Leading blockchain technology research and development outfit nChain has rolled out the release candidate of the Bitcoin SV client on October 15 — one month ahead of the November Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrade. BCH miners and mining pools are encouraged to begin using Bitcoin SV.
Bitcoin SV, which stands for Satoshi Vision, is a new full-node implementation for Bitcoin BCH designed to fulfil the vision set out by Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper. Unlike other competing BCH implementations which seek to make unnecessary changes to Bitcoin, Bitcoin SV’s roadmap is to restore the original Satoshi protocol, keep it stable, enable it to massively scale, and allow major businesses to confidently build on top of BCH.
Available on GitHub, the Bitcoin SV 0.1 version includes support for the November BCH upgrade, including the re-enabling of these Satoshi op_codes: OP_MUL, OP_INVERT, OP_LSHIFT, and OP_RSHIFT. The default maximum size of accepted blocks has also been increased from the 32MB soft limit to 128MB.
After spending 5 weeks in public beta, this release candidate makes one significant change from the beta version: raising the limit on the number of op_ codes per script to 500 rather than removing it altogether. The Bitcoin SV team intends to remove the op_code limit entirely at a later time, after further testing as part of its rigorous QA framework.
This release has streamlined to focus on its core audience of business users by disabling features meant for home users such as GUI and Windows support. Steve Shadders, Technical Director of the SV Project, said: “It’s time for Bitcoin to professionalize. Therefore, Bitcoin SV is targeted at business users, primarily miners but also cryptocurrency exchanges and merchants. By eliminating unnecessary features, we can keep the development focused on what really matters to our core user base.”
Additionally, the automatic replay feature and the activation logic for the May 2018 upgrade have been removed. The release version also introduced protections against malicious peer behaviour, notably the so-called “infinite block attack”.
Going forward, Bitcoin SV will focus more on scalability of BCH. Daniel Connolly, lead developer for the SV project, explains: “For this initial release candidate, we focused on stability for the protocol by minimizing the change set. For future releases, we plan updates to enable massive scaling of the BCH network so that it can support major enterprise usage globally.”
Considered one of the most promising Bitcoin BCH node implementations, Bitcoin SV is born out of the desire to empower miners to direct the future of Bitcoin and also to ensure BCH miners remain profitable. Miners will have a choice and a voice to drive the process of restoring Bitcoin to its optimal state – that of unbounded blocks, original OP_Codes, and no artificial limits imposed on the protocol.
But why now? The reason, according to nChain Group CEO Jimmy Nguyen is simple: There’s a direct economic need for miners.
At the recently held The Future of Bitcoin Summit Bangkok 2018 in Thailand, Nguyen explained why it is important for the block size to begin scaling now —and scale fast: “In two years the block reward will be split in half again to 6.25 BCH. So anyone who’s mining now will in two years receive half of what they’re receiving today. In order to maintain even current profitability, what that means is in two years they have to make up that 6.25 coins worth of value in something else, which has to come in transaction fees and which has to come in higher transaction volume.” In fact, the BCH network needs to reach gigabyte size blocks by the year 2020 to keep miners profitable, so the road to massive scaling must begin now.
The Bitcoin SV project was created at the request of and sponsored by Antiguan-based CoinGeek Mining, with development work initiated by nChain. The project is also owned by the Antiguan-based bComm Association on behalf of the global BCH community, and the Bitcoin SV code is made available under the open source MIT license.
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