Interview

Jimmy Nguyen: Bitcoin SV is Bigger than Craig Wright

The former CEO of nChain discusses the BSV ecosystem and the effects of the media attention on Craig Wright.

In the 10 months since it was born, the Bitcoin SV network has not been without controversy. Over the course of a hash war, a series of legal battles, a number of delistings, and a court case over a deceased developer’s estate, the network and its creator, Craig Wright (who also claims to be the creator of the original Bitcoin network), have been the center of tons of media attention.

At the same time, however, the network has continued to grow–at press time, BSV was the 9th-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and the value of a single BSV token was roughly $134–down from its highest point of around $225, but nonetheless up from its all-time low of approximately $90. According to data from BitInfoCharts, BSV had 42 percent of Bitcoin’s average number of transactions (6,344/14,936) per hour.

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Recently, Finance Magnates spoke to Jimmy Nguyen, about some of the controversies that the network has faced since it was founded as well as the technological future of the network. Nguyen is the former CEO of nChain, the company where Craig Wright serves as “Chief Scientist.” Nguyen is also the president of the Bitcoin Association, which brings together merchants, exchanges, application developers, enterprises, miners and other members of the Bitcoin SV ecosystem.

“There’s a recognition that BSV is bigger than Craig Wright or any one person”

In the cryptocurrency world, word travels fast and reputation is extremely important. Therefore, the actions of any individual member of a company or an organization can have immediate and profound effects on a cryptocurrency network, whether or not the actions are directly associated with the network.

So, we asked Nguyen if he believes that the most recent developments of the Kleiman case–in which Craig Wright is currently embroiled–have affected BSV. The Kleiman estate is suing Wright for BTC that Wright allegedly fabricated documents to gain control of. The court ruled in favor of the Kleiman estate, but Wright is appealing the case. 

“From the [perspective of the] ecosystem of BSV–I don’t think it affects BSV much. It certainly hasn’t so far,” Nguyen said, explaining that although the case has been ongoing and “there has been a lot of news about it, BSV’s price is relatively stable.”

“I think that’s because there’s a recognition that BSV is bigger than Craig Wright or any one person,” he went on. “We are trying to scale and create the original vision for what Bitcoin is supposed to be. There’s a lot of people working in the space beyond Craig.”

“And–more importantly–if you look at the court order–even though Craig disagrees with it, the judge decided to find that Craig was in a partnership with Dave Kleiman. A lot of people, even if they are detractors of Craig, will acknowledge that Dave was a good person who participated in Bitcoin’s early days.”

“If anything, it validates that Craig was involved–if not the key member–of Bitcoin’s creation,” Nguyen said, reiterating that he does not believe that the outcome of the case will have a major effect on the BSV ecosystem: “we’ve been based on building technology–building the best, most scalable, most usable blockchain. That’s the vision that people have signed onto.”

“What happens with Craig’s personal tastes certainly attracts a lot of interest, because I think people like dramatic events. But as BSV, our team just keeps working and building technology–and I think that’s a big difference between us and other crypto camps. We’re not trying to pump up hype for our coin so people buy it quickly and drive up the price–we know we have to build up organic usage and organic value by showing how its technical capacity works.”

On the delistings: several months later

While Nguyen believes that the Kleiman case won’t affect the BSV ecosystem, BSV has not been completely unaffected by the consequences of Craig Wright’s actions in the past.

Earlier this year, a number of exchanges–including Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume–chose to delist BSV following Wright’s decision to file several lawsuits against big-name members of the cryptocurrency community,including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, who publicly denied his claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious figure behind the creation of Bitcoin.

At the time of the delistings, Nguyen publicly commented that the delistings were a perfect example of why more regulation was needed in the cryptocurrency space.

“The big lesson we’ve learned is how the cryptocurrency world as a whole needs to grow up and professionalize. The delisting decision by Binance and Kraken and other exchanges highlights this because it’s clear that the decision to delist had nothing to do with BSV or its network,” Nguyen told CoinGeek several weeks after the delistings took place.

“It all had to do with dislike of Craig Wright, a key backer of BSV, and his choice to invoke legal remedies and to pursue libel claims against people who he believes have been defaming him online.”

Now, looking back several months after the fact, Nguyen told Finance Magnates that “certainly, it was a dramatic event at the time, and we were not pleased that it happened. BSV’s price took an immediate hit when that happened, but it’s recovered, and it’s higher than it was at the time of the delistings,” which Nguyen said he believes is because of “the organic value that’s being built and demonstrated on the network over time.”

”As much as cryptocurrency enthusiasts [proclaim] ‘oh, we want decentralization, no one should be in control’,” the delistings were a demonstration of centralized power

“I also think the situation created a learning moment for cryptocurrency. I get it–Craig Wright is provocative,” Nguyen said, adding that “I also say that you don’t change the world without being provocative.”

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“It means that he has taken actions and said some things that people don’t like,” he continued. “But that’s not the criteria that I think any of us involved in the cryptocurrency space–whether you like Craig, whether you like BSV or not–I don’t think that’s the criteria you want exchanges to be using in order to determine whether to list or delist assets–especially delisting assets.”

“Keep in mind that a cryptocurrency exchange creates the public market for assets and their price,” Nguyen continued. “Even if you don’t like a founder or a key figurehead in a cryptocurrency, if you (as an exchange) [suddenly] delist an asset, you affect all of the holders and investors in the asset worldwide.”

“I think that shouldn’t be done capriciously,” he said. “I think that it should be done based on objective criteria. I think it demonstrated to the world that as much as cryptocurrency enthusiasts [proclaim] ‘oh, we want decentralization, no one should be in control’–it shows you how much influence and power the exchanges have on this world, and on the price [of crypto assets].”

“So, I hope regulators are looking at that and say that it shouldn’t be [so]. I hope that regulators are looking at it and saying that ‘we should have more oversight over exchanges’, including having rules (just like a stock exchange) over what are [appropriate] listing and delisting criteria.”

Nguyen explained that these rules should include things like advance notice and justification for delisting–”because otherwise, you could harm investors worldwide, beyond just the person you don’t like.”

Nguyen: BSV “will certainly overtake” BTC

Regardless of who does and does not like Craig Wright, Nguyen is extremely confident about the future of BSV.

When asked whether he thought that BTC and BSV could coexist, he replied: “one will certainly overtake the other.” (Bet you can’t guess which one he meant.)

“I do think the cryptocurrency world as a whole will consolidate–we live in a world with far too many cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. Our view is that the Bitcoin network is a data ledger. It should have the power to become the global public data ledger of the future. Just like we operate on a single global public internet, we believe that the world is better [off] operating on a single global blockchain.”

“Because then, you don’t have this interoperability questions that are coming up now–you have one chain that can support the data capacity needed for global enterprise usage.”

In short, “BTC and BSV will coexist for a time,” Nguyen said, although he believes that ultimately, “BSV will overtake BTC. We are the only project with the roadmap and the commitment to infinitely scale the blockchain so that it can support both the electronic cash usage of vision by Satoshi, and become this global data ledger.”

Nguyen added that “there’s even some talk by some people in the BSV camps about using the greater data capacity of BSV to record other blockchain projects.”

“Ethereum, for example, has been experiencing scaling problems. Vitalik Buterin came out recently in an interview acknowledging that the Ethereum blockchain is almost full–and they’re even talking about using the Bitcoin Cash chain as the temporary data storage backdrop for Ethereum,” he explained.

“We think that’s all unnecessary. I think that the solution is to do what we’re doing with BSV,” he said, which is to raise the blockchain’s data capacity. “We started…with a 128mb block cap, which is 128 times bigger than BTC.” In February, Nguyen said that BSV’s “Genesis” upgrade will remove the block cap restriction entirely.

“It doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get humongous blocks,” he explained. “What is means is that market forces and miners will decide based upon market demands what the block size would be, which will allow the network to infinitely scale.”

This led Nguyen to a bold claim: “if that happens, this becomes the blockchain that will power the electronic cash system of the world, it will power global blockchain applications for enterprises, and I think (overtime) will subsume all the other blockchain projects.”

Clearing up misconceptions over chain splits

However, there have been some concerns regarding the BSV blockchain’s ability to scale. In late July, BitMEX Research tweeted that the BSV blockchain nodes were on three “different chains” and at “different heights” following the mining of a 210mb block.

However, Nguyen said that the tweet–and the news cycle that followed it–was misleading.

“On July 24th, the BSV network [underwent the] ‘Quasar’ upgrade,” which increased the block cap from 128 megabytes to two gigabytes.

“What happened was that there were a minority of node operators that did not upgrade their software to have the software that was compatible with this hard fork upgrade,” he explained, adding that there may have been various reasons behind this decision. “Because they did not upgrade their software, when the network upgrade happened on July 24th, they forked off into a different chain, which eventually died out because no one was mining that chain.”

“In addition to that, after the hard fork happened, there were several 256mb blocks that were mined on the BSV chain. The size of those blocks did cause some minor issues for some of the service providers working on the network, but those were resolved pretty quickly.”

“Then, about ten days later, on August 3rd, a user that is a supporter of BSV in China decided to do his own stress test of the BSV blockchain. He blasted two million payment transactions on the BSV network over a very short period of time. It led to the mining of two very large blocks, one being 210 megabytes that contained 808,000 individual transactions, and another 183mb block that contained over 700,000 individual transactions.”

“During that stress test, some of the nodes on the network were running on smaller hardware that wasn’t able to cope with that flood of transactions in a very short period of time. They did not create a ‘third fork’, as BitMEX was improperly suggesting. They just simply stopped working.”

Nguyen believes that Wright is Satoshi–but “it should not matter”

Does Nguyen believe that Wright is Satoshi? “The answer is yes,” he said. “I do believe it based on my experience and work with him.”

“I also believe that at the end of the day, it should not matter. I know that there’s huge curiosity about it, and a lot of drama about it–I know why he is taking steps now to try to prove definitively to the world that he is, because he wants to claim his legacy.”

However, “for what BSV’s future is, it should not matter.”

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