For most of Bitcoin’s existence, fans have raved about its peer-to-peer cash application. The financial benefits of sending value from one party to another without an intermediary were quickly grasped. Numerous applications sprang up to allow speedy (even, cross-border) monetary transfers at a fraction of the cost of the traditional banking system. 

The economic implications of Bitcoin was another hotly debated issue from early on. Could Bitcoin’s deflationary model provide the foundation for sound money - an alternative to fiat currencies that all devalue or collapse over time? Could Bitcoin be implemented on a national level to weed out government corruption?

While Bitcoin’s monetary and economic applications offer potential breakthroughs on the financial front, it has become increasingly evident that they only scratch the surface of Bitcoin’s potential.

This is an extract (Chapter 4) from our new eBook, "What is Bitcoin? 11th Birthday Edition". 

You can order your free copy by heading over here.


The Unfuckening of Bitcoin

The Bitcoin SV project’s launch and mission to restore the Original Bitcoin protocol marks a significant shift in many people’s understanding of Bitcoin. 

Before this point, the list of Bitcoin applications included wallets, debit cards, online marketplaces, and all things financial. For users, this meant being able to buy, sell, invest, transfer, and sometimes spend or earn bitcoin. 

When Bitcoin SV took over the reins of the Original Bitcoin in 2018, the project took up the challenge of removing the artificially introduced limits and scaling Bitcoin to Satoshi’s vision of a continuously scaling network

Steve Shadders, one of the technical leaders of the mission, aptly titled the venture the Unfuckening of Bitcoin.

OP_RETURN Data Limits Lifted

“Of course in Bitcoin SV our driving principle is to return to the original protocol, which includes removing limits on things like OP_RETURN and allowing economics to govern usage. So it was our goal from day one of the Bitcoin SV project to unshackle the data storage use case.” - Steve Shadders, Technical Director of nChain

In January 2019, Steve Shadders and other Bitcoin SV developers and miners decided to lift another major limit that had been plaguing Bitcoin since the start: the limit on OP_RETURN data. Simply put, the OP_RETURN function allows users to store arbitrary data on the blockchain. 

Although the data embedded into bitcoin transactions in this way don’t do much in terms of calculation, it enabled an unexpected wave of creative applications to blossom.

The Genesis Upgrade

“But now, when we remove that limitation, all valid transactions will propagate around the network and will be mined. I'm just waiting to see what will come from that and what people will do with this full scripting language.” - Daniel Connolly, Bitcoin SV lead developer.

The next step in Bitcoin’s unfuckening was to reset Bitcoin SV to the original Bitcoin protocol and lifting the block size limit entirely. This penultimate Bitcoin SV hard fork was named the Genesis Upgrade.

By lifting the hard-coded block size limit and allowing miners to calculate a viable threshold by balancing demand and their own capacity, Bitcoin was set back on the path of following economic incentives instead of arbitrary limits set by developers.

Another huge advancement of the upgrade was that non-standard transactions would be propagated henceforth. Standard transaction types include functions like transferring value from one person to another or one address to another. But the Bitcoin script language allowed for an immense range of transaction types - potential that was killed off on the Bitcoin Core (BTC) node implementation.

Bitcoin’s Restoration Causes an Explosion of Applications

Removing arbitrary limits and restoring Bitcoin to its original functionality immediately enabled a vast range of previously untapped use cases, from tokenisation to on-chain data systems, and the Internet of Money - Metanet.

On-Chain Content Platforms 

Perhaps the most obvious new application was to store data, or content, on the blockchain. Bitcoin’s features (immutability, traceability, and micro-transactions) enable content platforms to experiment with entirely novel incentives and value systems. For example, Social Media platform, Twetch, lets users earn money for their content, to pay for participation (to reduce trolls and bots), and to retain ownership of their own data.  

“We can now build blogging platforms, on-chain (without trickery), or even extend Memo’s restrictive character limit and immediately allow for long-form posts. It’s already being tested and experimented with as developer @_Unwriter who just last week released six projects in seven days, published a ‘serverless website stored in a single Bitcoin push data.’” -  Eli Afram, Bitcoin SV developer and CTO for LAYER2 Technologies.

Shared Computation

Resetting Bitcoin to allow the propagation of non-standard transactions with an expanded volume of embedded data enabled another valuable use case: shared computing systems. The ability to share your idle computer power means greater efficiency with existing resources while giving equipment owners the chance to earn for their contribution. It’s a win-win! 

Tokenisation and Digital Contracts

“Some of the things it enables for Tokenized right off the bat are; atomic swaps – on chain token for token exchanges, for example, fiat token for ticket token, and multiple token senders and multiple token receivers per transaction. Principally, it can allow our Tokenized system to run with the same flexibility and capabilities as Bitcoin itself! …And this isn’t scratching the surface either. Our team is very encouraged by this development and believes this is a historic moment for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is now a general purpose ledger, and that unleashes its true power.” - James Belding, Head of Tokenized

The restoration of Bitcoin brought great joy to developers focussing on tokenisation and digital contracts (static and smart contracts). With both the limit on embedded transaction data lifted and the possibility to create and propagate unique transaction types, digital contracts can far exceed the possibilities of its traditional version.

Enterprise Data Systems

The cryptocurrency industry has been dreaming of mainstream adoption for many years, mostly for the sake of pumping the price of speculative tokens. In Bitcoin SV, on the other hand, it is well known that the best channel to bring utility to the masses is through business adoption. While crypto has been focussing on price hype, Bitcoin SV has kept its eye on the ball: build the utility and infrastructure, and businesses won’t be able to refuse.

And so it was.

At the February 2020 CoinGeek London conference, the first significant enterprise adopters of Bitcoin SV were introduced:

Healthcare Systems on Bitcoin SV

“Having it all together (that one record) is not only going to save lives, but also increase patient safety.” - Cheryl Jorgenson, (Chief Clinical Officer, EHR Data, Inc.)

In collaboration with nChain, EHR Data Inc. announced that they are building a global healthcare database that will transform the industry from one where patient records are stored in the siloes of each healthcare practice to one relying on a single record of truth. By creating such an interoperable data system, medical practitioners will be able to make the most informed diagnoses and treatment plans for their patients, even on the first consultation. 

BSV Can Fix Supply Chain Management

“In terms of efficiency 80 per cent of supply chain operations are waste,” says Stephan Nilsson, co-founder and CEO of enterprise supply chain solution provider, UNISOT (Universal Source of Truth). Nilsson believes that, by using Bitcoin SV as infrastructure, they will be able to address these inefficiencies and solve the top 10 problems in their industry.


The Internet of Money

The Internet has drastically changed business and social interactions over the past three decades, opening up a vast range of new opportunities for enterprises and individuals. At the same time, the Internet’s business model has inherent flaws, ranging from a shortage of informational integrity to difficulties of monetising content, and a lack of data ownership for end-users.

Given the huge impact that information has in shaping our current society and the primary role that data will play in the fourth industrial revolution, it’s essential to reinvent the world’s primary data carrier - the Internet. 

By building the Internet of Money, Metanet, on top of the BSV blockchain, Bitcoin SV is doing just that. Using the Bitcoin blockchain as interface for data and monetary interactions promises numerous advantages:

  1. The control of data is shifted from database operators back into the hands of the creators. What you share, whom you share it with, for what period and under what conditions - if you created the data, you’re in charge! 
  2. Transparency. As information is recorded into Bitcoin’s public ledger and shared between users, the flow of data can be audited (which means that people can be held accountable for their actions!).
  3. Services and content are paid for, instead of free. Profits are to be made, but with the help of a native cash system allowing for micropayments, profits can be divvied up between all contributors - no matter how minor.

With Bitcoin, the Sky’s the Limit

“None of this would have worked without Bitcoin, but it’s a wheel and I want to build a car.” Craig Wright, aka. Satoshi Nakamoto

Although it’s still one of the best kept secrets of the industry, Bitcoin is about far more than monetary applications. While Bitcoin’s most innovative use cases are yet to come, resetting to the original protocol (under the Bitcoin SV node application) has already enabled developers and organisations to resume the projects they’d dreamed up in the early days.

With Bitcoin SV following Satoshi’s original vision, arbitrary restrictions are a thing of the past, and the sky is now the limit.

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