“It’s time for Bitcoin to grow up”, said Jimmy Nyguyen in his opening remarks at the CoinGeek Week conference. That set the tone for the next three days and 30 or so presentations.
The hash war between Bitcoin ABC and SV had played out. It was fierce – and had changed the world for the combatants in just a couple of short weeks. But Jimmy, and Calvin Ayre, who introduced the conference, were confident that their team – including CoinGeek, nChain and SVPool – are now in a great place from which to build for the future around Bitcoin SV.
Since the conference was held just ahead of the tenth anniversary of the first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain, the sense of growing up and moving on to the next chapter had an extra resonance. As to what the way forward would look like, Craig Wright came on stage later that morning and captured it in his first words: “OK, it’s really, really simple: we need transaction volume.”
During the rest of the conference at London’s Mermaid Theatre, the path to more transactions, of more kinds, was explained through a kaleidoscope of big visions and inspiring implementations that are already up and running.
One theme that jumped out was the sense that crypto is starting to work with the grain of the world as it exists – rather than trying to build a parallel universe. Just three examples: Elizabeth White announced a debit card that uses crypto and has Mastercard as a partner. Stephan Nilsson is building a supply chain ID system that works on the blockchain alongside SAP – a global data management giant.
And CentBee’s Angus Brown talked about how his wallet was part of a recent initiative with the (very real) bar chain Brewdog. Again, it was a question of working with the world as it is: “bank cards are not going away tomorrow,” said Angus. So CentBee “needs to feel like a payment card, but better.” The experience with giving people wallets to buy beer a few minutes later produced an “I get it” reaction: “it’s not Lambos, it’s just beer”.
That kind of ordinariness and familiarity is one of the aims of Ryan X. Charles’ Moneybutton. It’s designed to integrate with any online site, with an endless array of possible functions – starting with money. As Ryan put it, we’re “making payments as easy as the Facebook Like button”. Crucially, Moneybutton is “just an interface for you to use the power of the blockchain”. The end user sees money in the currency they’re familiar with – pounds, dollars or whatever. So if you want to leave a tip, you don’t need to know what it is in Bitcoin: that side of the transaction is all behind the scenes.
Talking of working with the real world, what could be more real that using the power of crypto mining to grow vegetables? Or drying, er, human waste to turn it into fuel. That’s what’s happening just outside Montreal, courtesy of BlockchainDomes. The idea is that the heat generated during the mining process shouldn’t be wasted. Is this the start of a green crypto movement?
Summing up at the end of day two, Jimmy Nyguyen reminded his audience that technical solutions are just part of the work in crypto. Alongside that, “a business-minded, real world approach is important”.
Embracing reality – that’s what crypto is doing today. Now please fasten your seatbelts for day three of the conference, whose theme is The Future.
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The CoinGeek-sponsored Bitcoin BCH Miners Choice Summit, held at The Grand Harbour in Hong Kong last November 2, wasn’t just an opportunity for Bitcoin BCH miners to network. It was also an event where they learned why Bitcoin SV stands out from other competing implementations.
Jimmy Nguyen, CEO of the nChain Group, and Steve Shadders, director of solutions and engineering as well as technical director of the Bitcoin SV project, took the stage to explain the four pillars on which Bitcoin SV sits: stability, scalability, security, and safe and instant transactions. All “S” words, according to Nguyen, in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto.
“We are asking for miners to choose and support our vision of Bitcoin Cash, and we believe miners would choose Bitcoin SV as the implementation because it will ensure them the most long term profitability. And we chose to create this implementation because of differences of opinion we had with the other Bitcoin Cash developer groups which we felt were trying too hard to change Bitcoin, and as Craig was talking about, and also we believe it’s time for the Bitcoin development to be led not by the protocol developer groups, which who had led them for so long, but to be really be led by what’s the interest of miners,” Nguyen told the audience.
The nChain CEO also talked about his belief that it’s time for Bitcoin to lock in the protocols, just as the Internet protocol was locked in, thus allowing development of the internet into what we have today. Nguyen stressed, “It’s time for Bitcoin to grow up and professionalize.”
Watch Jimmy Nguyen and Steve Shadders’ presentation, “Bitcoin SV: The BCH Implementation for Satoshi Vision,” below. Nguyen is also speaking at the CoinGeek Week Conference, happening on November 28-30 in London, with the special, invitation-only Miners Day event on November 27.
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Last November 15, during the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrade, a hash war has been fought with miners voting between two competing implementations of the BCH protocol—Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC.
As expected, Bitcoin ABC took a temporary early lead, thanks to an artificial burst from “rented” hash power subsidized by Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com, which announced that it would use pool customer hash from the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network onto the BCH chain for 24 hours, as well as from ABC’s main supporter Bitmain Technologies.
The hash war, however, isn’t far from over. Bitcoin SV’s strongest supporters, CoinGeek and nChain, is committed to a long term fight using their legitimate, sustained hash—long after Bitmain can no longer afford to bleed money for rented hash.
On November 17, nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen appeared on Keyport’s live stream coverage of the Bitcoin BCH hash war to speak the truth, as well as explain to the BCH community the consequences of their willingness to accept a burst of rented hash to quickly decide the hash war. And to those who are out there on social media, cheering for the supposed ABC victory, Nguyen posed this question: Is this the precedent we want to set for the Bitcoin Cash community?
Read the full transcript of Jimmy Nguyen’s Keyport speech below.
TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES ABOUT THE ONGOING BITCOIN CASH HASH WAR
Jimmy Nguyen – CEO, nChain Group
Since the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network upgrade on November 15, a hash war has been fought with miners voting between Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC – two competing implementations of the BCH protocol. nChain and CoinGeek support Bitcoin SV. As we fully expected, Bitcoin ABC appeared to take a temporary early lead by receiving an artificial burst from temporary, “rented” hash power subsidized by Roger Ver’s company Bitcoin.com, which announced it would move its pool customer hash from the rival Bitcoin Core (BTC) network onto the BCH blockchain for just 24 hours, and from ABC’s main supporter Bitmain Technologies.
Many observers have quick to prematurely call a win for Bitcoin ABC. But the hash war is not over. nChain and CoinGeek continue to fight, mining with our legitimate, sustained hash committed to support the Bitcoin Cash network and the Satoshi Vision. For days before the hard fork, Bitcoin SV had support from over 75% of the network hash.. Knowing they clearly did not have enough support to win, Bitcoin ABC’s backers had to rent and subsidize BTC hash to move onto BCH to use as voting power. When they can no longer to afford to pay massive daily amounts to rent hash for this BCH hash war, we will still be here fighting, and the consistent hash power supporting Bitcoin SV will overtake Bitcoin ABC. That is the inevitable result of this BCH hash war
On November 17, I appeared on Keyport’s live stream coverage of the BCH hash war to provide my views and a statement to the Bitcoin Cash community about “Truth and Consequences” of their willingness to accept a burst of rented hash to quickly decide the hash war. This is a transcript of my speech, edited for clarity.
I’m about to tell you truth and consequences. These are the truth and consequences for the Bitcoin Cash community of what’s happening in this hash war.
So the weekend went exactly as I expected. There was the fork on Thursday, November 15; there was a huge burst of hash that came into the network on the side of Bitcoin ABC that was rented or subsidised— probably from the BTC network, in order to artificially boost the support for Bitcoin ABC far higher than it had ever been in the days and weeks coming up to the hard fork.
Then the Bitcoin ABC supporters decided to declare early victory, because they seemed so far ahead in hash. Then they started going to the exchanges, if not even before the hard fork. (I think they did look before to try and get them to recognise their chain as Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
They added checkpoint—not a surprise, our developers heard about that a week ago.
So everything that happened is exactly as I predicted, and we’re continuing to plug away.
And people are probably wondering why we didn’t bring more hash in to support the Bitcoin SV side of the coin. Let me explain why. We actually had plenty of petahash offered to us; in fact, we actually didn’t have to go ask any miners or mining pools to lend us their hash.
Before and after the BCH Miners Choice Summit on November 2nd that CoinGeek sponsored and which I attended, we had a potential deal for thousands of petahash —to be rented and subsidised by us much like, I’m sure, Bitmain and Roger Ver were doing in some capacity or variation. While I was at that summit, we had thousands more petahash offered to us to rent, by people who just did not like Bitmain, opposed the Bitcoin ABC implementation, or wanted to support us for all kinds of reasons.
I could have walked away from that day with easily ten to fifteen thousand petahash worth of support for Bitcoin SV. And it’s not for lack of money or resources that we decided not to do it because Calvin Ayre, CoinGeek and nChain could have easily afforded to do that for as long as it took during this battle, and we would have blown the Bitcoin ABC side out of the water, at least compared to the hash that they have demonstrated so far in the charts you can see. But I actually had a realization at that moment in Hong Kong about whether that was the right thing to do; and I decided it was not, because of the consequences it would have in the future for the Bitcoin Cash community. And here’s what they are:
The whole reason that such hash was available on the BTC network to move onto BCH is because the people who should have fought Bitcoin Core did not, and splintered off to create the Bitcoin Cash network, and allowed BTC to continue on. That’s perfectly fine. But now they’re borrowing hash, renting it, subsidizing it from the very network they so vehemently oppose—many of them – to try and claim a victory on the BCH network.
I want you to think about the hypocrisy of that, because it’s staggering. I also want you to think about the game that is being played here, if you are able to just move hash for a day or two from the rival network that many of our community do not like, and use that to claim victory. What does it say about what you would do just to win what looks to many people right now like a sporting contest.
In addition, I want people to know that I thought long and hard about what should be the governing model to decide disagreement between rule sets for Bitcoin – because that’s what this is, that’s what’s really being tested in this moment right now. It’s not just about a particular feature set here or there. It’s about what should be the governing model when there are disagreements.
And think about this: when the Nakamoto Consensus was written in the Bitcoin white paper, there was supposed to only be one Bitcoin network. There was not supposed to be miners on a network running the same hash algorithm that you could pay to rent their hash to come in and vote in a disagreement over rule sets. Instead, the Bitcoin network as we know it, this whole system, it’s magic is in its economic incentives. Miners have incentives to provide the computing power and security of the network; they earn block rewards, they earn transaction fees, they have the investment and monetary interest therefore to make decisions on rule sets that best continue that economic incentive and the security of the network.
But if you are not mining on the network and don’t have your own investment in it, and you are not making money on this network but making it over on BTC, why is it that you should have a vote for the rule set for Bitcoin Cash, particularly when it is hash borrowed from the very network that Bitcoin Cash was designed to split off from?
So the Nakamoto Consensus is being tested for the first time right now, and I want you to really think about that. Obviously, Satoshi Nakamoto could not have envisioned, at the time the white paper was written, that there was going to be some splintered-off network using the same hash algorithm. And with the idea of one CPU equals one vote, or miner hash power equals the vote, it was designed—and I’m sure most logical people can agree with it—to recognise that the people who have an ongoing continuous invested interest in the network are the ones that should vote on a rule set.
But what has happened over this weekend is that the supporters of ABC have been so quick to come forward, and say, after a day or two of hash bursts provided by Roger Ver and his company Bitcoin.com’s move of hash from his customers from BTC over to BCH – and I’m sure move of BTC hash by Bitmain and other sources – after one or two days of bursts, they are so quick to declare, therefore they must be the winner.
But we took an alternate path. And as you can now probably understand why Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre have been so repeatedly vocal about the need for genuine and legitimate sustained hash that supports the network. We made the decision to fight with genuine honest hash. And that is why, if you notice, over the days leading up to the hard fork., the CoinGeek, SVPool, and BMG pools started gradually increasing the hash they were devoting to the network.
That was done for a reason. It wasn’t just an all-in burst to vote on the day of the hard fork. It was designed to demonstrate continued commitment to sustain this network and a desire to show the world we are going to continue using that hash on this network. It wasn’t a flash in the pan.
And so the situation that has unfolded this weekend is basically akin to saying: I want to have an election in the United States, and I don’t think I have enough votes, so I’m going to go pay people from Canada to come to the US for a day, vote, and leave—even those people who have no interest in the outcome of that election; it does not affect their lives, their livelihood, what pocket of money they get to pay their bills. That is what the people on the ABC side of the fence have just created: the idea that you can do that and that you can do that every time there’s a disagreement over the rule set.
So I really want people to think about what kind of system you want to decide consensus rule disagreements in the future for Bitcoin. Is it who can pay the most for one or two days to rent hash from a competing rival network that you escaped from? Or is it the votes of the miners who are ongoing providers of sustained hash, because they have an ongoing economic interest in the network?
And you saw the numbers in the days before the fork: it was clear the SV side of was demonstrating on a daily basis—for multiple days—far more than majority support from the network.
I believe that should be the governing model for Bitcoin consensus rule decisions. I also want everyone out there in the community to think about the consequences for the future. IF you are so quick to say that ABC should be declared the victor and awarded the BCH ticker symbol, and its consensus rules should govern, you’ve just walked into a bigger problematic box that I knew you would. Because I knew this would all happen; it’s all unfolded on Twitter and online. You’ve just provided the playbook for a big corporation with really big pockets, a state actor of government, anyone who could afford to pay for just one or two days of rented hash, to come over to the BCH network and get its rule set implemented.
Now that may not be nefarious; it could be Google, IBM, or Microsoft, who are very interested in blockchain technology, and they want to shape the Bitcoin Cash network with rules that favor their business model. This may be perfectly legitimate, and some people may support it. But I know many of you out there in the Bitcoin community would say: “well, wait a minute, I don’t want some big corporations just coming to pay, to take over the rule set of my network.” It would not cost that much —20 or 30 million dollars could have bought them a victory in a day or two according to what all the people screaming and cheering for ABC want to see happen.
A state actor could do that easily, that’s a drop in the bucket. And if you continue this path where you say “AHA!” after a day or two with bursts of hash that did not exist before and were just taken from the BTC network, if that is the way to determine the rule set, you have just set up the biggest vulnerability ever to the Bitcoin Cash network: for someone with a deep pocket to come in and implement whatever rule set they want.
And for those of you who aren’t a big fan of big corporations and government – you know who you are out there in the Bitcoin Cash community – I think you need to sit back and think: what have I just done? Because that’s what I thought, and this is exactly what I knew was going to happen. I sat there in Hong Kong, and I had all these offers of hash that we could have taken, and we could have used it to quickly win. But I had a moment where I had to say: I had a moment to say, is this the precedent we want to set for the Bitcoin Cash community? That anyone who has a deep pocket to pay for hash for a day or two, who doesn’t have to mine the day before – such as a government, a big corporation who could be a zero miner the day before – to just pay enough miners enough money on a hard-fork date to have enough hash to have its rule set take over?
That’s exactly the situation you are creating now for all of those who are out there on social media and online, cheering for a supposed ABC victory. That’s all you think it takes. But that’s not what it should be, and that’s not what it was envisioned to be at a time when the white paper was introduced to the world with the idea that there was just going to be a single Bitcoin network with a single network of miners who all had an economic incentive and interest to mine that network, and therefore make the best decisions for the viability and vibrancy of that network.
I’ll close by saying that that’s the truth I wanted the Bitcoin community to realise and the consequences of the path you’re trying to take. At nChain and on behalf of the CoinGeek people who are somewhere else, I want to say—and if it’s not clear already—we’re very committed with the SV project to really advance the Satoshi Vision. Obviously, some people have a different interpretation of it; that’s okay, but if there’s one thing we’ve been consistent about time and time again—we want the original Bitcoin. We want to see it grow to what it was meant to be. You can disagree with us about what feature set it should be, what block cap size, about anything else. But there is one thing we consistently work on, day in and day out. You don’t have to like Craig, but it’s very clear that is his mission and vision, and it’s ours as well. And that vision has to be enforced by a pure understanding of what Nakamoto Consensus should be: loads of miners who have an economic interest day in and day out—not people who can be mercenaries, who are rented to come in and allow anyone, any corporation or state actor, to take over your network.
To some people out there who are cheering for an ABC victory after a day or two: I want you to think long and hard about what you just did, if that’s the result you want. Because you’re not going to like it—the hypocrisy, I think, is staggering for where Bitcoin Cash came from. . . from Bitcoin Core.
So it’s time for this community to make a choice, to make a choice about how you want disagreements to be decided, and how you want to allow the ruleset for your chain to be governed.
I know what choice I’m going to make, and it’s a choice that supports the Satoshi Vision. I’m going to leave now, because I have a lot of work to do to support that vision.
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Today, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network goes through a protocol upgrade, and miners will begin using their hash power to vote between two competing implementations: Bitcoin SV, which seeks to restore the original Bitcoin protocol, and Bitcoin ABC, the prior leading implementation. One area of disagreement is that Bitcoin ABC is adding a new opcode not contained in the original Satoshi protocol: OP_CHECKDATASIG (or OP_DATASIGVERIFY) (we’ll call it OP_DSV for short). The Bitcoin Unlimited group also supports adding OP_DSV. Bitcoin SV opposes adding any new non-Satoshi op_codes, believing that the original Bitcoin protocol has everything it needs to enable development on top of it.
We also oppose OP_DSV for another reason: it presents legal risk. At nChain, we talk consistently about the need to build Bitcoin BCH such that it can operate in the real world: to meet real business needs, to be used by real people, and to comply with real laws. For some time, nChain’s Chief Scientist Craig Wright has voiced legal warnings that adding OP_DSV will knowingly introduce illegal transactions into the BCH blockchain. As a former technology and intellectual property lawyer (for 21 years in the U.S.), I want to add my thoughts to this important conversation about OP_DSV. I express the issue somewhat differently than Craig, but my conclusion is similar to his: as it has been proposed for usage, OP_DSV presents legal risks for the developers advocating it and any application using it for problematic purposes.
OP_DSV Proponents Identify Illegal Use Cases
OP_DSV is meant to enable usage of oracles to validate external information and allow an automated smart contract to operate. As one of its proponents, Emil Oldenberg, CTO of Bitcoin.com, describes it:
The new opcode verifies a message, returns true or false if the message is signed by the pubkey stated. This enables us to write something commonly referred to as an “oracle”. An oracle is a third party service that can be used as an authority for facts, statistics and data.
Like any technology feature, op codes can be used for both lawful and non-lawful purposes. The problem for OP_DSV is that its key proponents vocally proclaim uses cases that are, at best, legally problematic, and at worst, clearly illegal. This makes it apparent up front that code developers and companies which then use DSV transactions for those problematic purposes know or “reasonably foresee” that OP_DSV can be used for illegal activity.
Take for example the blog post written by Bitcoin.com’s CTO Emil Oldenburg about the new op code. Emil says OP_DSV serves the explicit purpose of both enabling and facilitating gambling applications, such as “on-chain bets” or “wagers” and “escrow services” – in other words, facilitating the exchange of tokens or financial assets without any actual exchange acting as the regulated approved authority. Indeed, what he describes is a marketplace of bets without the actual financial assets being traded — which falls directly in the U.S. Supreme Court’s classic definition from 1906 of an illegal bucket shop:
“An establishment, nominally for the transaction of a stock exchange business, or business of similar character, but really for the registration of bets, or wagers, usually for small amounts, on the rise or fall of the prices of stocks, grain, oil, etc., there being no transfer or delivery of the stock or commodities nominally dealt in.”
(Gatewood v. North Carolina, 203 U.S. 531, 536 (1906).) Bucket shops are illegal in the U.S. (and in other countries). In fact, just this July, the CFTC obtained a $3 million judgment against InTrade, an Irish prediction market for trading binary options – bets on commodity prices – in violation of a 2005 cease and desist order.
Bucket shops operating specifically in the blockchain world have also been the subject of legal enforcement action. Sand Hill Exchange was a blockchain-based bucket shop launched in 2014 as a fantasy trading site, allowing you to bet on the eventual market price of start-up companies. Although it shut down by April 2015, the SEC obtained an administrative order against its founders and issued a $20,000 fine.
Yet, even though it is quite clear bucket shops are illegal, we have Bitcoin.com’s CTO (one of the key proponents of OP_DSV) explaining a use case of the opcode that can easily be construed as an illegal bucket shop. That is a problem for a company or person who later uses OP_DSV to operate exactly that type of bucket-shop marketplace or transaction.
Even worse, in a recent video statement, Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver suggests that the Bitcoin Cash blockchain can be used to facilitate transactions for the purchase of drugs, and any type of transactions for that matter, saying that the blockchain allows for “permission-less use. You don’t need permission to do whatever the hell you want with it. If you want to gamble on the Internet, that’s just fine too. If you want to buy drugs on the Internet, that’s just fine too.” We fear that is the ultimate goal—decentralized marketplaces where people can buy anything, even items illegal in their jurisdictions—which some of OP_DSV’s vocal supporters want to achieve. We of course support everyone’s right to their own opinion, and take no position on how and whether governments should regulate gambling, drugs, or anything else. But countries have established laws criminalizing certain types of goods and activity, and those laws govern the real world in which we need Bitcoin to grow.
Legal Liability for Third Party Use of Code
So what if OP_DSV can be used for illegal purposes? You may be asking how people working or operating on the BCH network can be at risk if they did not themselves conduct an illegal DSV transaction?
My concerns about legal risk are not hypothetical. U.S. government agencies have made clear that legal responsibility can even extend in some circumstances to developers who create and release code that is illegally used by others. Just last month, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner Brian Quintenz gave a speech about how core developers and users of public blockchains generally should not be held legally responsible for unlawful activity that occurs on that blockchain. However, he acknowledged there is a lack of definitive guidance in the law, and proposed the appropriate liability standard for code developers to be whether “code developers could reasonably foresee, at the time they created the code, that it would likely be used by U.S. persons in a manner violative of CFTC regulations.”
It may sound surprising and scary for developers to have legal exposure for how other people use their code, but it’s the real world of how government agencies are prepared to think. For example, Augur has been under scrutiny for some time. Augur is a decentralized prediction-market protocol built on Ethereum; some characterize it as an illegal “bucket shop” or prediction market. When asked about Augur and the legal responsibility of its creators for what users do on the platform, CFTC spokeswoman Erica Elliott Richardson said in an email reply:
“[…] I can say generally that offering or facilitating a product or activity by way of releasing code onto a blockchain does not absolve any entity or individual from complying with pertinent laws or CFTC regulations.”
Recently, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission took concrete action which makes clear that operators of a decentralized service can in fact be liable for illegal activity committed by others on their network. The SEC charged EtherDelta, a supposed decentralized token exchange, and its founder with operating an unregistered securities exchange. It announced a settlement for EtherDelta’s founder to pay $388,000 in penalties, disgorgement, and interest. This case is seen as a warning sign to other decentralized exchanges. As Andrew Hinkes, an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Law, has most recently observed regarding the EtherDelta case:
“Just because you make it and then it gets operated by a decentralised network of others doesn’t mean that any prospective responsibility or liability is gone. It’s just possibly relocated.”
While many people may disagree with the legal standard proposed by the CFTC and the SEC case against EtherDelta, the message from these events is clear: even if you create or operate code and applications for a decentralized or P2P network, there are circumstances in which you can be liable for enabling or contributing to illegal activities of people who use that code or application. This includes code developers, if they can “reasonably foresee” their code is likely to be used for illegal purposes – at least if the CFTC Commissioner’s view is adopted as a legal standard. This could potentially also include other participants in the network, if their actions are reasonably foreseeable as contributing to illegal activity.
Outside of the cryptocurrency world, the legal system has witnessed many cases where computer programmers and technology providers have been criminally prosecuted or civilly sued because someone else illegally used their code or technology.
1. A Latvian computer programmer was sentenced to 14 years in prison by a Virginia federal court for designing Scan4You. That program was connected to the 2013 credit-card information hack of the Target retail store chain. The programmer argued the software could be used for lawful purposes, and said he should be held responsible for when it was used illegally. The program allowed hackers to see if anti-virus programmes would identify their hacking software as malicious, who then packaged it into malware kits sold to cybercriminals. The court rejected the defendant’s theory that he should not be held liable because “all online businesses have legitimate and illegitimate users,” holding that such a theory does not apply in criminal cases like this one because, as he told the defendant, “There’s zero chance that you didn’t know the harm being done by the malware hackers used your service to perfect.”
2. An Arkansas software developer pleaded guilty for developing, marketing, and distributing products used by cybercriminals, though he claimed it was designed for legal purposes. Additional articles on the same case can be found here and here.
3. A 21-year old Kentucky developer created and sold a “remote access trojan,” claiming it was intended as a legitimate tool for system administrators, before later admitting in a plea agreement that he was aware some customers used the software to control others’ computers without their knowledge or permission.
4. The motion picture industry has successfully filed many lawsuits against file-sharing sites that use P2P software to facilitate illegal copyright infringement. The Betamax defense, as it came to be known was established in Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1987); it stands for the proposition that the distributor of a technology product cannot be found liable for infringement by users if the product has “substantial non-infringing uses.” However, years later when presented with a case in the P2P context, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd., 545 U.S. 913 (2005), the U.S. Court Supreme Court held that while the Grokster service had substantial non-infringing uses, secondary liability for copyright infringement was possible given evidence that Grokster intentionally induced, encouraged, and had actual knowledge of direct copyright infringement on its platform.
Therefore, even if a technology can be used for non-infringing purposes, its provider and other operates can still have secondary liability for other people’s illegal of that technology. As a ComputerWorld sub-headline succinctly stated: “Companies that actively enable infringement can be held liable for sins of their users.”
Build Bitcoin for the Real World
Of course, these legal principles will evolve and may develop differently in the cryptocurrency world. And legal standards will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But the warning which everyone in the Bitcoin world should heed is this: do not advocate for technical features by identifying illegal use cases. You are just setting up legal risk for yourself, application providers, and other network participants who use your proposed feature.
At nChain, that’s why we always look at Bitcoin as more than a technical system. We do not propose technical features simply because they can replicate some feature developers envy on Ethereum or other blockchain projects. We do not propose technical changes because we feel like experimenting with Bitcoin. We carefully evaluate technical needs for Bitcoin’s growth to be sound, stable money and the global public blockchain of the future. But we always balance technical concepts with the economic, business, and legal impact.
That is why we support the Satoshi Vision and the Bitcoin SV implementation: a simpler approach to restore the original Bitcoin protocol, keep it stable, and allow it to massively scale. In order to achieve the Satoshi Vision – a world where big businesses and billions of people use Bitcoin – we need the BCH network to operate in the real world. Bitcoin must meet the needs of real businesses, real people, and real laws.
Jimmy Nguyen is CEO of the nChain Group. Before joining nChain, Jimmy had a 21-year career as an intellectual property and digital technology lawyer in the U.S., where he was a partner at three major law firms. In 2008, Lawdragon named him as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America.
nChain’s content analyst Sebastian Ploetzeneder contributed to this article.
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With the CoinGeek Week Conference coming up at the end of November, we asked nChain CEO Jimmy Nyguyen, one of the speakers, what attendees can expect from the three day event:
The Conference falls around the time of two Bitcoin anniversaries, the first being the publication of Satoshi Nakamoto’s original White Paper proposing Bitcoin in October 2008. For Jimmy, that makes for a special reason to encourage rapid and widespread adoption of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) now as “the electronic cash of the future”.
Jimmy admits there’s been “a slower path to scaling of the network than we’d like to see”. He believes that the solution is the raising of the default maximum block size on the blockchain and a return to the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto – including the restoration of the specific instructions or “opcodes” set out by Satoshi:
You don’t need to understand coding or the blockchain to benefit from Bitcoin Cash in your business. The CoinGeek Week conference will offer practical advice to retailers and service providers to help them take their first steps in adopting crypto – and will hear from some inspiring pioneers who are already using it:
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2018年11月1日——CoinGeek很荣幸地宣布其500万英镑竞赛的赢家。此次竞赛目的是为比特币现金BCH区块链寻找领先的支付标记化解决方案。获胜项目为“Tokenized”，这是一个专为比特币现金（BCH）网络所设计且遵循最初的比特币“中本聪愿景”的链上代币系统。Tokenized 团队成员来自澳大利亚及新加坡，包括詹姆斯·博尔丁（James Belding）、塞缪尔·乔治斯（Samuel Georges）、 斯科特·巴尔（Scott Barr）、法里德·乌登（Farid Uddeen）及布伦丹·李（Brendan Lee）。
31 October 2018 – CoinGeek is pleased to announce a winner in its £5 million contest to find the leading tokenisation solution for the Bitcoin BCH blockchain. The winning project is “Tokenized,” an on-chain token system designed exclusively for the BCH network and proudly using the original “Satoshi Vision” design of Bitcoin. The Tokenized team is James Belding, Samuel Georges, Scott Barr, Farid Uddeen, and Brendan Lee – from the Brisbane, Australia area.
Tokenized combines capabilities of the existing BCH protocol with a standard open-source smart contract that is lower cost, more expressive, and more secure than any other system today. With Tokenized, it is now possible for anyone in the world to create and operate their own smart contract on the BCH network using customizable terms and conditions. They can then use the smart contract to facilitate the issuance, management, and exchange of tokens that represent real-world assets.
The Tokenized protocol enables creation and exchange of many kinds of useful tokens, including:
• financial assets, such as common and preferred stock, fixed-rate bonds, floating-rate notes, futures, forwards, swaps, options, exotic derivatives, currencies, asset-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations;
• tickets for movies, events, air travel, transportation, and other activities
• credit and point systems (coupons, loyalty points, carbon credits, memberships);
Tokenized is unique in its focus on helping companies deal with real-world legal compliance issues. Real businesses want to abide by laws applicable to their tokens (such as securities regulations), and most investors and customers also want the protection of a legally compliant system. This principle is at the core of the Tokenized design, which provides token issuers with the ability to follow any set of laws or regulations from any agency, state or country in the world. It also provides tools for token issuers to enable enforcement of laws applicable to their token, and governance features for organizations to carry out a variety of votes (shareholder votes, referendums, etc.), all on-chain.
CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre declares:
“With Bitcoin BCH ready to massively scale, we have all been waiting for token solutions to ignite rapid growth in BCH usage. The Tokenized solution enables tokenization of so many kinds of assets that it will spark a Cambrian explosion of useful tokens for businesses in all industries and even more applications on BCH. CoinGeek is thrilled to honor Tokenized as our contest winner, and support the project’s on-going work to show the full power of BCH.”
The Tokenized system proves in several ways that the original “Satoshi Vision” of Bitcoin works. It uses technical features already existing within the BCH protocol, such as metadata through OP_return; it does not require any new OP_codes or other protocol changes. It is an on-chain solution and does not create a separate token layer (unlike the controversial Wormhole protocol supported by Bitmain Technologies). Furthermore, Tokenized does not require burning BCH coins to create tokens (again, unlike Wormhole), which disturbs the Bitcoin system’s economic incentives and security.
Jimmy Nguyen, CEO of nChain Group (CoinGeek’s partner on the tokenisation contest), comments:
“We have always believed the original Bitcoin protocol, as created by Satoshi Nakamoto, contains everything needed for BCH to become the new money and enable advanced programmable functions. The Tokenized team proved that Satoshi Vision works. Our technical review team was impressed by how they used foundational elements in Bitcoin to deliver a technically elegant, comprehensive business-friendly system which is superior to other published BCH token solutions.”
CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre further observed: “This is exactly why BCH protocol developers, such as Bitcoin ABC, should not be adding experimental changes to Bitcoin’s original design. The original Satoshi protocol already has everything the world needs. We just need to simply restore it, keep it stable, and let it massively scale. That’s why I urge all Bitcoin miners of the world to run the new Bitcoin SV full node implementation of BCH and support Satoshi Vision.”
James Belding, the protocol author for the Tokenized team, remarks:
“Our team is honoured to be selected as the CoinGeek contest winner because we all believe in Bitcoin BCH. The BCH network is now fully featured and is the only distributed ledger technology that can scale to serve every person on the planet. Our Tokenized system has been designed to harness the full properties of BCH’s native technology for smart contracts and tokens. I believe it is only a matter of time before nearly every asset is tokenized on the BCH network, and we have created our Tokenized solution to support the global scale and diversity of tokens that can done on BCH.”
To learn more about the Tokenized solution, come to the CoinGeek Week Conference in London on November 27-30. James Belding will be speaking about Tokenized, and the entire Tokenized team will be attending. Also, join the (free) bComm Association.
CoinGeek believes the BCH ecosystem can benefit from even more token solutions that advance the Satoshi Vision. Therefore, CoinGeek will keep its tokenisation contest open with a secondary award of £1 million available. Further details will be posted on CoinGeek.com’s contest page in the coming days.
ABOUT THE TOKENIZED PROJECT
The Tokenized open-source white paper, protocol specification and smart contract code will be released for public preview in November. If you’d like to learn more and receive updates, please visit https://tokenized.cash/ and register your interest. You can also join the Tokenized team on the Tokenized Telegram channel.
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2018年8月30日，来自nChain的吉米·阮（Jimmy Nguyen）与克雷格·怀特博士（Dr. Craig Wright）在泰国曼谷向参加“比特币未来峰会”的矿工（以及比特币现金开发组织）发表了开幕演讲。他们在演讲中阐述了矿工们为什么应当支持Bitcoin SV——旨在实现中本聪最初愿景而推出的比特币现金协议全新完整节点实施。感谢@cryptomic将峰会发言录音整理为文字。
我们认为现在是时候发展壮大以比特币为主题的完整世界和生态系统并实现专业化，这正是我们目前倡导的理念。为什么这样说呢？ 我们想说的是构建一份稳定的协议。中本聪在其早期的一些著作中写道：“比特币的本质是，一旦0.1版本发布，其核心设计即得以固定，并且在今后的整个生命周期中均不会发生改变。”这句话的意思是不是说不能做任何修改？ 当然不是，如果那样就太荒唐了。但是我们的确相信比特币与互联网一样，互联网所依赖的协议从诞生之初至今几乎没有什么变化，在这样的条件下还能让公司在互联网上可靠地开发各种应用程序和网站，因此比特币现金区块链技术也需要发展到同等水平。一份稳定可靠的协议不会每隔3到6个月就会引发开发者之间针对应当开发何种功能产生分歧，这种分歧对于任何人来说都没有好处。这也是为什么我们提倡并且正在采取必要的措施逐步回归到原本的比特币协议，回归之后我们便可将这种协议固定下来，仅在人们提出至关重要的变化时对协议进行修订。但是我们必须为世界各大公司建立稳定的框架，然后在此基础之上发扬壮大。
吉米：因此，大家所能想到的最佳方式就是： 我们希望世界各国的公司能在这种区块链技术的基础之上向前发展。大家希望这种区块链技术基础如流沙一般一推即倒，还是如岩石一般坚不可摧？ 大家要牢记这一点的重要原因是，虽然今天到场的许多听众并非国际大型公司的运营者，但是这些大公司在考虑使用比特币现金时，向我们提出的第一个问题便是“比特币现金是否具有强大的扩展性，是否足以支撑我们的大项目？”、“我们什么时候能真正地开始实施？”或者“如果我们不确定区块链是否具有充分的扩展性或者不确定所采用的协议在未来一两年中会发生什么样的变化，我们是否应该投入数百万美元来开始执行这个具体的项目？”。
接下来，让我来介绍我们所建立的一些模型 —— 这些模型尚未经过精雕细琢，因此我并不希望大家把它们当做是精确的科学成果。大家可以按照自己的方式来操作我们插入的一些变量。在今天的会议结束时，大家一定会得出明确的结论。我们也建立了模型来分析交易手续费应该保持在什么水平才能弥补未来两年将要失去6.25个比特币现金的区块奖励。我们分析了两年内的三个不同的比特币现金价位。假设比特币的单价为1,000美元，那么你要弥补的区块奖励损失将为6,250美元，当比特币的单价达到5,000美元时，需要弥补的损失将会达到31,250美元，而当币值达到10,000美元时，需要弥补的损失将会达到62,500美元。
克雷格：除此之外，人们已经开始展望未来、未雨绸缪。现在还有一些其他选择。他们可以转而投入比特币现金的怀抱，但在此之前，他们需要确定两年后比特币现金的发展水平能让他们切实地开始进行相关交易，而在这一点上问题确实存在： 正规组织实际上需要两到三年的时间来开发应用程序。若你只用三周时间就快速开发出了一个应用程序，大家都会认为那是一堆垃圾。因此大家不会这么做。正规组织的程序开发要投入多年时间。我在澳大利亚股票交易所工作时，NIPA网络的开发工作就耗时五年之久。工作人员用了五年的时间来规划这一网络。那就是一家真正规范的股票交易所。SBI（印度国家银行）熟悉这一领域，但即便在熟悉的领域，他们也花了两年的时间来规划。你们不可能在投入了几百万美元之后，才开始考虑“这没什么，再过两年协议应该没问题了。” 你们需要确保这个协议会贯彻始终、保持不变，在未来6年、8年、甚至10年以后仍然不会有任何变化，否则你们一定不会轻易作出投资。
吉米：那么现在的问题在于“毫无疑问，各个开发组织之间存在理念上的分歧，那么我们在区块规模方面应该采取何种举措？”当我们宣布发起Bitcoin SV项目时，我们相信默认的区块规模应当是128 MB。现在也许你能明白为什么这并不是一个武断的决定。这是我们认为两年后取得发展进步需要要经历的道路。
因此我们完全可以接受这两种截然不同的方式，我认为很多人会愿意采用矿工自行设置的方式。Bitcoin ABC在调试设置环境下允许自行配置最大区块规模，但是也许很多矿工并没有注意到这一点。我们通过Bitcoin SV想要实现的目标实际上就是对这种功能进行迁移并让其变得更加明显。
On a recent trip to Wales with the company’s CEO, Jimmy Nguyen, Dr. Craig Wright took the stage to provide the audience with the science behind the importance of blockchains and, in particular, how Bitcoin BCH is positioned to be a leader in the adaptive world of global economics. His presentation delivers an invaluable lesson on why now, not three years into the future, is the time to push the industry forward.
As the cryptocurrency expert and Chief Scientist for nChain explained, “[Bitcoin BCH] is not just money…it is the foundation for everything that we see. [Bitcoin BCH] was always the future—some want to stop this; it cannot be stopped. It’s a better technology—we’re going to stop it where it is and let businesses grow.”
He pointed out what Bitcoin BCH enthusiasts, and a growing number of merchants, have already come to realize. Bitcoin BCH is the leading blockchain for new commerce and technology. It is the only blockchain that continues development following the original design of cryptocurrency and this has facilitated greater acceptance of the Bitcoin BCH cryptocurrency as a legitimate alternative to fiat by merchants.
Of course, as Wright mentions in the seminar, cryptocurrency isn’t the solution to all of the world’s problems. However, it can certainly solve a big one – the need to rely on intermediaries to manage and administer monetary transactions, giving control back to the currency holder to manage their funds. Ultimately, Bitcoin BCH is a viable and convertible virtual currency.
Wright indicates the importance of commercialization to see blockchains succeed. Just like with the Internet, blockchains can only thrive if they’re commercialized. To accomplish this, they must provide something businesses and entrepreneurs can use. They must be stable so that business owners can have the confidence to know that any product or service they implement on the blockchain will still be valid five or ten years into the future.
This stability won’t come automatically. It has to be forced by the blockchain. This means that the changing policies and protocols every few months, as attempted by some developers, only leads to degradation of confidence and doesn’t serve the ultimate goal of Bitcoin BCH. Only through stability will greater acceptance be achieved, which will lead to even more security and adoption.
Some blockchain developers only want to develop – it’s in their nature to want to tweak and change. However, this approach is counterproductive to the future of the blockchain. This is one of the main reasons that nChain has worked to help produce the Bitcoin SV full-node implementation of Bitcoin BCH. It will help to ensure that change can’t occur “for change’s sake” and lead to better stability and reliability.
Bitcoin SV will also ensure that there is more of a focus on consensus approval for innovation of the blockchain, and less control by those that would have the network developed based on their whims. As Wright aptly puts it, “[Bitcoin BCH] is not a social network.”
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Jimmy Nguyen, the affable CEO of nChain, has been making his rounds to promote Bitcoin BCH and how the blockchain is changing the scope of cryptocurrency. He recently completed a couple of discussions in front of cryptocurrency enthusiasts where he went into great detail about how Bitcoin BCH is poised to be the ultimate blockchain and how it will revolutionize how the cryptocurrency ecosystem is viewed.
One of the conversations led by Nguyen was to a group of individuals in Wales. The seminar was uploaded to YouTube only a few days ago and, as usual, his effervescent personality and in-depth knowledge captivated the audience. He provided a significant amount of support for why cryptocurrency and blockchains are so crucial to a changing world and additionally needs to happen for this evolutionary cycle to continue.
Providing an overview of what a blockchain is, Nguyen broke down the fundamentals of the blockchain, pointing out that the technology can completely alter how records are kept and how it can ultimately eliminate the need to rely on intermediaries. This is an important feature, as the intermediaries, such as banks or information processing houses, slow down transactions and result in higher costs.
Nguyen also touched upon the need to create a network that is much more scalable than what is seen now. This will not only lead to faster transaction times but a blockchain with a greater foundation, such as the proposed 128MB block size for Bitcoin BCH, will give businesses the confidence they need to want to innovate on that particular blockchain. This leads to greater stability and usability of the particular blockchain.
In his second seminar, which is also available on YouTube, Nguyen targeted Bitcoin SV, a new full-node implementation of the Bitcoin BCH protocol for miners. The idea behind the implementation, as Nguyen points out, is to create a network that is more stable, more secure and more scalable. It’s an opportunity to return to the original vision of cryptocurrency offered by Satoshi Nakamoto, and to stop viewing the blockchain as a playground for developers.
As Nguyen so eloquently puts it, “It’s time for Bitcoin to grow up.” It’s time to introduce a network that is more solid and gives the world a chance to see what cryptocurrency was really designed to be – a valuable peer-to-peer digital currency.
Following Satoshi’s original design for the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Core (BTC) developers never gave cryptocurrency a chance to mature as it had originally been intended. This was the impetus for Bitcoin BCH, to continue along the same path and definition of cryptocurrency.
Nguyen rightfully asserts that cryptocurrency needs to be constructed on solid block, not on moving sand. When developers want to introduce changes (most of which do not enhance the network) every few months, the blockchain can never evolve appropriately and cannot build the foundation that it needs. Only through projects such as Bitcoin SV can provide the necessary stability to take Bitcoin BCH into the future be achieved.
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