“Genesis” hard fork from Bitcoin SV

LONDON, January 20, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Bitcoin’s original design is back with the hard fork of the Bitcoin SV (BSV) network 4th February 2020. The hard fork is codenamed “Genesis” because it returns the Bitcoin protocol as closely as possible to the original, published in 2009 by the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto (also known as Dr. Craig S. Wright). Instead of an “upgrade”, it is more precisely a log “restore”. This is an important step in Bitcoin SV’s journey to finally unlock the massive on-chain scaling power and greater technical capabilities that have always been possible with Bitcoin’s technology platform. Bitcoin SV can now enable a world where data, transactions and digital activity of all kinds can be “on-chain” in a single public blockchain, just as the world operates online on a single public Internet.

Bitcoin SV originated from the world’s first Bitcoin hash war in November 2018 as the new name for Bitcoin’s original protocol after previous developer groups (Bitcoin Core for BTC and Bitcoin ABC for BCH) changed Satoshi’s design and refused to massively scale. As the fastest growing blockchain of all time, Bitcoin SV has exploded application development worldwide, taking advantage of its greater scale, data and micro-payment capabilities. Growing usage has resulted in BSV’s network transactions and the average block size of the blocks regularly exceeding BTC, and on some days even exceeding the Ethereum network. Why? BSV (which stands for Satoshi Vision) is the only project that adheres to it Satoshi Nakamotos original protocol, design and vision for Bitcoin. In short, BSV is Bitcoin.

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of the Bitcoin Association (the global industry organization for Bitcoin SV), commented: “With the reintroduction of Satoshi’s design into Bitcoin SV, the Genesis hard fork is a historic moment in the journey of Bitcoin, the global peer-to-peer e- Cash to become a system and corporate blockchain that can … power anything. The internet has given birth to a world where anything can be ‘online’; Bitcoin can now – through Bitcoin SV – enable a world in which everything can be ‘on-chain’. “

According to the project managers at Bitcoin SV Node Daniel Connolly (Head of Developer) and Steve Shadders (Technical Director) the Genesis Hard Fork contains many technical features (summarized here), but achieves three main goals:

(1) Unleash the scaling potential of Bitcoin

Genesis will finally unleash Bitcoin’s inherent power to scale massively by removing the standard hard cap on block sizes. For too many years the Bitcoin ecosystem has been paralyzed by disputes over whether the network should scale with larger blocks to support more transaction volumes. The BTC network kept its block cap limited to a tiny 1MB and only allowed 3-7 transactions per second; the BCH network has stayed at 32MB, which is still far too small to support enterprise use.

Bitcoin SV now completely removes all standard block size caps (or more precisely, the standard cap and therefore the transaction capacity is infinite). It is up to the miners, not the protocol developers, to manage the consensus of block size and transaction capacity in the BSV network based on market forces, just as Satoshi’s design always intended.

Currently (before the Genesis hard fork), BSV can conveniently process 1000 transactions per second, and theoretically up to 9000 transactions per second (if the current block cap of 2 GB is fully used). As soon as the block cap is removed by the Genesis hard fork and with technical improvements and further scaling work, the transaction capacity of BSV will continue to grow and has an infinite potential. This paves the way for companies to reliably build large-scale applications on the BSV blockchain. It will also help Bitcoin mining remain profitable in the future by allowing miners to earn more transaction fees to offset the revenue they lose from the continued “halving” of the fixed subsidy amount of the Bitcoin block reward (which is halved from 12.5 coins to 6.25 coins). Spring 2020, then halved every four years).

(2) Restoring the original Bitcoin protocol and technical performance

Over the course of Bitcoin’s life, protocol developers have made changes and put limits on Bitcoin’s technical capabilities. Hence, another goal of Bitcoin SV is to recreate as much of the original protocol as possible to enable the spirit of Satoshi’s design described in the original Bitcoin whitepaper and software. The Genesis hard fork is a big step in that direction; it contains a large number of changes that can be divided into three groups:

  1. Removal of artificial restrictions placed on the protocol – such as: B. the lifting of any restrictions on the block size of the blockchain (and thus the transaction and data capacity) as described above, as well as any restrictions on the size and capabilities of individual transactions.
  2. Restoring the full original functionality of Bitcoin Script – the programming language used within the Bitcoin protocol. Over the years, key elements of Bitcoin’s scripting language have been disabled or restricted; the Genesis hard fork restores these functionalities in Bitcoin SV.
  3. Removing some adverse changes made to Bitcoin. Bitcoin SV sunsetting, for example, Pay-to-Script-Hash (P2SH), an addition to the Bitcoin protocol after Satoshi left the project to address perceived problems with mere multi-signature transactions. P2SH brought significant privacy and security issues of its own, and also breaks the smart contract functions and transparency model of Bitcoin’s original design.

With these restores, the Bitcoin blockchain can be more easily used not only for payment transactions, but also for a wide variety of data, tokens, smart contracts, content delivery, enterprise applications, Internet of Things and other applications. Developers and companies will be able to design transactions that perform many complex functions on Bitcoin without the need for other blockchain projects such as Ethereum, EOS or Hyperledger.

(3) Stabilization of the protocol

on June 7, 2010, early in Bitcoin’s life, Satoshi wrote these famous words in an online post:

“The nature of Bitcoin is such that after version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifespan.”

In addition to restoring Bitcoin’s original protocol, the Genesis hard fork honors Satoshi’s vision of having this core design “set in stone”. The update contains a fairly long list of technical changes, but brings them all together in a hard fork for one compelling reason: the ability to stabilize the protocol.

Why is that important? A stable set of rules ensures that a money or data transaction carried out on the blockchain today will be valid in 2, 5 and 100 years. Additionally, businesses and developers want a locked log before investing the time and resources building applications on it, rather than constantly changing their development process when the base log changes repeatedly. By comparison, the internet protocol has changed little over the past 30 years, and that stability has been critical to reaching today’s vast world of online commerce and activity.

Note that after the Genesis hard fork, the BSV network may still see some software updates and improvements – including the Bitcoin SV Node software. In addition, leading blockchain research and development company nChain is developing another version of the enterprise-class BSV software called “Teranode”. But all future software versions will not significantly affect the basic protocol rules for Bitcoin and should not affect applications that, according to Genesis, are based on BSV.


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