Jimmy Nguyen: 'Bit + Coin—it’s a fusion of data and money'

Data is the commodity of the digital age, and Bitcoin is the fusion of data and money. That was the message from Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen, in an interview with Douglas Mackenzie of Fintech Finance Virtual Arena this week.

“We’re at the beginning of what we think is a very grand path,” Nguyen said, adding that Bitcoin has only just begun laying the foundations for a blockchain-based future. Nguyen didn’t want to give any illusions that we’re anywhere close to where we want to be, but explained that it was necessary for those foundations to exist so that the Bitcoin industry can focus on organic growth, stable value, and prove it’s a credible alternative to fiat currencies.

“We’ve laid the foundation, removed all the limits, and now developers can see how much they can do,” he said. “We don’t need to live in a world of 5,000 blockchains—there’s only one Internet, and Bitcoin can do everything the one world ledger needs to do.”

What does the Bitcoin Association president do all day?

His role as Bitcoin Association President sees Nguyen spending the bulk of his time building out the business ecosystem for BSV. This involves meeting with businesses and government agencies, lobbying policymakers, overseeing the Bitcoin Association’s work devising training and education programs, finding new use cases for Bitcoin, convincing exchanges to list BSV as an asset, as well as supporting technical infrastructure development (via the Bitcoin SV Node protocol development team and others).

He also, of course, is known for hosting events like CoinGeek Live and (when the international situation permits) in-person events. Since the last “conference” was an online event, the two discussed the pros and cons of studio vs. live audiences—Nguyen revealed a few little-known perils of being an in-demand host, including having to fight through the throng of greeters and pitches to use the bathroom.

“My job carries a lot of hats and I like to wear them all as a Bitcoiner,” he said.

Where’s it all going, and what should we be watching for in Bitcoin?

Mackenzie asked several questions about what makes Bitcoin (BSV) stand apart from the other blockchains and “cryptocurrencies” out there, and where the BSV society is ultimately headed.

2020 has been a strange year and it’s had devastating economic consequences for a lot of people. However Bitcoin may be one of the few industries that actually finds opportunities in it. The ever-creeping push towards cashless transactions has accelerated, especially in high-throughput areas like casino gambling. Nguyen referred to BitBoss’ token-based cashless casino system, as well as Transmira’s Omniscape, which sees Bitcoin tokens deployed as interactive 3D elements in virtual and augmented environments.

These are all things that leverage Bitcoin’s “data fused with money value” concept, and are all things that stand to become increasingly important as more people work (and socialize) from home, Nguyen said.

He also mentioned new applications to make international finance and cross-border transactions more efficient. Illustrating his point, Nguyen referenced Centbee‘s “minute money” – presently being used for remittances between South Africa and Zimbabwe, the 85% of the Philippines population that don’t have bank accounts, in addition new opportunities for P2P micro-lending. It’s been a few years since we heard about remittances and “the unbanked” in the Bitcoin world, but thanks to BSV, all of the original Bitcoin use cases are rising again.

With the original protocol now restored, Bitcoin (BSV) is at times processing over 2,800 transactions per second on its main network, with fees staying around 1/100 of a US cent. Its largest blocks so far were 370MB and contained 1.4 million transactions. Bitcoin’s test network has processed over 6,000 transactions per second, putting Bitcoin in far better stead to challenge huge global payment networks like Visa and Mastercard.

But payments are now only part of the story, Nguyen added. The ultimate vision is not just consumer applications but for Bitcoin to be a data ledger for massive blockchain applications. Bitcoin will prove that data is a valuable commodity with real monetary value, he said.

“It’s the fusion of data and money. Bit plus Coin. It’s right there in the word.”

Unbounded scaling and potential

The artificial limits on BTC transactions and push for it to become a near-static “digital gold” have stunted development of new Bitcoin use cases. And this is largely to blame for the price volatility that has damaged the reputation of digital assets over the past ten years. “No-one really uses BTC in real life,” Nguyen said.

Bitcoin, as BSV, can now grow organically and develop a value over time, just as it always should have. Developers and businesses are building a network that gradually builds utility, and one where the value is in the data itself. That should also give BSV more price stability in the longer-term, and present it as a viable alternative.

There are plenty of use-cases for Bitcoin where the price doesn’t matter—you might not even use the BSV unit in payments. One other point Nguyen and Mackenzie discussed was CBDCs, or central bank digital currencies. Nguyen said he couldn’t guarantee that such things would happen, but noted that nChain developers had actually met with central bank representatives to discuss the possibilities.

Not only is BSV stable and scalable, but it’s also more transparent and auditable. Those are all huge points for developing trust with decision-makers at all levels. All manner of assets and tokens can live on the Bitcoin blockchain, and happily co-exist. Eventually, people will use whatever’s easiest and what works best.

Watch Jimmy Nguyen’s CoinGeek Live opening presentation, Bitcoin SV: One World, One Chain.

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