What is Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision (BSV) and where can you trade it?
Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision (BSV), also known as Bitcoin Cash SV or BCH SV, aims to be a new global currency, replacing bitcoin as a form of algorithmic sound money. It's a fork of Bitcoin Cash which emerged on 15 November 2018. The most significant technical difference between BCH and BSV is that the SV variant has a 128MB block size, in contrast to the current 32MB BCH block size.
It's also backed by a completely different range of supporters. Bitcoin SV is headed up by Craig Wright, the head of the nChain tech company who has previously claimed to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and is predominantly supported by Wright's nChain company, and the CoinGeek media and mining company run by Calvin Ayre.
The competing fork against SV was initially known as Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCH-ABC), but it has now been recognised by most exchanges as the original Bitcoin Cash. Typically, when you look at BCH listing on an exchange you're now looking at BCH-ABC.
How to buy Bitcoin SV
- Register for an account with an exchange like Binance.
- Enable 2-factor authentication.
- Click on "Funds" and select "Deposits".
- Select "Deposit coin".
- Copy the wallet address or scan the QR code.
- Transfer BTC or ETH into your account.
- Click "Exchange" and select "Basic".
- Search for the pair you want to trade, such as "BSV/ETH".
- Select a Limit, Market or Stop-Limit Order.
- Enter the amount of BSV you want to buy.
- Review transaction details.
- Click "Buy BSV".
This is our quick guide to just one way to buy BSV. Compare some other options in the table below.
Exchanges that support BSV
The following exchanges let Australian users buy and sell BSV at the time of writing.
At the time of writing, BCH and BSV do not yet have replay protection. If you make non replay-protected BSV transactions you might lose BCH. If you make non-replay-protected BCH transactions you might lose BSV.
You may want to read how to make replay protected transactions here.
Kraken, one of the exchanges that lists BTC SV has warned that:
"It [BSV] should be seen as an extremely high risk investment. There are many red flags that traders should be aware of."
It has also advised that "custodial losses taken on due to attacks originating from nChain or its affiliates will be socialized among all BSV holders on Kraken. Given the volatile state of the network and threats that have been made, Kraken cannot guarantee perfect custody of BSV."
In other words, in the event that nChain successfully attacks the primary BCH fork or an exchange in a way that results in financial loss to Kraken, the exchange will extract proportionate compensation from BSV holders on the exchange.
Also, due to some of the technical features of the fork such as a lack of replay protection, and some of the social features of the fork such as BSV's extreme hostility towards BTC, BCH and most other cryptocurrencies, this coin might currently be suitable for advanced users only.
Features of Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision
The first key feature of Bitcoin SV is its 128MB block size, which can theoretically allow for higher throughput than Bitcoin Cash and bitcoin. This might allow for some additional features in the future, and in the event of BSV becoming much more widely used than BTC and BCH today, it might allow for higher transaction throughput.
Currently, however, the larger block size has no functional impact on how the coin can be used.
The second key feature of BSV is its claim to spiritual purity. It claims to be led by the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and that BTC and BCH have lost their way and are no longer worthy of bearing the "bitcoin" name.
As one of the key BSV supporters, CoinGeek's Calvin Ayre, explained:
"Bitcoin was born with a mature economic model and platform developers have consistently tinkered it to death…first by forking to Segwit BTC and now ABC has abandoned Bitcoin's core principles by abandoning Nakamoto consensus (sic) and trust in miners' Proof of Work… Bitcoin SV is the original Bitcoin."
The goal now, according to Ayre, is for market forces to decide which of the three varieties of bitcoin they like best by voting with their money.
Wallets that support BSV
You can use BSV with any wallet that can also hold Bitcoin Cash, but it's important to remember to implement your own replay protection.
The easiest way to this to a reasonable level of security might be by generating a separate wallet address for your BSV, and to keep your BCH and BSV separate.
For additional protection against replay attacks, you may want to use some additional methods of replay protection, or use several different methods in tandem.
Why Bitcoin SV considers itself the only real bitcoin
To understand Bitcoin SV, it is important to understand three key assumptions that underlie its creation and much of its support.
- The original bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto is perfect.
- Any deviations from the whitepaper can only introduce flaws.
- There can only be one true bitcoin, and all others will fail.
As Ayre, Wright and many Bitcoin SV supporters explain, BSV was created specifically because the other coins bearing bitcoin's name - first BTC and then BCH - became flawed after deviating from the bitcoin whitepaper.
As one SV supporter explains:
"In August last year Bitcoin died on the BTC chain with the introduction of Segwit. It survived in the form of Bitcoin Cash until yesterday when it was killed off again by Bitcoin ABC. If Bitcoin SV had not stood it's (sic) ground and preserved the rules of Bitcoin in SV, yesterday would have been the last day Bitcoin existed in this world."
Under this interpretation, the first big deviation occurred when the bitcoin community failed to decisively adopt a larger block size, and instead opted to "tinker it to death" in Ayre's words, by pursuing scaling solutions such as Segwit and the Lightning Network.
It was at this time that Bitcoin Cash is believed to have become the real bitcoin.
But soon Bitcoin Cash also deviated from Satoshi's vision, when its ABC group of developers proposed an update that was thought to violate the rules laid down by the whitepaper. This quickly sparked debates in the community, and the personalities on what has since become the Bitcoin SV side of the fence eventually proposed their own alternative update. There was no clear agreement on which proposal should be the one to pass, and neither side agreed to recant their development roadmap.
This then led to the second major schism. The Bitcoin ABC proposal is now known as Bitcoin Cash, while the whitepaper purists are known as Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision (BSV).