Bigger blocks will make the whole mining network raise its game

It’s an exciting time in the most techy part of the Bitcoin SV ecosystem: as a result of increases in block size, “bubbles are starting to form in the great mining broth,” says mining expert Kristy-Leigh Minehan.

Now CTO of the technology infrastructure company Core Scientific, Kristy-Leigh has been working in crypto mining since the early days of Bitcoin. And she says that the buzz around Bitcoin SV now reminds her of those pioneering times, with the same potential for the future. Back in 2010, she says, “it wasn’t profitable, no-one really did it at scale, and it was also an incredibly exciting time. Bitcoin SV feels like that.” 

In a few years, she expects those involved today will be grateful to have committed to BSV when they did. “Think about how excited miners were in 2017/8, when all of those coins they’d mined in 2012 were suddenly worth a ton. Just imagine you could go back in time and ride that hype wave. You have that opportunity with Bitcoin SV — even though a lot of people don’t realise it.”

The increase in the block size will force changes on the whole mining network, Kristy-Leigh says. For instance, it will require new investment in node infrastructure to increase network propagation because “an insane amount of data” needs to be pushed through the network with big blocks. 

The new investment is “a really good thing” and “is going to end up changing mining as a whole, allowing all chains to end up transacting faster — and hit Visa-like transactions per second.”

Nodes and miners that don’t invest will end up “being left behind with a ton of orphan blocks.” But “that will be a great measure of the network health — telling people you need to step up and specialise.” New miners coming into the ecosystem will invest in the infrastructure first off, to be ready to scale up as the network needs it. 

As for negative stories about the climate-changing impact of crypto mining, Kristy-Leigh insists that they’re completed wrong: Bitcoin mining “is inherently green — the greenest form of energy consumption known to date.” 78% of Bitcoin mining is powered by renewable energy: “that’s really impressive.”

By making use of renewable energy that couldn’t otherwise be sold, the mining business makes sustainable energy economically viable. “Right now mining serves a very powerful purpose of consuming the world’s unused energy. With solar, wind and gas, there is so much unused energy that they cannot sell because the world’s not consuming it.”

In Kristy-Leigh’s view, mining also delivers a range of other benefits, both economic and social. “Mining ends up creating jobs, ends up changing how we consume renewable energy, changing how we build data centres and it’s going to change how we think about distributed computing. And this is just the infrastructure.”

So mining makes a critical contribution to creating the world we’ll soon be living in: “and that’s why I get so passionate about mining because we’re literally building the backbone to a new financial future.”

Watch Kristy-Leigh Minehan’s presentation at the CoinGeek Conference in Toronto last May.