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BSV LiteClient Toolbox launched – Scaling Bitcoin with SPV

The Bitcoin SV LiteClient Toolbox has launched in its MVP phase, bringing unbounded scaling to the original Bitcoin using Simplified Payment Verification.

Bitcoin SV has taken a major step towards global adoption and limitless scaling with the launch of the LiteClient Toolbox. Developed by the Bitcoin SV Infrastructure Team and released in its MVP phase, the LiteClient Toolbox consists of modular components that deliver Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) as described in the original Bitcoin white paper.

The Toolbox provides the foundational components that allow users of the Bitcoin SV network to run a lightweight client instead of a fully indexing node. Instead of downloading and verifying the entire BSV blockchain, these users only need to store the chain of block headers and can prove that transactions were included in a block using Merkle proofs.

This greatly reduces the cost of running an application that interacts with the Bitcoin SV network. For example, wallet providers and exchanges can use the LiteClient tools to offer their services in a far more efficient way and without running a full node implementation. Merchants and users can also facilitate their own payments without the need to run a full Bitcoin SV node.

This not only greatly reduces the storage and networking costs of unnecessarily verifying the entire blockchain to facilitate transactions, but it also allows applications to continue operating reliably even as the network of BSV miners continue to improve transaction throughput and data capacity.

The implementation of SPV is a crucial factor in scaling the Bitcoin network and was included in the protocol’s original design. Bitcoin SV is the blockchain protocol most aligned with the original design of Bitcoin, and by launching the LiteClient Toolbox as its transaction throughput and block sizes continue to grow, it demonstrates how the Bitcoin protocol was always meant to scale and provide real utility.

‘The LiteClient Toolbox is a set of components that allow for SPV. When Satoshi Nakamoto originally launched Bitcoin, he designed the system to have nodes and users on the network, and nodes were in charge of getting transactions settled on the blockchain,’ explains Bitcoin Association Director of Engineering Jad Wahab.

‘Satoshi never envisioned users running full nodes and validating all the transactions, so he designed the system in a way where users could just be users and they don’t have to run the whole network themselves.’

Wahab notes that users have previously created ‘light client’ implementations using bloom filters, but this is far less efficient and scalable than using SPV as described in the white paper to simply validate transactions using block headers and Merkle proofs.

What’s in the LiteClient Toolbox

The components included in the LiteClient Toolbox are reference implementations of modules that implement SPV. The MVP release of the toolkit aims to educate the internal Bitcoin SV ecosystem about the capabilities of the LiteClient Toolbox and how these can be applied to various applications.

Through education and facilitating the adoption of these tools, new use cases can be enabled that will greatly boost interoperability and the reliability of services running on Bitcoin SV even as the average block size and transaction throughput grows.

‘The initial stage of the LiteClient programme is to focus on getting everyone on the same page, to make sure everyone’s aligned and understand how the tools work and speak the same language with a lot of different standards. So that’s the first stage that we’re releasing now,’ Wahab says.

The LiteClient Toolbox comprises the following core components:

  • Wallet
  • Block Headers Client
  • Direct Payment Protocol (DPP)
  • Direct Payment Protocol Proxy (DP3)
  • Paymail Server

These components focus on standardising SPV implementations to ensure interoperability as users adopt software implementations built on LiteClient modules.

‘We focussed on creating a proper standard for communication of payments between the sender and receiver – this is called the Direct Payment Protocol (DPP). This was one of the key ingredients for LiteClient to ensure that wallets can interoperate. The Block Headers Client is the SPV client that people are used to – it basically downloads the chain of block headers with the most proof-of-work,’ Wahab explains.

Another component of the toolbox is the Paymail Server, which works similarly to a DNS resolver, allowing users to link friendly, human-readable identifiers to their Bitcoin SV address.

A full description of all LiteClient Toolbox components and reference implementations are available in the official LiteClient documentation on BitcoinSV.io.

All the LiteClient components are open-source and depending on the application you are running on Bitcoin SV, you may only need to use a few modules to set up a LiteClient implementation.

‘If you’re an application developer or wallet developer in this space, then you can go to the Bitcoin SV.io website, where you can find all the documentation and that will have links to links to the repos, and everything is open source,’ Wahab says.

‘Depending on your tech stack, you may only use a few components or you may use the whole LiteClient toolbox set. Any wallet or application developer can easily integrate with the rest of the components. And then moving forward, they can easily download the whole LiteClient toolbox and it will have a production-ready wallet that you can use.’

SPV is the key to scaling Bitcoin SV

The launch of the LiteClient Toolbox MVP precedes an inevitable boom in Bitcoin SV’s scaling. With BSV continuing to break transaction processing records and the upcoming launch of Teranode, which will facilitate transaction processing on the order of hundreds of thousands of transactions per second, it is important that the ecosystem is prepared for this exponential growth in data throughput.

One of the major obstacles BSV has encountered as block sizes and transaction throughput continues to grow is that of issues with exchanges, wallet providers and other services that run fully indexing nodes and are unable to keep up with this increased data throughput.

It is not necessary for these applications to run full Bitcoin SV nodes, and as they move to a more efficient SPV implementation, the BSV blockchain will be able to continue scaling and they will continue operating reliably and at a far lower cost. Educating the ecosystem about this is crucial to removing this obstacle, Wahab explains:

‘That will be our initial focus – to try and get everyone who is using a full node as a wallet to stop using a full node as a wallet. That way, as we scale the blockchain, as we scale the block size, no one will be affected because the LiteClient scales regardless of how big the blocks get.’

‘Once we have users of the network using the LiteClient, then there’s nothing holding us back from scaling the blockchain indefinitely.’

To find out more about the LiteClient Toolbox, visit the BitcoinSV.io website. You can also learn more about BSV and speak to developers in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem by signing up to the official Bitcoin SV Discord channel.

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