이야기합니다. “캠브리지는 전통적으로 총명하고 창의적인 인재들을 과감한 아이디어로 인도하고 언제나 현재에 도전하는 장이었습니다.   재정 지원 결정을 내린 비트코인 협회에 감사드리며, 지원을 통해 이번 학년도 실제 세계의 유용성 응용 프로그램에 초점을 맞추는 새로운 세대의 비트코인 개발자들을 가르치고 지원하기 위한 22개 행사를 주최할 수 있게 되었습니다.”

후원을 받아 치러지는 첫 번째 행사는 10월 17일에 있을 예정이며, 크레이그 라이트(Craig Wright) 박사와 비트코인 협회 회장 지미 응우엔(Jimmy Nguyen)이 연사로 참여합니다.

응우엔(Nguyen)의 말: “비트코인의 진정한 힘은 결국 비트코인 SV에서 드러날 것이기에 캠브리지 대학교의 총명하고 과감한 학생들을 지원하여 메타넷 구축 방식을 배울 수 있다는 점이 실로 짜릿합니다.  그들의 작업은 데이터에 대해 사용자에게 진정으로 보상하고, 사용자 온라인 활동에서 금전적 가치를 창출하며, 더 높은 품질의 콘텐츠를 장려하는 미래의 인터넷에 기여하게 될 것이며, 이는 모두 BSV에서만 가능합니다.”

nChain’s Road to Genesis and unlimited BSV scaling at CoinGeek Seoul

The first day of CoinGeek Seoul was dedicated to Bitcoin’s technical power, and there was a lot of talk about how Bitcoin is coming more powerful on its road to Genesis. Several developers from nChain, led by Technical Director Steve Shadders, took the stage to explain exactly what they’re doing to bring Bitcoin SV (BSV) back into alignment with Satoshi’s original vision, and allow it to scale the blockchain to an unlimited degree.

Shadders began the discussion by giving a bit of a history on Bitcoin, describing how it was held back needlessly by Bitcoin Core developers. But now that it’s following its original vision once again as BSV and being allowed to scale, it’s showing very healthy growth, with constantly increasing transaction counts, block sizes, and usage, all positive indicators that its going in the right direction.

He then teased a few big changes coming when BSV returns to its genesis. OP_RETURN, which was limited for so long, will soon have the ability to have multiple OP_RETURNs in the same transaction. Big numbers is coming to BSV, allowing it to have cryptography in script for the first time. It will also expand beyond the current three scripting options to have many more.

One point he explained at length was the deprecation of Pay-to-script-hash (P2SH), which is being done for both technical and philosophical reasons. It’s being made up for by the introducing of accumulator multisig, and dove deep into the code of how that will work.

nChain’s Road to Genesis and unlimited BSV scaling at CoinGeek Seoul

The goal of all this is to increase the security of zero confirmation transactions, or zero conf. Building confidence in zero conf is important to scaling, Shadders explained, because it builds confidence that bigger things can be done without a potential lack of security or funds.

Shadders then introduced Daniel Connolly, Lead Developer of the Bitcoin SV node project, to explain to the crowd what Terranode is. “Terranode is bitcoin server software that has been rebuilt from the ground up for enterprise and scale,” he explained simply.

What it hopes to accomplish is 50,000 transactions per second, with big blocks and big transactions. It will do this with better messaging, allowing for large data and streaming data support. It will also have more efficient data stores, keeping only what’s necessary to keep the blockchain going.

Terranode already exists in an experimental stage, working on both the Mainnet and Scaling Test Network (STN). He also noted that a P2P system is currently in development.

Next, John Murphy was welcomed to the stage. He is the Lead Developer of the Nakasendo SDK team.

What is Nakasendo? If you’ve been following Dr. Craig Wright’s writings, you’ll already be familiar with the concept. It allows for public shared secrets or functions, without individual members giving up any privacy involuntarily. “You don’t have a single private key, the private key has been split into multiple shares and these can be distributed across multiple parties or players,” he said.

Murphy conducted a live demonstration of working Nakasendo code for the audience, demonstrating that the tools to allow board members to make decisions for their enterprises on the blockchain is already within reach.

Finally, Dr. Alex Mackay, a researcher at nChain, took the stage in the afternoon to talk about how simplified payment verification (SPV) can be introduced in a low bandwidth process to increase merchant adoption.

nChain’s Road to Genesis and unlimited BSV scaling at CoinGeek Seoul

To spread crypto adoption, Mackay noted, crypto payments have to get closer to how fiat payments work, and specifically, how we traditionally pay for items at a check-out counter. The customer needs to be able to spend BSV without being online, putting the burden on the merchant to broadcast the transaction.

To do this, a low bandwidth SPV system is the solution. Customers will have wallets which can be offline the majority of the time, with only the ability to pay for transactions with contained block headers UTXOs, Input Txs and Merkle paths. Merchants, on the other hand, will have systems which can be branched throughout a location with a central hub, receiving those payments and broadcasting them to the blockchain.

It’s a system that may not be too far away from reality, as it’s been built to work with BIP270.

The folks at nChain hope that these new pieces of infrastructure will help BSV towards its goal of scaling, and every single element discussed by the team at CoinGeek Seoul does that in one way or another. Faster transactions, bigger blocks, and more possibilities are being promised to the users and enterprises who chose BSV.

Steve Shadders: ‘Ultimately, my goal is to make myself replaceable and redundant’

An Australian Bitcoin developer living in London, Steve Shadders is, at first glance, the typical geek, complete with goatee beard, glasses and ponytail. But it only takes a few minutes chat to get way beyond the stereotype. He thinks widely about the politics and economics of Bitcoin, and he’s a former DJ, with a love of techno — a calling which he says delayed his entry into the world of software by several years.

“Shadders” as he’s known at nChain, the Bitcoin SV development company of which he’s Chief Technology Officer, operates in many dimensions. There’s an ideological side to him, the legacy of youthful, anarchistic attitudes: “As Bitcoin becomes more widespread,” he says, “it puts the power of economic sovereignty into the hands of people who currently don’t have it …There is nothing more powerful that you can give someone than opportunity.”

The mission of nChain, according to its website is “to ignite global adoption and enterprise level of usage of Bitcoin.” To that end, Steve leads the nChain developer team behind a series of “upgrades” to the Bitcoin SV protocol (he prefers “upgrade” to “hard fork”). This year, we’ve had the Quasar upgrade, and next year will be Genesis. The idea is to bring the Bitcoin SV protocol back to how it was when Bitcoin started — hence the “SV,” Satoshi vision.

Part of that process is to allow Bitcoin miners rather than developers to call the shots. As a developer, himself, Steve realises this has implications for him: “Ultimately, my goal is to make myself replaceable and redundant — and I hope to achieve that within a couple of years.” By then, the governance role in Bitcoin will be handed to a group of people rather than a few individuals, leaving miners with the ultimate responsibility for the ecosystem.

Steve works closely with Craig Wright, nChain’s Chief Scientist. He admits that “it can be challenging to understand what Craig’s talking about sometimes.” About six months after Craig has raised a new idea, Steve says modestly, he finally understands “what he really means.” But it’s a privilege “to be able to pick his brains on a daily basis …he’s thinking about things years before anyone else.”

As for his own ideas about where Bitcoin is heading, Steve is an unashamed ‘Bitcoin maximalist.’ He does accept that “probably the notion of private blockchains will be around for a while before the business world gets comfortable with the fact that public blockchains actually offer far more benefits than than the perceived benefits of keeping it private.” But in the end, he predicts, it’ll be “one coin to rule them all.” And he doesn’t expect Bitcoin SV’s rivals to be around “in five or ten years.”

If BSV develops the way Steve predicts, he’ll go so far as to agree that the work of nChain today might be of interest to future historians. And he points out that “a lot of that work is going to be recorded there immutably, in the blockchain, so it will be easier for blockchain archaeologists to work out what happened.” It’s just another advantage of blockchain technology!

Hear the full interview with Steve Shadders on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

Please subscribe to CoinGeek Conversations – this is the first episode of the podcast’s second season. If you’re new to it, there are 30 episodes from season one to catch up on.

Here’s how to find them:

 – Search for “CoinGeek Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts
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BSV로 간소화되는 재무 감사 절차

비트코인 SV 블록체인은계속해서전세계에걸쳐여러산업에혁명을일으키며비즈니스모델을바꿔가고있습니다. 가장확장성이큰블록체인이됨으로써, 기업에놀라울정도로낮은수수료로초당수천건의거래를지원할수있는응용프로그램을개발할자유를부여해왔습니다. 또한비트코인 SV는재무감사절차를획기적으로간소화하여기업에자동화된자체집행감사프로세스를실행할수있는능력을부여했습니다.

비트코인 SV는스마트계약을지원하는비즈니스응용프로그램의구축을지원합니다. 사전결정되는특정조건이충족될때자체적으로실행하는이러한계약을통해기업은재무감사절차를자동화할수있습니다. 이외에도, 블록체인집행스마트계약을위한레지스트리및자동화관리방법을통해해당계약이철저히준수되도록할수있습니다.

이러한솔루션은법적구속력이있는전자방식계약의믿을수있는서명을위한 nChain의결정론적키생성을사용하는프라이버시강화를포함, 사업주들에게여러혜택을제공합니다. 또한다양한언어및 JSON, XML 및 XBRL 등의시설과완전히통합가능합니다.

비트코인 SV 블록체인사용을통해기업은변경할수없는감사증거를가질수있게됩니다. 비트코인 SV 블록체인에기록된거래는변경할수없습니다. 감사내용은또한쉽게접근할수있어기업이모든비용을쉽게기록할수있습니다. 비트코인 SV는참여자들이새블록을승인하도록장려하는내부경제를통해검열에저항적입니다. 이를통해블록체인의기록은요청시언제나이용할수있습니다.

비트코인 SV는재무감사절차를간소화할뿐만아니라, 사기위험또한근절합니다. 크레이그라이트(Craig S. Wright) 박사는다음과같이설명했습니다. “토큰화된노트를사용하면조직이거래의하나로수집한모든세금을즉시지급할수있습니다. 그렇게함으로써규모가작은사업에대한거래를간소화하고, 대규모조직내많은형태의사기행위를중단시킬수있습니다. 더중요하게는, 정부가비즈니스에대한최소한의개입으로수입을벌어들일수있습니다.”

비트코인 SV 블록체인을사용하면재무감사들이감사정보에더쉽게접근할수있게됩니다. 현재는전자식, 수동식모두를포괄하는여러다양한포맷으로계정조정, 분개장기재, 시산표, 하위장부발췌및기타뒷받침정보를이용할수있습니다. 이러한방식으로는재무감사가따분하며시간이소모됩니다. 비트코인 SV 블록체인을기반으로하면기업은쉽고접근가능한포맷으로재무감사자들이모든재무정보에액세스할수있도록만들수있습니다.

비트코인 SV는글로벌기업블록체인으로자리매김해왔으며 10월 1일, 사업주, 개발자및기타블록체인주주들이코인긱서울컨퍼런스를위해한국에모일것입니다. 참석자들은퀘이사프로토콜업그레이드와같은비트코인 SV 생태계의최신발전상황활용할수있는방안을배우게될것입니다. 라이트(Wright) 박사를비롯한비트코인사회의여러이론가가행사를빛내줄것입니다. 놓치면안되는기회입니다. 바로티켓을예매하세요!

How Bitcoin can combine security and privacy with zero knowledge proofs

If you want to understand Bitcoin, sooner or later you’ll have to get to grips with questions of privacy, anonymity, pseudonymity and other tricky matters. Craig Wright, the Chief Scientist of nChain, has always insisted that Bitcoin wasn’t designed to be anonymous – because that would make it the natural choice of criminals: “at best, an anonymous system forms a methodology for black markets and illicit and illegal trade,” he wrote, earlier this year, “I was never interested in creating a dark-web money.”

Instead, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that transactions are linked. Unlike cash, whose history is hard to trace as soon as a coin is paid to someone else, Bitcoin histories are there on the blockchain for all to see. Whilst you can’t tell who is moving a coin on the blockchain, you can see all the transactions it’s been part of. So if you can link that coin to a person, their Bitcoin activity can be followed. Pseudonymity is a compromise, making the system private enough for individuals to feel secure, while leaving an immutable evidence trail that can be followed if something goes wrong.

Some cryptocurrencies are not satisfied with the level of privacy provided by pseudonymity. The cryptographic technique they use to further anonymise transactions is called zero knowledge proofs (ZKP). For Bitcoin SV, ZKPs are still a valuable tool, but not for financial transactions, for the reasons mentioned above. Instead, they can be a useful feature of applications that are developed for the BSV blockchain.

Zero knowledge proofs are so called because they provide proof of something without revealing all the important details that would normally be needed to confirm an event or transaction. In other words, they allow the prover to show someone that an event has taken place while giving them ‘zero knowledge’ of those important details.

So how could that be possible? How can you be sure that someone is telling you the truth without being able to see for yourself the information they’re talking about? Well, here’s an example to illustrate the principle:

If you’re colour blind, could you ever confirm that two balls your friend gives you are different colours, when they look exactly the same to you?

Well, you could put the balls behind your back and then bring them out to show your friend – and ask whether you have swapped them round or not since the last time you showed them.

how-bitcoin-can-combine-security-and-privacy-with-zero-knowledge-proofs_2

If your friend can consistently get this test right – knowing whether the balls have been swapped or not – then you can be sure that he was telling you the truth when he said they are different colours.

One important feature of this ZKP scenario is that it only works for Charlie and Dave. Someone else – a colour-blind Alice, say – could watch any number of successful demonstrations in which Dave gets the swap question right. But even if she could see whether Charlie was swapping the balls or not, she couldn’t be sure that the balls are different colours because Dave and Charlie may have colluded on the sequence of swaps and answers they were going to perform in front of her. Only by being able to decide on making the swaps herself and asking Dave to respond, could she have confidence in the conclusions.

how-bitcoin-can-combine-security-and-privacy-with-zero-knowledge-proofs_3

So that’s a ZKP: you can’t recognise a difference between the two balls but you have a proxy for that difference that you can use for purposes of verification.

Translating this principle to the world of blockchain requires some complicated maths, but the principle is the same: you’re trying to confirm information without allowing the recipient to see the details – when they’re confidential, for instance.

Jad Wahab of nChain has been studying ZKPs and offers these examples of possible use cases where they could provide a critical part of an app design using the BSV blockchain:

ZKPs could be useful in identity checks or selective disclosure and access control: you might want to be able to confirm that you’re above a certain age, for instance, without revealing your actual age.

In ballots or polls, you may want to only be able to confirm that someone is eligible to vote but for reasons of confidentiality, you wouldn’t want to create a list of those individuals.

ZKPs could also be useful when committing to some information on the blockchain without revealing anything about the information (which would happen with a hash of the information for example). Or for auditing processes where you would like to prove something to a specific auditor without necessarily revealing any information to anyone else.

Jad says that developers won’t necessarily need to understand the exact mechanisms behind the ZKP that they want to incorporate into their product. He believes that ‘off the shelf’ software could soon be developed that can be plugged into a design and provide the functionality required.

With thanks to Jad Wahab. Jad has written about the unlinkable polling system design mentioned above, which was the subject of his dissertation project at UCL.

Jack Davies blog series delves into finer details of Metanet

The Metanet concept was first introduced by nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright less than a year ago. Speaking at the CoinGeek Week Conference, Dr. Wright unveiled the concept as a vision for new paradigms for the Internet and data sharing.

The Metanet protocol is defined by inventor Dr. Craig Wright in concept as a ‘value network,’ which would relegate the Internet to a sidechain of a more comprehensive Bitcoin blockchain.

“The Internet becomes a sidechain to the Bitcoin blockchain. The Metanet is a value network — the entire global system of online activity and data connected commercially.”

Now, nChain researcher Jack Davies has taken this a step further, in a new blog series designed specifically to raise awareness and understanding of the Metanet in concept, and the Metanet protocol which supports its development.

In part one of the Metanet blog series, published on Medium, Davies wrote: “The Metanet represents a complete and utter redefinition of the paradigms that pervade the existing Internet infrastructure — particularly with respect to human interactions and the value we ascribe to them.”

Davies said that the Metanet helps address a fundamental problem with the Internet — that high quality data cannot be available free of charge.

He argues that information comes at a cost, and that these costs cannot be accurately met by the current structures of the Internet and data sharing, and that information quality benefits when true value is ascribed to the information.

“The broad solution, therefore, is an internet-like platform that puts the value of data at the centre of everything,” Davies wrote. “When it is expensive to deploy thousands of bots to spread falsehoods, when the mere act of reading an article requires a cost barrier, we are forced to think: how much do I value this data as information?”

He added, “It is here where the issues we face with the current Internet begin to fall away. By incorporating financial costs — however small — into our online behaviour, we are asked to express how much we truly value information with our wallets. Here lies one of the central goals that the Metanet, running natively on top of Bitcoin SV, can achieve.”

The series of blog posts is expected to cover the concept in overview, as well as specifics in relation to the Metanet protocol, with a view to raising awareness amongst BSV developers towards the end goal of a more valuable global data sharing infrastructure, powered by the technological superiority, and particularly the mass scalability, of BSV.

Brad Kristensen: Scaling Test Network makes big blocks a reality

The massive blockchain scaling that’s happening on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) network doesn’t just happen; it takes a lot of work. To help guarantee it works well when changes come to the mainnet, the development team have the Scaling Test Network (STN). Brad Kristensen, Software Engineer at nChain, joined CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero on Developer Day at the recent CoinGeek Toronto 2019 scaling conference to explain the importance of the STN.

The STN isn’t just a sandbox for the Bitcoin SV Node Team to play in, it has important roles to play in the development of BSV. “The Scaling Test Network fourth compatible network for the SV node,” Kristensen said. “It’s important for the ecosystem because it helps the SV node developers get a direct feedback loop on what they’re working in. So they produce the next set of changes, they run it on the STN, the STN provides immediate feedback thanks to the large transaction volume and the large amount of blocks, as to whether they’re making the right move forwards, or in some cases, backwards.”

What’s coming next for the STN is some of the biggest innovations for the BSV blockchain, but as Kristensen told Liggero, he also hopes to see greater participating from the business world. “I would expect to see all of the big leaps forward that Bitcoin SV makes would happen first on the Scaling Test Network,” he said. “We’re hoping to get more businesses running on the Scaling Test Network, testing their applications, building their applications. It’s really supposed to be the onramp and playground for Bitcoin SV and the insight of to what’s coming to Mainnet.”

That’s not an impossible ask either. The STN was opened to businesses in April, and interested groups can get in touch with nChain to start trying out their own business use cases and applications to ensure they are ready for the next phase of the BSV blockchain.

As 2019 is the year of blockchain scaling, Liggero asked what role the STN play in achieving huge blocks. “We make sure it can happen,” Kristensen said simply.

Post-Quasar London BSV Meetup explores evolutions in Bitcoin SV

Following the success of the recent Quasar upgrade, scientists and researchers gathered in London for the London BSV Meetup.

The event, which aims to brief Bitcoin SV (BSV) developers on the latest research and development work on BSV, brings together some of the leading voices on Bitcoin SV, including keynote speakers Alex Mackay, Joe Dalais and Steve Shadders of nChain.

Alex Mackay, a researcher at nChain, presented on “Miner ID and the Future of Mining.” He told delegates that nChain already has a proof-of-concept for the Miner ID model, though this was not yet ready for public demonstration.

According to Mackay, Miner ID would become increasingly central, with users requiring some mechanism for identifying and interacting with miners.

“As we scale BSV and blocks get bigger, there will be a shift in the ratio of fees miners incur — from block rewards to transaction fees. Sometime in the future, mining subsidies will run out, and miners will have to support themselves through mining fees,” he explained. “Miners at the gatekeepers to some valuable blockchain data. We need to develop the tools so they can create more revenue streams from that data.”

Joe Dalais presented on Metanet identity, explaining: “When you have identity on-chain, you can interact a hell of a lot more with the rest of the globe – and businesses can interact with you…When you start attaching your identity to transactions, it becomes a lot more powerful.”

Giving the example of a product refund, Dalais said a sale receipt stored on-chain and linked to an individual identity would provide certainty for retailers over the legitimacy of returns.

While at the moment, retailers require physical receipts, or even the presentation of the purchasing credit or debit card, “in a Bitcoin world, all they need is your alias.”

Meanwhile, Steve Shadders, CTO at nChain, discussed the Quasar upgrade, which he said activated smoothly, with no reports of service degradation.

Shadders said the Quasar upgrade “represents a shift in the way bitcoin governance works,” moving more of the emphasis from developers to miners.

While he noted that the upgrade to a 2GB block size was four times the originally envisaged size, he suggested the block limit would allow essential flexibility for developers, and particularly for increasing storage capacity on the BSV blockchain, saying:

Bitcoin caps aren’t meant to be there at all, and if they are, they aren’t meant to be hit.

The July event follows on from previous meetups, designed to encourage developers to be more ambitious in their BSV projects, while informing of the latest upgrades to the BSV protocol.

To learn more about the exciting developments happening on BSV, as well as the benefits of massive blockchain scaling for miners, application developers and enterprises, attend the upcoming CoinGeek Conference, taking place in Seoul, South Korea, on October 1-2. Get your tickets now.

Squire enters into development agreement with nChain

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Squire Mining Ltd. (CSE:SQR | FWB:9SQ | OTCQB:SQRMF) (“Squire”) is pleased to announce it has entered into a continuous development and services agreement (the “Agreement”) with leading U.K. blockchain research and development firm nChain Limited (“nChain”) to collaborate and develop leading blockchain software solutions.

With the recent acquisition of custom cloud computing management and pooling software and source code (called “Taal Orchestrator”) announced on May 2, 2019, Squire plans to enhance this software solution in collaboration with nChain to create operational performance optimization, efficiencies and internal controls. Taal Orchestrator conducts and coordinates pools of cloud computing assets providing full visibility and transparency to end-users to track performance and perform other functions previously unavailable to industry participants.

Squire and Core Scientific will also work with nChain to develop the Bitcoin SV based blockchain supply management, distribution and public pooling solution (the “Distribution Platform”) announced on June 4, 2019. The Distribution Platform is a modular system encompassing:

• an e-commerce platform based on blockchain technology with an auditable ledger of actions
• unique digital tokens representing physical cloud computing assets providing an access and control framework with real-time tracking capability
• complete asset life cycle history
• enhanced software management and end-user interface

We are very excited to be working with Squire to develop next generation cloud computing software solutions,” said David Washburn, CEO of nChain. “Squire is at the forefront of the rapidly changing blockchain infrastructure landscape, and nChain looks forward to partnering with Squire as they obtain a leadership position in this space.

“nChain is very well known for thought leadership and innovative intellectual property in this space. We are very eager to get around the table with this group and start building leading technology that will not only benefit our operations but provide so much value to future enterprise clients entering the blockchain space,” Angela Holowaychuk, Interim CEO of Squire Mining.

About nChain Limited

nChain is a global leader in advisory, research, and development of open blockchain technologies. Established in 2015, the U.K.-based company is one of the most active developers of intellectual property and software in the blockchain space, with a focus on bringing to market enterprise-grade open blockchain solutions for global business.

About Squire Mining Ltd.

Squire is a Canadian based technology company engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the business of developing and operating cloud computing data infrastructure and system technology to support global blockchain applications related to Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Core and other associated SHA-256 derived digital assets.

About Bitcoin SV

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Bitcoin’s original design, protocol and vision, as expressed by its creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Squire supports the BSV roadmap as it is the only project that aims to enable massive blockchain scaling by significantly increasing the Bitcoin block size so blocks can fit much more transactions and data and thus generate more transaction fees for miners, and outlines for the crypto mining sector why massive blockchain scaling is important for the entire interrelated Bitcoin ecosystem. Dr. Craig S. Wright, who serves on Squire’s strategic advisory board, has been issued U.S. copyright registrations, as author under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakaomoto, for the original Bitcoin white paper and most of the original Bitcoin code.