What is Bitcoin SV? The Beginner’s Guide

Bitcoin SV is a cryptocurrency born in November 2018. The project is led by controversial professor Craig S. Wright, who has become one of the best-known characters in the crypto scene. What is Bitcoin SV and how does it differ from other Bitcoin forks? This is the beginner’s guide. We’ll go through the history and key features of this cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin SV is a fork of Bitcoin Cash

First, let’s put Bitcoin SV to a correct category in the crypto universe. All cryptocurrencies can be split into three main categories: platforms, tokens and currencies.

The platform category includes ecosystems like Ethereum and EOS. They are operating systems for dApps and smart contracts and mainly compete with other platform projects.

Tokens are created inside platforms and they have usually a specific purpose on certain software. A token does not have a blockchain of its own. One of the most known examples is Basic Attention Token.

Bitcoin is the best-known coin in the currency category. Here we have also projects such as Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. They are developed to work as digital money. Here we have also subcategories such as privacy coins and stable coins.

Bitcoin SV was born in November 2018. It was a result of hard work, meaning the blockchain of Bitcoin Cash was split in two. This was also how Bitcoin Cash was originally born in August 2017.

bitcoin forks

The picture above shows you how Bitcoin SV was forked. In reality, more forks of Bitcoin were created in 2017/2018, not just Bitcoin Cash. But we’ll keep this picture simpler.

Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV are also the only significant forks of Bitcoin. The rest have disappeared off the map during the 2018-2019 bear market.

But, why was Bitcoin Cash split in two? And how does Bitcoin SV differ from Bitcoin Cash and the original Bitcoin? Let’s go through these subjects next.

The scaling debate of Bitcoin

Even if Bitcoin SV was created in November 2018, history goes much further back in time. BSV is really a result of a scaling debate, which has been on-going for many years.

As many of the readers might know, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency. It is now over ten years old. Bitcoin is working pretty much as it did in 2009, even if there have been some technical upgrades over the years.

It’s no surprise, that the limits of the Bitcoin network were met since its popularity grew massively in 2017. The leader of Bitcoin Cash, Roger Ver, has been tweeting about this subject a lot.

The Bitcoin blockchain can manage less than 10 transactions per second. It’s not much when considering that some of the 3rd generation platforms can scale to thousands of transactions per second.

The Bitcoin blockchain has its limitations due to two main reasons.

  • New blocks are created every 10 minutes.
  • The block size is limited to 1 MB.

One should note, that the SegWit update (2017-2018) doubled the Bitcoin block size in practice. It’s still very small compared to Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin SV.

There are two options to grow the capacity of the Bitcoin blockchain: to increase the block size or to move most of the transactions to a second layer. The latter solution is known as The Lightning Network.

Bitcoin developers have debated of scaling of the network for a long time. Eventually, things got so hot that a group of developers decided to go their own way. This is how Bitcoin Cash was born on August 2017. The block size of Bitcoin Cash was raised immediately to 8 MB.

Craig Wright was also part of the Bitcoin Cash group, which was a united front against Bitcoin for some time. Eventually, Bitcoin Cash community split in half as well.

Bitcoin SV – Satoshi’s Vision

Discussions inside the Bitcoin Cash community started to heat up in the summer of 2018 – less than a year after BCH was created. This was due to planned updates on the Bitcoin ABC software, which runs the network.

Craig Wright and his supporters argued that the software was being changed needlessly. Hence, Wright decided to build a new version of the software with his development company nChain. This version was called Bitcoin SV, meaning Satoshi’s Vision.

The name comes from Wright’s claim that Bitcoin SV is the true vision of Bitcoin described by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original white paper. Though, Roger Ver has also used the same argument.

The video below goes through the main discussion topics of Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash.

Craig Wright has one significant supporter behind him, mr. Calvin Ayre. He is a billionaire and the creator of Coingeek website. Coingeek has also the biggest mining pool of Bitcoin SV.

Bitcoin SV was officially born in 15th of November 2018, when the Bitcoin Cash blockchain was split in two. First, these new chains were known as Bitcoin (Cash) ABC and Bitcoin SV. Bitcoin Cash got quickly it’s old name back, though.

If you see some exchanges still use the name Bitcoin ABC or Bitcoin Cash ABC, this is where it comes from.

The Bitcoin SV hard fork started also the Hash Wars. Both groups were competing with the hash power and tried to “out hash” the opponent. Some public threats were also made, which led to uncertainty in the crypto market in general.

The Bitcoin Cash “civil war” had in fact a big impact on the price of all cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin crashed from 6000 to 3000 dollars during the November-December period of 2018. The rest of the market crashed with Bitcoin and many altcoins lost even more than half of their value.

The market crash started exactly at the time of the hard fork of Bitcoin Cash. It took about six months for Bitcoin to recover those losses.

It is impossible to say what exactly caused this market crash. One reason could be that both Bitcoin Cash camps were selling Bitcoins in order to boost their own currency. There were also many investors, who didn’t like the uncertainty and sold all their coins just to stay safe.

The difference between Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin

How does Bitcoin SV differ from Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash?

As mentioned already, Bitcoin SV is one of the forks of the Bitcoin blockchain. This also means that the basic principles of Bitcoin SV are identical to Bitcoin. If you are not familiar with Bitcoin mining, nodes etc. take a look at this article: what is Bitcoin.

Since Bitcoin SV is using almost identical blockchain as Bitcoin, there is equal need for mining. Bitcoin SV is using the same Proof of Work consensus algorithm as Bitcoin. The hashing algorithm (SHA-256) is also identical.

This means that you can mine Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV with a similar ASIC machine.

antminer s9
Bitmain’s Antminer S9 – a popular ASIC miner for Bitcoin, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash.

The biggest difference is the block size. Bitcoin has still 1 MB blocks, even if SegWit update has double the capacity in practice. Bitcoin Cash is currently using 32 MB blocks with no SegWit. Bitcoin SV has 128 MB blocks. The plan is to grow the blocks eventually to 1 TB size.

Even if the block size is increased, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV have still the same bottleneck as Bitcoin. The block time is 10 minutes in the blockchain. Many web services (wallets, exchanges) require 2-3 confirmations for a transaction to go through.

If the network is not full of traffic, a transaction goes through as fast with all versions of Bitcoin. The block size increase comes to play in a high-traffic situation.

Craig Wright and Satoshi Nakamoto

Craig Wright has been one of the most visible persons in the crypto scene in 2019. Professor Wright has been involved in several court cases and he has also got lots of publicity due to his comments.

The biggest buzz is around Satoshi Nakamoto because Craig Wright has publicly claimed to be the Bitcoin founder. Wright hasn’t been able to prove without a doubt that he is Nakamoto. However, he has sued a couple of individuals, who called him a fraud online.

There was also another major court case, which was settled in September 2019. The Bitcoin SV founder was in court regarding the Wright vs Kleiman case. Wright had been sued by Ira Kleiman, who is a brother of David Kleiman (deceased).

According to Ira Kleiman, Wright mined hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins together with his brother in the early years of Bitcoin. David Kleiman has been dead for a few years, but his estate made a claim to mined coins.

Craig Wright lost the case and was recommended to turn over 50% of his Bitcoin and intellectual properties to the estate of Ira Kleiman. This is quite a massive pot of money since we are talking about almost half a million Bitcoins. That is about five billion dollars with the current exchange rate.

If you are interested in this case, read more from Coindesk.

Wright caused also a small sensation in early 2019 after registering a patent claim on the Bitcoin white paper and software. This claim didn’t really prove Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto, but it brought him and Bitcoin SV a lot of publicity.

The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is not 100% proven one way or another. If it will be ever revealed, the event could have a big impact on the Bitcoin SV valuation.

There is at least one man, who claims to know the truth. John McAfee has publicly claimed that he has the information. McAfee was about to release it in 2019 but reconsidered after an advice from his lawyer.

The future of Bitcoin SV

Many see Bitcoin SV as a group of rebels. This has a lot to do with Craig Wright, who has certainly stirred the pot in the crypto world in more than one occasion.

The same can be said of his rival, Roger Ver. Both are unpopular characters, especially among the Bitcoin maximalists. The Bitcoin community is quite hostile in general against all Bitcoin forks.

Most of the Bitcoin SV development is done via tech company nChain, whose CEO Jimmy Nguyen is one of the best-known figures in the Bitcoin SV camp. Nguyen and Wright see BSV more than just a cryptocurrency. Blocks up to gigabyte or terabyte in size would offer a massive capacity to store all kinds of information.

According to Nguyen, Bitcoin SV will be one of the pillars of the whole internet. This vision comes alive with a project called The Metanet. You can find more information of this from nChain website and Craig Wright’s presentation below.

There isn’t much traffic in the Bitcoin SV network right now. Though, a full 128 MB block was mined in 2019 already. Jimmy Nguyen has often stated, that Bitcoin SV is building a virtual freeway for the traffic it will handle in the future.

Investing in Bitcoin SV

Many Bitcoin SV hater expected the currency to go in freefall after November 2018 hard fork. This never happened – BSV is still very much a top 10 cryptocurrency. One shouldn’t underestimate the support Bitcoin SV has from its key members.

If you are thinking about investing in Bitcoin SV, go through the Metanet vision and goals of the project. Bitcoin SV has big plans, which go way beyond being just a digital currency. Maybe you shouldn’t compare that vision just to Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash?

Craig Wright might also have a big impact on Bitcoin SV. Almost every cryptocurrency (except Bitcoin) has a leading figure, who can make or break things quite fast on social media. Below is a video, where Wright is talking about BSV goals in the business world.

Real-time price of Bitcoin SV:

The best exchanges to buy BSV are Bitforex and KuCoin, where you need to buy it with Bitcoin. If you don’t own any Bitcoin, you can make a purchase at Coinbase or Coinmotion. One other option is Bittrex, where you can also buy BSV coins with USD.

Atomic Wallet and Exodus are popular wallets supporting Bitcoin SV.

Keep up-to-date with Bitcoin SV by following Calvin Ayre, Coingeek, nChain and Jimmy Nguyen on Twitter. Craig Wright has removed his Twitter account, but you can read his views at craigwright.net.

The official Twitter handle of BSV is @_BitcoinSV and the official Reddit page is reddit.com/r/bitcoincashSV. The official website can be found at bitcoinsv.io.

If you want further information, check out the video below. It’s an interview with nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen. The interview will give you a good overview of the project, the impact of Craig Wright and future goals of Bitcoin SV.

Image: a screenshot from bitcoinsv.io

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