CoinGeek Conversations is a weekly podcast update on the thriving BitcoinSV ecosystem - for beginners as well as those already deeply immersed in it. CoinGeek's Charles Miller meets entrepreneurs, technologists and businesspeople to ask about their work and their visions for the future. You don't need to be an expert in computer science or business studies. But you do need an appetite to learn about the most exciting new technology of our time.
Going Green with Bitcoin SV
As more enterprises want to claim to be environmentally responsible and accountable, the accuracy of carbon footprint data gathering is a growing cause of concern. Businesses are looking for new ways to efficiently verify their carbon footprint, says Bryan Daugherty, Bitcoin Association’s North America Manager.
Bryan recently launched a new initiative on the Bitcoin SV blockchain called Proof of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) also known as The ESG Timestamp Initiative. The company aims to “reimagine ESG reporting and impact through strategic blockchain reinvention and business transformation.”
Figures quoted by Bryan show a significant carbon footprint for each BSV transaction, but he argues that this will decrease as more people start to utilize blockchain. Until then, he puts focus on the developments in enterprise efficiencies that have been achieved with blockchain.
He points to companies like MetaStreme and WeatherSV that have collected immutable data utilizing blockchain technology, saying that blockchain allows people to make informed choices. “As we go into this next industrial revolution utilizing blockchain, it really does provide this foundation for not just efficiency and utility but to authenticate this data and break down these data silos and integrate a lot of more information where you can make better decisions.”
The Proof of ESG founder talks about a partnership with Pure Shenandoah, a company based in Virginia that grows hemp and produces CBD and sustainable products. Individuals who wish to reduce their carbon footprint can purchase an NFT called ‘hash power up’ from M.R. Megawatt and Friends, a sustainable gaming and sustainable NFT platform. That allows an individual to own a small plot or a few hemp plants from Pure Shenandoah which farmers can grow the next season. As he explains, per season, crops produce an average of 1.2 tons of carbon sequestering per acre. This allows any individual to participate and contribute to carbon sequestering through NFTs.
Individuals will also be given the opportunity to be incentivized by playing a game on the M.R. Megawatt and Friends platform. And just like Haste, players on the leaderboard will get a chance to earn micropayments back. But unlike Haste, the game comes with an environmental incentive: eighty five percent of its fees will go to Pure Shenandoah enabling its farmers to plant more hemp.
On this episode of CoinGeek Conversations, Bryan explains to Charles Miller how blockchain can assure companies that data is authenticated, honest and reliable. But what about the accuracy of the data going into the blockchain system? Bryan explains how IOT devices can be used for data gathering. “We're using everything from drones and cameras and atmospheric measuring devices. Once you're getting this data, it's a matter of utilizing it as well. And that's where blockchain also comes in because it's not just the events streaming or the storage, but it's also the computational power of this distributed small world network that you can start to use all sorts of cool analysis and metrics.”
Bryan has also recently been appointed as a subject matter expert to the Cybersecurity and Information Systems Information Analysis Centre (CSIAC), a component of the United States Department of Defense’s Information Analysis Centre enterprise. Bryan describe the CSIAC as “a group that facilitates some of the communication and research into emerging technologies across the Department of Defense and&
2021: A year of innovation and litigation
It was the year in which, despite everything, CoinGeek managed to bring BSVers together in Zurich and New York for two magnificent three day conferences. Both online and in person, they showcased the vibrancy of entrepreneurship around BSV, featuring a host of new projects like Peersend, Haste and Project Babbage, while also digging into its history with blockchain pioneers Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta and cryptography guru Ian Grigg.
Then, of course, there was that trial: the seemingly endless drama in a Miami courtroom in which Dr Craig Wright successfully defended himself against accusations of fraud from the brother of his late friend and colleague Dave Kleiman.
And it was the year in which the world learnt, to its bafflement, about blockchain technology through the extraordinary prices being paid for NFTs.
So how to sum it all up, from the perspective of the 48 editions of CoinGeek Conversations that were aired in 2021?
In the final show of the year Charles Miller was joined by the two founders of the Women of BSV group, Diddy Wheldon and Ruth Heasman and his reporter colleague, Claire Celdran. Their choice of highlights led to discussion that included Terranode, Ira Kleiman’s emailing habits, Craig Wright’s audiobooks and those ubiquitous NFTs.
On that subject, Ruth Heasman was happy to trumpet the advantages of BSV: “comparing the differences between BSV and other blockchains, there's really no one else doing it the way that BSV is doing it at the moment,” she said. “The fees mean, on Ethereum, that generally artists, unless they sell an awful lot or at a very high price, then they're not making any money from their artwork. But on BSV of course, transaction fees are often less than a cent, or certainly less than a few dollars anyway.”
Claire Celdran picked a clip that told us something about Craig Wright which had nothing to do with Bitcoin. He was talking about his huge consumption of audio books, sometimes through the night. For Claire, it was a welcome insight into his personality: “he has a certain charm about him because he's smart. And from what I've learnt in the many interviews that I've seen of Craig is that he loves to learn. He's had this never-ending journey, picking on all these courses from different universities. So that's something I admire about him.”
It was the potential of Terranode that Diddy Wheldon wanted to highlight, choosing a clip from the Zurich conference in which nChain’s CTO Steve Shadders performed a live demo of scaling on the BSV blockchain, which Diddy believed, “proves the point of the scaling debate.” Indeed, Steve’s demo showed 50,000 transactions per second, with the promise of at least double that being possible.
As for the prospects for 2022, Ruth Heasman confessed she was up for more of the same: “more intrigue. I love it, it's like being part of a soap opera almost, following Bitcoin. But it's fascinating. It's ever changing. It's exciting. And I just couldn't imagine not being in the middle of it. I really couldn't. I love it.”
Happy 2022 from CoinGeek Conversations!
Stefan Matthews: TAAL is much more than a one trick pony
As the outgoing CEO of TAAL Distributed Information Technologies, Stefan Matthews is pleased with the health of the business he’s handing on to his successor: “things are going very well at TAAL,” he says, on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations.
TAAL is a publicly-quoted business on the Canadian stock exchange which began as a blockchain miner but now sees itself as the provider of an expanding range of other services too. The emphasis has switched from one source of mining revenue - the bitcoins that a miner receives for winning a block, the so-called block reward - to the other source - micropayments received for every transaction processed as part of a block.
TAAL reports that its revenues doubled from Q2 to Q3 of 2021 - from about $6 million to $12 million. But transaction processing still only accounted for 3 per cent of those totals. In 2024, Bitcoin software will automatically effect another halving of the level of block reward that miners receive for each block, so the race is on to build up transaction processing. From his contacts in the industry, Stefan is undaunted by the challenge:
“The number of calls I get, the number of messages I receive from participants in the industry, the amount of development activity that's going on - and some of the projections that these organisations have around their transactional activity on the network is massive.”
In Q3, TAAL processed an impressive 52 million transactions - but that only shows the mind-boggling numbers that are going to be required to replace the block reward income and the tiny revenue per transaction that TAAL receives - about an eighth of a cent per transaction. It’s the microscopic size of the transaction fee that holds the key to multiplying their numbers - by attracting businesses to use the ultra-efficient BSV blockchain.
But Stefan says there’s more to TAAL than those two sources of mining income: “it's not just about the number of transactions and the fees from those transactions that are in the blocks. There are a lot of other things we do in terms of providing business services and blockchain-as-a-service.”
“We have multiple APIs. We build customised nodes to suit specific business applications that our clients are working with. And we're going to be deriving a significant amount of revenue down the track from activities that are not just what you see in terms of packing transactions out of mempool into a block.”
TAAL has been expanding, partly through acquisitions, such as the BSV block explorer, WhatsOnChain, whose APIs are already processing up to 90 million transactions per month. For the moment, that service is offered free, to encourage businesses to understand and explore the potential of BSV.
But in the future that will change, and, like TAAL, WhatsOnChain will expand the services it offers, says Stefan: “WhatsOnChain isn't a one trick pony as well. It's got a number of components to it and it's got a development roadmap.”
In January, the former CEO of the British BSV startup Geospock, Richard Baker, already a TAAL board member, will take over as TAAL’s CEO. Stefan will remain as Executive Chairman “so I will continue to have an executive role in the business supporting Richard”.
Ty Everett: Building a better internet
Ty Everett has big ambitions. His Project Babbage is named after the 19th Century British mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage, often called the ‘father of the computer’.
The Project Babbage website invites us - in big, bold type at the top of the front page - to “Help revolutionize what it means to use computers. Help preserve what it means to be humans.”
So how’s that going to work? The answer lies with the BSV-based Metanet which Ty describes as “a new version of the internet,” adding that “it’s a version that I think people are going to really like when they get to understand it.”
Project Babbage will provide an interface between users and the apps and services they use, an interface which stores each person’s identity and online history - the personal details and data currently stored so profitably by tech giants like Facebook and Google.
“When we allow people to move between apps and services while retaining ownership over the things that they've done over the people they've connected with, over the ideas that they've shared, we can enable a better way for value to be conveyed and conducted and assessed,” says Ty.
Speaking on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, Ty describes how his Babbage Desktop will act as “a single identity layer”. Instead of having to provide the same information to each service provider, you’ll be able to deploy it from what’s stored on the Babbage software, to anyone you give permission to access it:
“You have one account, one password, one set of keys, so to speak, that control the different ways that apps can interact with you, using Bitcoin.”
Project Babbage will allow BSV startups to leverage users’ collected details from its desktop centre, but in time it will also, Ty believes, attract existing businesses to make themselves Babbage-compatible:
“If existing apps are smart, if you are a data silo, if you have a bunch of users and a bunch of data, eventually it will make sense for you to voluntarily break down those walls and start moving all of that data that you have on chain by using Bitcoin transactions to build up a collection of the things that existing users have done.”
From its earliest days, one of the promises of Bitcoin (‘digital cash’, as the White Paper describes it) was to add a monetary layer to the internet - a feature whose absence was so often said to create time-wasting processes and unnecessary costs.
Project Babbage plans to rectify that, making use of Bitcoin SV’s micropayment capabilities:
“One of the biggest things I think that we can achieve with Bitcoin and micropayments is the reduction of economic friction,” says Ty, “because when you don't have to go through a whole bunch of hassle in order to set up agreements and arrangements and have them be affected by all of these legacy processes that create a lot of overhead and a lot of cost, [then] creators can create content and earn money from it without needing to sign up through all of these different things and depend on revenue that comes from one data broker such as such as YouTube or Facebook.”
Ty says his big vision does not depend on building a huge team. Much of the work will be done by him personally: “I've written a lot of code. I've built a lot of these components already.”
Will Everett be the new Babbage? Watch this space.
Brian Choi: How blockchain can help the food industry
Founded in the United States in 1928, the Food Institute has provided authoritative news on food products to its members for many decades. Brian Choi started following its service five years ago. As an investment banker and private equity investor, his job required him to know the latest news on the food market and commodities. He received weekly updates from the Institute until one day he saw an opportunity for himself.
As he tells Charles Miller on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, he wanted to “build the Food Institute into becoming an industry hub where you can go to, whether you're a food industry executive, whether you're a private equity individual, whether you're in venture capital, to know what's happening in the food industry.”
In 2020, Brian managed to acquire the Institute and turn his vision into reality. Under his leadership as CEO, the organization continues to provide food industry news whilst adding a digital media component and expanding its content to cover all aspects and stages of food processing - from agriculture, to manufacturing to retail and service.
In addition, the Institute provides expert commentaries from food business CEOs and investors. Brian wants the company to be “the Bloomberg of the food industry.” He adds “It’s the one hub where you can get the information that you need to help you be informed about your business.”
The Food Institute and blockchain
Brian is keen to point out that most of their content is based on up-and-coming trends, as well as products and services that have an impact on the food industry. For instance, in relation to new technology, Brian explains that they’ve already seen the emergence of artificial intelligence and robotics in food processing and manufacturing.
Now with blockchain he believes that technology can impact the food industry, such that data will be leveraged and in turn, help businesses and consumers be better informed.
Moreover, he sees blockchain as a key component in efficiently providing a measure of accountability for a company, especially when it comes to meeting its environmental and sustainability goals. “With companies like Coke and PepsiCo, they are putting a stake in the ground saying, by 2030 we're going to be carbon neutral, or by 2025 we're going to use fifty percent less water. It's another thing to say here are the facts, this is the data, this is what we've done and having it transparent to everyone and easily verifiable - which is what blockchain is able to do.”
The food institute and Bitcoin SV
Bitcoin Association President Jimmy Nguyen, along with Stephan Nilsson, founder of UNISOT and SeafoodChain, were invited by the Food Institute to educate its audience on the basics of blockchain and how food companies can apply blockchain to their businesses. As Charles points out, UNISOT, a company that utilizes the Bitcoin SV blockchain to make the global food supply chain more efficient and transparent, is a terrific example of how blockchain can be applied in the food industry.
Brian agrees, saying he would like to invite Jimmy and Stephan back for round two of discussions to expound on blockchain backed applications that are suited for the food industry.
Finally, Brian shares his thoughts on the adoption of blockchain technology in the food industry and how BSV can help. “I'm hoping more companies like UNISOT and SeafoodChain come to the forefront because I think we're still a long way away for this technology being adopted by the masses. The more entrepreneurs are leveraging the BSV blockchain and developing applications, that's only going to help foster adoption.”
Brandon Bryant: It’s game on for Handcash
Today many online games have their own virtual currency. There’s V-Bucks on Fortnite or VC (virtual currency) on NBA 2K. The currencies let you buy exclusive content or upgrades for that game. But they can’t be used outside of their own game.
Supposing there was a virtual currency that could be converted easily to and from regular money and could be used across a wide range of games. It’s coming.
It’s called the Duro and it’s going to be marketed by the Bitcoin SV wallet Handcash.
So how does the Duro relate to BSV? Simple: one Duro is just the name Handcash is giving to one two hundred thousandth of a BSV. Or, to put it another way:
1 BSV = 200,000 Duros.
By giving a name to that size of unit, the numbers involved for very small transactions will be more user-friendly. So, for instance, if 1 BSV = $160 US, then 10 Duros are worth 0.8 of a cent - the kind of money you can throw around buying something in an online game without having to worry too much.
On this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, Brandon Bryant, a software developer for Handcash, talks about how the Duro ecosystem will evolve and open access to a range of games, thanks to Handcash’s partnering with several BSV startups and with Built by Gamers, an existing esports business whose Taylor Searle featured on last week’s edition of the show.
So how will newbies find their way into the system? Brandon explains:
“You download a Handcash wallet - and soon we will have fiat rails inside of Handcash so you'll be able to use Apple Pay or your preferred payment method to buy some Duros or some Bitcoin SV. “
Then it’s just a question of picking some games to try out:
“You'll be directed to our app store and inside of the app store, you'll find the Haste Arcade, the NFTY Jigs app and all the other apps that are using the Handcash SDK. And you'll be able to connect to those apps, authorise payments - and you're on your way.”
The difficulty of onboarding new users into the BSV ecosystem has long been seen as a limiting factor in widespread adoption of the many products and services available. Handcash has tried to make it as simple as possible: “the goal is to have the sign up process in under a few minutes.”
And with Taylor Searle’s Built by Gamers’ users being encouraged to sign up to Handcash, the prospects for many new users have never looked so good:
“Handcash is launching a referral programme. So Built By Gamers has a huge firehose of audience and attention. And they're going to point that at Handcash in this ecosystem. And in return, they're earning a percentage of the profit from the top ups that those users that they refer get. So everyone's economically aligned to just drive growth within the ecosystem.”
For game players, there’s more to the Handcash connection than just currency because they will also be able to trade virtual goods. Handcash is partnering with NFTY Jigs to support RUN tokens, so digital items and NFTs will also be transferable between games.
A relatively recent recruit to the Handcash team, Brandon says he’s impressed by the relentless focus that its founders Alex Agut and Rafa Seibane bring to the business:
“Rafa and Alex are experts at saying no.” But not in this case: “Handcash is really going after the esports industry and gaming and everything that comes along with that.”
BSV is Bitcoin.
The only podcast dedicated to covering the real Bitcoin, BSV, and all the amazing new business models it enables.
BSV is Bitcoin
Very interesting to catch glimpses of the Cambrian explosion of creativity and innovation happening on Bitcoin SV. It’s under the radar right now, but will be world changing in coming years.