Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision, more commonly known as Bitcoin SV (BSV), is a hard fork of Bitcoin Cash.
Craig Wright, Bitcoin SV and the nChain website all agree that their goal is to restore Bitcoin to its original form.
They argue that the changes made to Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash over the years are perversions of Satoshi Nakamoto's vision and that Bitcoin should be returned as close as possible to the description first laid out in the original Bitcoin whitepaper.
A core part of the Bitcoin SV ideology is the belief that nefarious developers hijacked Bitcoin in its early days and that their changes need to be undone.
The Bitcoin SV team is led by Craig Wright, who has often claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin SV price
Where did Bitcoin SV come from?
During the Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash fork in 2017, BSV supporters followed the Bitcoin Cash side, determining it to be closer to Satoshi Nakamoto's original vision.
But when they felt that Bitcoin Cash was straying from Satoshi's vision, there was another schism.
This schism involved two main groups of Bitcoin Cash developers:
Bitcoin ABC - team Bitcoin Cash: This group is generally regarded as the core development team of Bitcoin Cash.
nChain - team Bitcoin SV: A blockchain research and mining company led by Craig Wright, who has often claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto – the original creator of Bitcoin. nChain created Bitcoin SV.
The schism came about when Bitcoin ABC proposed a substantial update to Bitcoin Cash, which nChain disagreed with. nChain then proposed a separate, incompatible update.
The two updates
The Bitcoin ABC proposal
The main part of Bitcoin ABC's update was the addition of two new pieces of code called "OP_CHECKDATASIG" and "OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY".
These allow the Bitcoin Cash blockchain to read information that isn't strictly part of a cryptocurrency transaction.
It's essentially a foundation for smart contracts on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain to let it do more sophisticated things than just send and receive transactions.
They argued that this code would let Bitcoin Cash evolve and be used for a wider range of purposes.
The nChain proposal
nChain disagreed with the addition of new code, arguing that it took Bitcoin Cash further from its primary purpose as a digital currency and muddied Satoshi Nakamoto's original vision.
In its own update, nChain proposed the restoration of two very old pieces of code, called OP_LSHIFT and OP_RSHIFT. These appeared in the earliest versions of Bitcoin but were removed because they were not necessary and added potential security risks.
At the same time, nChain suggested quadrupling the Bitcoin Cash block size from 32MB to 128MB, arguing that continually growing block sizes were what Satoshi Nakamoto originally intended.
A larger block size improved network throughput at the cost of introducing some other downsides.
Neither side was willing to compromise with the other, so both publicly released their updates and forced miners to choose which one they'd install.
The result was inconclusive as nChain had its own extensive mining operations, while crypto mining giant Bitmain threw its support behind the Bitcoin ABC updates.
Today, we have Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV as separate cryptocurrencies, while BSV's supporters see it as the last remaining "true Bitcoin".
"If Bitcoin SV had not stood its ground and preserved the rules of Bitcoin in SV, yesterday would have been the last day Bitcoin existed in this world."
Bitcoin SV technical features
nChain's OP_LSHIFT and OP_RSHIFT proposals have little or no functional impact on how the cryptocurrency works, so its main technical point of difference is a large block size.
Bitcoin SV has continued to raise its block size since the fork, as per its interpretation of Satoshi's vision, with both good and bad effects.
The main benefit of this is that it gives the Bitcoin SV network extremely high throughput. Its large block size has room to handle countless transactions. However, Bitcoin SV's theoretical capacity now massively exceeds its actual usage, so this advantage is purely hypothetical.
The downside is that it makes it more difficult for blocks to propagate through the blockchain network and raises the risk of incidental forks.
The following explanation is an analogy that explains big block problems in a non-technical way. If you're finding it difficult to understand, or want a more detailed explanation, you may want to read the beginner's guide to Bitcoin mining first.
The problem with oversized blocks stems from the way Bitcoin mining works. Basically, all Bitcoin miners should be looking for a block at any given time, but only one of them will find it.
When a miner finds a block, they announce their discovery to all the other miners and put the new block at the end of the blockchain. When all the other miners hear that someone has found the current block, they all move on and start looking for the next one.
One of the problems with large block sizes is that it takes longer for all the miners to hear about someone finding the latest block (the block is just too big to describe it quickly), so miners will sometimes unknowingly keep searching for a block that someone else has already discovered.
And sometimes they'll find the same block again, announce their discovery and put it at the end of the blockchain as usual.
But now there are two blocks on the end of the chain – it's an accidental fork.
Most people trying to use the network will only know about the side of the fork that they heard announced first, so that's the one they'll be mining blocks for and sending transactions on. The "real" fork is determined by majority rules, so the unlucky minority who heard the wrong block announcement will have their transactions undone and will lose their mining rewards.
There's always a chance of this happening, but the risk gets much higher with oversized blocks.
Bitcoin SV has accidentally forked multiple times. Fortunately, its mining is centralised under nChain and other Craig Wright affiliates, such as CoinGeek, which makes it easier to reorganise the network following accidental forks.
The future of Bitcoin SV: Things to consider
Some Bitcoin SV supporters have argued that Satoshi Nakamoto's vision was perfect and that any cryptocurrency that maintains the original characteristics and features of Satoshi Nakamoto's original Bitcoin is therefore destined to succeed.
And in interviews, Craig Wright has said that Bitcoin was always intended to run out of a few centralised, professionally-operated data centres and that the censorship-resistant decentralised network of Bitcoin miners was the result of Bitcoin being hijacked for criminal purposes.
On its website, nChain similarly describes Bitcoin SV as a tool for enterprise use.
The following are some factors to consider when trying to gauge the future likelihood of Bitcoin SV's success:
Whether enterprise customers have any need for a centralised blockchain system
Whether enterprise customers have any need for a blockchain whose sole function is to move BSV tokens
Whether enterprise customers will be sufficiently impressed by Bitcoin SV's adherence to Satoshi's vision that they will select Bitcoin SV for all their digital token transferring needs
Whether claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto is a good strategy for attracting enterprise users
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
Andrew Munro is the global cryptocurrency editor at Finder. After previously writing about insurance and other areas, he now covers the latest developments in digital assets and blockchain and works on Finder's comprehensive range of guides to help people understand cryptocurrency.
Privacy coins and forks dominate cryptocurrency's biggest winners of the last week.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.