Keyring releases update to support OP_FALSE, OP_RETURN

Steve Shadders, nChain’s lead developer and cryptocurrency guru, inarguably understands the inner workings of digital currency better than almost anyone. He brought his expertise to Bitcoin SV (BSV) to help keep the original Bitcoin alive, and has been working tirelessly to further Bitcoin’s innovation. So, if he believes that changes should be made, it’s a good idea to listen. The company behind the BSV JavaScript libraries Keyring, BitBoss, did just that and has announced that it has upgraded Keyring to support the new OP_FALSE OP_RETURN script type.

Shadders first explained the entire issue surrounding OP_RETURN in a detailed blog post that is definitely worth reading. BitBoss was paying attention and announced in its own post on Medium that it had taken the programming expert’s viewpoints into consideration, making the appropriate changes to its offerings to tighten up applications and prepare for BSV’s Genesis upgrade, scheduled for next February.

Bitboss explains, “This change will ensure that all apps being developed with Keyring will maintain consistent behavior both now and after the Bitcoin SV Genesis upgrade. Instead of starting a script with OP_RETURN, it should start with OP_FALSE OP_RETURN. A locking script that contains this will always fail when it hits this sequence of op codes both now and after the Genesis upgrade, which is the proper, secure behavior.”

Keyring was initially designed to be a series of JavaScript libraries BitBoss could use for its specialty, online gaming solutions. However, it quickly morphed into something that was found to be beneficial to the entire Bitcoin ecosystem and is continuously updated in order to “help the entire Bitcoin SV community of developers.”

This is an important update, as the original use of OP_RETURN, combined with the OP_SEPARATOR field, was such that there was a bug that could have allowed coins to be spent without going through the proper verification procedures. The issue dates back to the original Bitcoin code and had been patched by Satoshi, but the patch was nothing more than a temporary band-aid that didn’t completely resolve the issue. Shadders’ solution helped to close the loophole completely and support for OP_FALSE OP_RETURN was included when Bitcoin SV v0.2.1 was rolled out in July.

The Bitcoin Vision: Episode 22

In this week’s episode of the Bitcoin Vision, Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen highlights some of the major developments in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem. Having successfully undergone the Quasar protocol upgrade, the Bitcoin SV ecosystem has rapidly continued to grow, with Jimmy looking at the return of OP_RETURN, CityOnChain and Operation Data Blast.

Nguyen begins by discussing the road to Genesis which is slated for February 2020 and the return of OP_RETURN. Citing a blog post by nChain CTO Steve Shadders on the road to Genesis, the Bitcoin Association Founding President urged all developers to familiarize themselves with what is required of them in the lead-up to the eagerly-anticipated network upgrade. App developers making use of OP_RETURN must ensure that their applications maintain consistent behavior now and after the Genesis upgrade.

“So this is a must-read article for any application developer building on Bitcoin SV,” he reiterates. It not only outlines the history of OP_RETURN, but also the easy steps that will ensure developers can continue to build on the only Bitcoin project that unlocks the true power of Bitcoin’s original protocol, design and Satoshi’s vision.

Next, Nguyen looked at Cityonchain, a new online information platform organized around cities, similar to Craigslist in the U.S. and 58.com in China. The platform allows localized functions such as job posts, trading of goods and even online dating. Users can claim ownership of a city and then manage it, earning BSV for their activities.

For the visitors, they can earn BSV for their high quality content such as reviews of local businesses. This helps encourage higher quality content online and fosters local interactions.

However, Cityonchain does more than that. It contributes to BSV’s new earn-and-use model which deviates from the traditional buy-and-hodl model. BSV users get to earn BSV by interacting with online applications which they can then use to make purchases or pay for services. This model is made possible by BSV’s mega blocks and its extremely low fees which facilitate micropayments.

For the week’s Satoshi Shoutout, Jimmy applauds the efforts of the team behind Operation Data Blast. With the recent Quasar protocol upgrade, the block size hard cap increased to 2GB. On July 28, some BSV enthusiasts conducted a user-activated stress test known as Operation Data Blast. They uploaded meaningful media such as video and audio files onto the BSV blockchain. The result was that over 2.5GB worth of data was uploaded and archived on the BSV blockchain. In four instances, the block sizes were over 250MB, a record for a public blockchain. The stress test proved that on-chain scaling is possible and sustainable on a public blockchain.

While you’re at it, also check out the previous episodes of The Bitcoin Vision here.

Unwriter answers the call, adapts Datapay for safe on-chain data

The road to Genesis, the protocol upgrade which will see Bitcoin returned as closely as possible to its original protocol and vision, will require plenty of little contributions from everyone in the community. Following Steve Shadders’ call to action for all app developers, Unwriter has answered the call.

In a recent Twitter announcement, Unwriter has announced Datapay has been updated to support “safe” mode, the new OP_RETURN standard capable of handling the Genesis upgrade.

As Unwriter notes, this solves “the ‘WRITE’ side of the equation.” With the upgrade, Datapay is now both future proof, and ready for the February 2020 Genesis upgrade, but also backwards compatible, capable of continuing to work with apps that are not yet configured for the protocol change.

He also goes on to explain what other developers need to do to get on board, linking to a past thread that explains the new code and why it’s superior.

That thread is very similar to Shadders’ own call to action, which revealed the need for all app developers to upgrade their OP_RETURN code. He made that call in late July, outlining the exact code that apps would need to implement to keep their program running when February, 2020 arrives. While the code change is fairly simple, it’s an important one to keep applications running when Genesis arrives.

Unwriter wasn’t the first to take up the call to upgrade though. Money Button made the same upgraded to safe on-chain date earlier in August. When making the change, the wallet’s blog celebrated the potential gains in efficiency users and miners could experience from the changes impact.

That marks one of the biggest BSV wallets and one of the BSV communities’ biggest developers taking up Shadders call to action. Shadders made that call with many months to go before change was absolutely required, but the sooner every developer adapts their application to be futureproof, the sooner the community can move on to the next pressing task as Bitcoin moves back to Genesis.

Money Button now supports safe on-chain data

Money Button has increased its support for on-chain data by enabling a new transaction type, known as safe data outputs, which will be enabled by the new Bitcoin SV (BSV) node software. Additionally, the company revealed in a blog post that it has updated its JavaScript BSV library to support the new standard output type.

This is just the latest update by Money Button in its continued support for on-chai data. In January, Money Button became the first wallet to support larger OP_RETURN data sizes of up to 100 KB. This made it possible to possible to store video, audio and image files as well as any other type of data on the BSV blockchain in a single transaction. The wallet’s creator, Ryan X Charles, was crucial in creating the first 128 MB-sized blocks.

OP_RETURN is the simplest mechanism for creating an unspendable output and carrying data within a Bitcoin transaction. However, in the original Bitcoin source code, OP_RETURN didn’t invalidate a transaction. Instead, it invalidated the output based on whether the return value was true or false. This was later changed by Satoshi Nakamoto to deter malicious behavior.

However, the new Bitcoin SV node software has restored the original purpose of OP_RETURN by ‘enabling a new standard output type forwards-compatible with the full original functionality of OP_RETURN.’

Money Button has enabled the new standard type, the wallet revealed. Scripts starting with OP_FALSE OP_RETURN will be considered standard and will broadcast with Money Button.

The new output is considered safe for a number of reasons, the first of which is that it will be the output type that all data applications will support in the future. The outputs will also be unspendable and prunable, which will potentially lead to gains in efficiency and save costs for users and miners. The blog post concluded:

Money Button supports many of the advanced features of the Bitcoin SV blockchain already has long-term plans to support every advanced feature, making every conceivable application possible. Safe data outputs are important milestone towards our limitless future.

bitcoin-sv-version-0-2-0-takes-the-next-step-towards-unlimited-scaling2

Bitcoin SV version 0.2.0 takes the next step towards unlimited scaling

Bitcoin SV (BSV) is getting another huge upgrade, and it’s staying on target with its stated goal of massive scaling. The newest iteration of the BSV client, version 0.2.0, has been rolled out by the Bitcoin SV Node team.

On May 20th, the Scaling Test Network (STN) will see the first impacts of this upgrade. It will increase its maximum acceptable block size to an astounding 10GB, with default produced blocks set to 128MB.

Then on July 24, with the Quasar Protocol Upgrade, the mainnet and testnet will have their block size settings increase. The current maximum acceptable block size of 128MB will increase to 2GB, and the default produced block sizes will increase to 128MB.

New block sizes aren’t the only change coming. This upgrade will launch a whole new mining API, originally designed by Andrew Stone and Johan van der Hoeven, and collaboratively updated with the BSV Node team. This upgrade is designed to take the increased load of big block sizes off of miners, who will only receive the header of the block. It also provides some new setting to increase performance for nodes.

In addition to those two huge improvements, the upgrade will also formally increase the default size for OP_RETURN to 100KB, a change Steve Shadders figured out back in January for miners to change the setting; that started BSV’s momentum toward becoming the world’s future data carrier network. There will also be a litany of other changes that will help transactions propagate faster, improve underlying code and processes, and remove unnecessary code.

The new client version will also change the license for BSV software from the MIT license (historically used for Bitcoin client software) to an “Open BSV license.” This still provides free usage but limits rights to use the node implementation source code exclusively to the BSV blockchain. 

All of these changes are significant, and will add even more evidence to the case that BSV is the only utility token with real world value. It’s faster, safer, and more useful than anything else available on the market.

Mostly importantly though, the BSV blockchain scales massively. It only took a few short months before BSV proved that users and developers needed 128MB block sizes for their transactions, and then the community hit that cap repeatedly. With a 2GB block cap on the way, there will be even more room for the businesses and users to grow with and prove that big blocks are more useful, and help take a big step towards 3 billion transactions per second

It won’t end there either. As Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen has noted in the past, the ultimate plan for Bitcoin SV is to realize unlimited scaling. 2GB blocks, and 10GB blocks on the STN, are important marker points towards that goal. Nguyen says: “Ultimately, we want to show that Bitcoin has no limits. With unlimited capacity and creativity available to them, developers and big enterprises across the world should be able to build whatever they want on top of the original Bitcoin, now back only in the form of Bitcoin SV.”

New app delivers automated local weather feeds on Bitcoin SV chain

New app delivers automated local weather feeds on Bitcoin SV chain

A new app has been launched for recording local weather and climate data on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain, in the latest example of an app developer using OP_RETURN transactions in a practical use case.

The app, WeatherSV, was put together by the team behind Australian IT services firm FNQComputers, which announced the launch of the app on Twitter. According to the team, the automated weather channels can be activated from 40,000 live stations and the climate data can be stored on the BSV chain forever.

The app provides a web interface for users to begin recording weather data on the blockchain, covering a comprehensive data set including temperature, humidity, wind speed and air pressure.

Notably, the tweet references notable Bitcoin developer Unwriter, nChain Global and Money Button for their contributions to the project. According to the WeatherSV website, the service relies on bitdb, datapay, Money Button, and Open Weather Map, as well as the BSV blockchain.

WeatherSV allows users to record weather data for their local area, written immutably to the BSV blockchain as a permanent data record. The data is indexed for easy retrieval, and can be searched as required.

With some 40,000 live weather stations covered in the network, the app offers potentially wide ranging access to local weather data. New channels can be created for A$5 (about $4), the A$1/month (about $0.71) to maintain the feed, which writes the data immutably to the blockchain as a permanent, searchable record.

So far, the site has already activated channels for Saint Johns, Antigua and Barbuda; Melbourne and Geelong West in Australia; Toronto and Vancouver in Canada; Seoul, South Korea; Panama; Mandalay, Myanmar; Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Oslo, Norway; Hangzhou, China; Rosario, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Beersheba and Tel Aviv in Israel; and Algonquin, Carol Stream, Miami, Minneapolis, Newport Beach, Rogers, Prairieville, and Keene in the United States.

The app demonstrates the capabilities of developments on Bitcoin SV, which benefits from being the most effective environment for blockchain developers, both technologically and practically.

The WeatherSV site, which went live on Wednesday, is the latest app to be powered by the Bitcoin SV blockchain. It comes at a time of heightened development activity in and around the BSV ecosystem, with developers, merchants and consumers increasingly preferring BSV to alternative platforms.

With minimal processing fees, fast transaction times and superior technology to other blockchains, BSV remains the platform of choice for innovative app developers.

Bitcoin SV OP_RETURN stats unlocked by WhatsOnChain

Bitcoin SV OP_RETURN stats unlocked by WhatsOnChain

One of the big selling points of blockchain technology is the wealth of information it offers for those that really want to analyze the data. Now, thanks to WhatsOnChain, we have a bunch of new statistics to observe on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain.

In a tweet on March 3, the WhatsOnChain team announced that OP_RETURN statistics are now being tracked on their site. They also teased there’s more to come.

A visit to the site reveals a couple of neat metrics for all OP_RETURN fields in BSV transactions. They track a weekly trend of tags going back to the November 2018 hard fork that saw Bitcoin reborn as BSV. OP_RETURN, memo.cash and bitcom typically dominate these trends, but Tokenized is not too far behind.

They also have a percentage breakdown for the last 24 hours, the last 7 days, and the last 30 days.

All of these stats views is customizable as well. By clicking on one of the tags, you can filter it out to see what the stats would look like without it.

This is all made possible of course by the nChain team raising the limit on the OP_RETURN feature. By increasing the size allowed for OP_RETURNs to 100KB, BSV has opened up a new world of possibilities, and taken on a new form as not only the money of the future, but the data carrier of the future.

WhatsOnChain is increasingly becoming the preferred method for analyzing the BSV blockchain. On February 14, the HandCash wallet team announced they would be changing their default block explorer to the service. Considering the wealth of information, they provide, going far and beyond what’s required, the change is understandable.

We have a feeling they’ll have much more data to crunch into fun statistics as BSV continues to evolve. As BSV continues to follow its missing to massively scale on chain, the amount of data that will fit into each transaction and block will continue to increase, creating a world of new possibilities, and a lot of work for the WhatsOnChain team.

The Bitcoin Vision: Episode 3

The Bitcoin Vision: Episode 3

The Bitcoin Vision is back this week—this time coming to you from Melbourne, Australia. The city is home of the Pause Fest, a creativity-infused business event with a side event organized by the Blockchain Centre and Innovation Melbourne. It’s the perfect environment to talk about the explosion of creativity in Bitcoin SV (BSV), the rebirth of the original Bitcoin.

There’s so much creativity going on in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem. First, there was the public launch of the BSV Scaling Test Network (STN), which is designed to be a permanent test network with regular and consistent large volumes of transactions. STN also includes enhancements that the nChain team used to demonstrate sustained 64MB blocks in their own testing. To learn more about STN, visit the Bitcoin Scaling Test Network site.

Now that the OP_RETURN data size limit has been lifted, Bitcoin SV has been seeing an explosion of nonstop development. But what does this mean for businesses?

According to nChain’s Jimmy Nguyen, who is also the Founding President of bComm Association, enterprises can use this potential in many different ways. For instance, businesses can embed contracts with permanency into the blockchain.

He explains, “A business could take a contract and record it permanently in a Bitcoin transaction in the OP_RETURN field so that they could find it later in the event of a dispute with the other contracting party. This will ensure permanency in the contract terms and less disagreement on what the terms were in the contract.”

Meanwhile, this week’s Satoshi shoutout goes out to the team behind one of the first Bitcoin SV block explorers, WhatsonChain.com, which recently added new features related to OP_RETURN such as being able to see the different data types embedded into OP_RETURN fields.

Then there’s also Money Button, which has gone hybrid on-chain; while Cryptofights, a mobile game with a free-to-play model, has announced that it’s moving over to the Bitcoin SV blockchain. And now making easier for BSV enthusiasts to keep track of all the meetups happening around the world, we have the Bitcoin Meetup Network. With this site, anyone running a local meetup can post information about their event. To date, meetups in cities like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, Toronto in Canada, Haarlem in the Netherlands, Oslo in Norway, Singapore, London, Chicago, Keene, New Hampshire and San Francisco in the United States, and Manila in the Philippines can be found on the Bitcoin Meetup Network. Check it out here.

Finally, we have The Wright Vision, which features Dr. Craig Wright’s recent posts about the new usages of the Bitcoin SV blockchain using nChain’s intellectual property. This week, Dr. Wright wrote about the Internet of Things (IOT). The Medium post, titled Generic Thin Operating Systems for Blockchain IOT Devices, outlines solutions for increasing security and privacy of IOT devices, while at the same time, creating automatic management all by linking them to the BSV blockchain.

Watch The Bitcoin Vision: Episode 3:

While you’re at it, also check out the previous episodes of The Bitcoin Vision here.

Post to Bitcoin SV blockchain with ‘simplest’ Datapay JavaScript library

Prolific cryptocurrency developer Unwriter is making good on his promise “to build everything on top of Bitcoin”—Bitcoin SV (BSV) to be specific.

On January 2, the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block, Unwriter announced on Twitter the launch of Datapay, the “simplest” JavaScript library for building and broadcasting data transactions to the BSV blockchain. It’s so simple, according to the developer, that “all it takes is 4 lines (of code) to start writing data” to the BSV chain.

Forked from Datacash, the library Unwriter wrote for the BCH, Datapay uses BSV Explorer as its default RPC. It’s also powered by bsv, a library for cryptography, key management and transaction building for Bitcoin SV. But unlike the conventional Bitcoin transaction libraries, which focus on sending money, Datapay is designed with a different philosophy—send data as simple as possible.

To do this, the Datapay library only has two methods: build, for building a transaction but not broadcasting it to the network; and send, for sending a transaction.

Unwriter explained on GitHub, “Datapay was created in order to make it dead simple to construct OP_RETURN related transactions, but you can even use it to build regular transactions. Also Datapay exposes datapay.bsv endpoint which you can use to access the underlying bsv library.”

In December, Unwriter announced that he would be transitioning all his projects to use the bsv library, which is being maintained by Money Button for the BSV ecosystem. The crypto developer’s move is in line with his decision “to build everything on top of Bitcoin.” Unwriter, who was behind a number of the useful infrastructure projects in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem, noted in a Medium post that Bitcoin SV is the real Bitcoin, explaining, “I feel 100% safe operating on SV because the protocol hasn’t changed at all, there has been no behind-the-doors centralized collusion.”

Unwriter, however, believes app developers have a common goal. He points out, “Regardless of what BCH has become, I see all app developers—even those who confuse me as evil—as being on the same side, you just don’t realize yet.”

What's the second Bitcoin Cash capacity upgrade all about?

What’s the second Bitcoin Cash capacity upgrade all about?

Another major upgrade for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is scheduled to take place on May 15. This update is a substantial step forward for the cryptocurrency, and will introduce features that are designed to make the BCH blockchain more robust and help the network process more transactions than BTC.

The hard fork was first announced in November. It will raise BCH’s block size from 8MB to 32MB, greatly increasing the number of transactions allowable per block. It will also increase the “OP_RETURN” field from 80 to 220 bytes, allowing users to store data on the blockchain. This function paves way for use cases like time-stamping, rights management or asset creation.

In addition to introducing new features, some old ones will be making a comeback. Some types of smart contracts, removed previously over concerns that they could allow the blockchain to be hacked, will be reintroduced. Steve Shadders, a developer for nChain, said in a blog post, “Essentially out of an abundance of caution and lack of time to fully explore and fix the edge cases that needed to be addressed, the decision was taken to simply disable any opcodes around which there were doubts or even hints of doubts.”

It would appear that BTC developer Johnson Lau recommended the same types of smart contracts for the BTC network in February. BCH has now beaten BTC to the punch, and the inclusion of these features will make BCH much more versatile than BTC. BCH will only introduce a few of the smart contract types that were previously removed, as some still have the potential to be a weak link in the blockchain.

These are just a few items in the list of changes included in the network upgrade, which have been accepted by virtually the entire BCH community, making it an almost completely agreed upon upgrade. But the May capacity upgrade is only one of several that have potentially been slated for this year. The community will see another one in November that would introduce even more features.

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.
Censorship-free social network Memo is built on Bitcoin Cash

Censorship-free social network Memo is built on Bitcoin Cash

Memo, an on-chain social network developed on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain, has launched in alpha testing this week. Developed on the Bitcoin BCH network, the application allows the recording and storage of data on the blockchain through its front-end protocol, tied to individual BCH addresses and keys.

Using OP_RETURN transactions, users can tether specific information to their profile, in the makings of what could be one of the first social networks for BCH. According to the developer behind Memo, the application aims to create an ‘uncensorable’ way to store data and transactional information, contrary to the model used by online social networks.

The developer behind Memo described the application as “both a protocol and a front-end application,” noting that “the protocol works by writing transactions to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Client applications can read these transactions to see the activity on the network.”

“With current social networks, users do not control their data and can have their accounts removed without reason. The blockchain is more than an uncensorable way to send money, it’s an uncensorable way to store data. Memo is an experiment leveraging the blockchain’s data storing capabilities,” according to the Memo website.

Once created, Memos can be read by anyone following the relevant profile, and there is also the option to ‘like’ or ‘tip’ the memo, through BCH transactions.

According to early reports, the platform charges under a penny to post messages on the network, and once Bitcoin BCH is loaded into a user’s account, it is seemingly straightforward to use the currency to power different functionality on the network.

Memo has already attracted a lot of attention from within the cryptocurrency community, not least from those who see it as an example of how the BCH blockchain could work for social networks in future.

Nevertheless, the developers are keen to stress that it remains very early days for the network, and that users do so at their own risk, ahead of a more stable release, saying, “You acknowledge that you are using an application that is in alpha testing, that your account could be wiped at any time, and that Memo takes no responsibility for your account or keys.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.