Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision, the controversial blockchain promoted by Craig Wright, is winning in digital-asset markets this year, with a token that has brought investors triple the returns of its better-known ancestor, bitcoin.
You’re reading First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily markets newsletter. Assembled by the CoinDesk Markets Team, First Mover starts your day with the most up-to-date sentiment around crypto markets, which of course never close, putting in context every wild swing in bitcoin and more. We follow the money so you don’t have to. You can subscribe here.
Bitcoin SV, or BSV as the token is known, has risen 96% so far in 2020, versus a 36% gain for bitcoin (as of Monday). It’s also beating the 18% year-to-date return for bitcoin cash (BCH), another offshoot from bitcoin.
The project, which split off from bitcoin following a series of disputes in 2017 and 2018, has faced accusations in the past that its token’s price is prone to manipulation. And Wright, who leads the BSV community through his software company nChain and claims to be bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, is embroiled in a lawsuit with his late business partner’s estate. He was recently described as a “fraud” in a public message signed with bitcoin addresses he claims to own .
But some investors and developers say Bitcoin SV has technical advantages over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that make it a worthy blockchain to build applications on. Those include Twetch, a social media platform based on Bitcoin SV that grabbed headlines last week when its Twitter account was briefly suspended; just hours before, the company had sent a tweet trolling Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for fact-checking a post by President Donald Trump.
“We think this represents an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to buy in more cheaply to make a long-term investment on the only blockchain trying to scale and have mass adoption as a database,” Zack Resnick, managing partner of the money manager Unbounded Capital, wrote in an email. The firm invests in BSV tokens as well as projects focused on the blockchain.
It’s been just over a year since the giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance delisted BSV, with CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeting at the time that Wright was a “fraud” and that “the real Satoshi can digitally sign any message to prove it.” In an interview in October with the publication Coin Rivet, Wright called CZ a “lowlife. Not exactly taking the high road.
The driving force behind BSV’s split from bitcoin during the late 2010s was the idea that a blockchain should be “scalable” – that is, able to smoothly handle a sudden surge in usage, similar to the way the virtual-meeting platform Zoom suddenly on-boarded millions of new customers during the first few weeks of coronavirus-related lockdowns.
Bitcoin SV’s backers say large data-block sizes, compared with those on the Bitcoin blockchain, could improve the…