August 16, 2018

Bitcoin SV Full Node Implementation Launched to Fully Restore Original Bitcoin Protocol

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nChain, the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies, announces the creation of Bitcoin SV, a new full node implementation of the original Bitcoin protocol now restored in the form of Bitcoin Cash (BCH).  Reflecting its mission to fulfil the vision of Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto, the project name represents the “Satoshi Vision” or SV.   Created at the request of leading BCH mining enterprise CoinGeek and other miners, Bitcoin SV is intended to provide a clear BCH implementation choice for miners who support Bitcoin’s original vision, over implementations that seek to make unnecessary changes to the original Bitcoin protocol.

Earlier this week, CoinGeek made a clear statement about using its BCH hash power to support a Bitcoin protocol direction that is consistent with the Satoshi Vision.  CoinGeek’s announcement made clear that it will not support implementations or projects that make unnecessary changes to the original Bitcoin protocol.   CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre explains:

“Because miners should drive the roadmap in the Bitcoin space, CoinGeek and other miners asked nChain to create a professionally-driven implementation of the Bitcoin full node software (for use on BCH) that restores the original Bitcoin protocol.  CoinGeek is sponsoring the project and intends to mine with Bitcoin SV.  We invite other BCH miners to join us in using Bitcoin SV to voice their support for the Satoshi Vision.”

nChain Group CEO Jimmy Nguyen comments:

“Answering the call of miners, nChain is happy to provide technical capabilities needed to support Bitcoin SV.  Once the Bitcoin protocol is fully restored and maintained, global businesses and developers can reliably build robust applications, projects and ventures upon it – just as they reliably build upon the long-stable Internet protocols.  The future of Bitcoin is big blocks, big business, and big growth.  Bitcoin SV is an important step toward that big future by advancing the professionalization of Bitcoin.”

Roadmap

A comprehensive roadmap is in development, but the first goal is to have the initial Bitcoin SV release ready for testing by first week of September 2018.  The code will be based off Bitcoin ABC v0.17.2.  The initial release will contain as minimal a changeset as possible to support the November 15, 2018 BCH protocol upgrade because the first priority for Bitcoin SV is to establish security and QA best practices.

For the first release of Bitcoin SV, these planned changes will bring BCH significantly closer to the original Bitcoin protocol:

  1. Restoring more original Satoshi op codes:  OP_MUL, OP_LSHIFT, OP_RSHIFT, OP_INVERT
  2. Removing the limit of 201 op codes per script
  3. Raising the maximum block size to 128 MB

Once ready, code and supporting information will be available at the new Bitcoin SV repository on Github.   Bitcoin SV will be made available for open source usage under the MIT License.

In addition to leading the Bitcoin SV project for CoinGeek, nChain will continue developing its previously-announced Teranode project for longer term deployment.   Teranode will be an enterprise-level BCH full node implementation, employing a micro-services architecture approach to target terabyte+ block capacity.

Developer Team

The Bitcoin SV team has been constructed with a view to realizing industry best practices, in order to deliver and maintain a full node implementation with an unprecedented commitment to quality assurance and stability.

The Lead Developer will be Daniel Connolly, who joined nChain after 20 years in enterprise systems and IT positions for United Nations agencies.  Daniel contributed anonymously to Bitcoin for several years, and has contributed to the Electron Cash project and is a primary contributor to the BitcoinJ-Cash project.  nChain’s Steve Shadders will act as Technical Director, providing project oversight and liaison with sponsors.  Steve began contributing to Bitcoin in 2011, authoring one of the first open source mining pool engines and was one of the earliest contributors to BitcoinJ.  Additionally, the team will begin with a pool of 5 C++ developers with over 95 collective years of development experience, a part time Dev Ops resource, a full time QA engineer and range of business support personnel.

The project team is looking to hire additional C++ developers with either direct Bitcoind experience or infrastructure experience.  Applicants are invited to submit their expression of interest to [email protected].

CoinGeek will provide Bitcoin SV with resources to support this professionalization of BCH development.

Quality program

The Bitcoin SV project will reinforce its commitment to stringent quality with several measures.

Firstly, the team will implement best practice change management processes and will seek to engage external QA expertise from other security-sensitive industries to monitor and audit these processes

Secondly, the project will engage the services of an industry-leading blockchain security audit firm.  This outside team will serve two purposes:

  1. Complete a full security audit of the Bitcoin SV code base scheduled to begin in mid- October.  This audit will cover not only the code itself but also development practices and processes to assist in building the most robust node development team in the industry.
  2. Provide ongoing review and threat analysis of all code changes as and when they are submitted as candidates.

Using such an outside security audit firm requires significant expense, but CoinGeek and nChain are willing to contribute such costs for the good of the entire BCH ecosystem.

 

Third, the Bitcoin SV project will offer a generous bug bounty program to motivate and mobilize security researchers around the world to find and report security vulnerabilities.  The team will engage expert service providers in the field to develop an industry best practice “Responsible Disclosure Program.”

 

In order to demonstrate its commitment to rewarding responsible bug disclosures, the Bitcoin SV team will begin by offering the highest tier reward of USD $100,000 (sponsored by CoinGeek and of course, payable in BCH) to Cory Fields, a security researcher who found and responsibly disclosed a potential BCH chain-splitting bug in May of this year.  The result of this anonymous disclosure was a rapid and professional response that ensured the vulnerability was patched quickly and the network secured.   Through its bug bounty program, the Bitcoin SV project wants to encourage more professional disclosures like that to help strengthen BCH.

Competitive engagement

More node implementations and more competition are good for Bitcoin.  Therefore, the Bitcoin SV project welcomes engagement from other implementation developer teams that choose to support the consensus changes proposed by Bitcoin SV.  The Bitcoin SV team invites collaboration with those teams and encourages cooperation on testing and consensus code sharing.

nChain Group CEO Nguyen adds:

“This is an exciting, but also critical, time for the progress of Bitcoin BCH.   We look forward to collaborating with groups around the world on projects such as Bitcoin SV to achieve our common goal:    making the original Satoshi Vision for Bitcoin a global reality.”

Details on CoinGeek Week Conference in London this November & how to join the (free) bComm Association.