Introducing Value Handles – Unlocking the Internet of Value
BSV is the best chance to realize the promise of a real Internet of Value. Value Handles support this route.
If you are in cryptocurrency for a while, you probably heard of the nebulous term „The Internet of Value“. Particularly Ripple promotes its „XRP Ledger“ with this slogan, but it’s quite common in the whole space. For example, the infamous r/Bitcoin forum has the subtitle „The Internet of Money“.
Usually this catchphrase suggests that cryptocurrency is more than money: A spectacular phenomenom, merging money and the Internet, building something entirely new, with applications, so far ahead, that you couldn’t even imagine what can be done with it.
However, in most cases it is just a glossy phrase to market sending money over the Internet with a blockchain. Often it contains sending other value, like tokens, and in most profoundest cases, like Ethereum, it offers smart contracts, which execute more sophisticated rules for sending.
But in all cases, it remains a payment system. Nobody seems to realize, that to become an Internet of Value, Bitcoin (or any blockchain) needs to become first … an Internet itself.
Unleashing an Internet inside the blockchain
A notable exception is Bitcoin SV (BSV). It has the vision to create an Internet inside the blockchain. All the work that is done, the elimination of limits, the data nodes of _unwriter, the bcom protocol, serve this mission. It’s the first to take the „Internet of Value“ serious.
The base idea is simple: Load on the blockchain whatever you want, but do it as a data string, which can be executed outside the blockchain mechanics. Create a website, put it onchain – and the blockchain has an app. Upload a table of functions – and the blockchain has a library. Take data, put it onchain, and it is immutable.
BSV becomes a central, but decentralized host of ANY kind of data; an Internet and an Operating System – while it already has Value, and while data and value are deeply interwoven.
Many say, this is impossible. Because decentralization. They say it is madness to put all data on a blockchain. Because it can’t scale. Just trying is fraud, because it is untestedly and without any doubt proofen that it is impossible to do. It must not be done. And so on.
Something awesome is happening. Straight before our eyes. The worst thing that can happen is that it royally fails. So what? Nothing grand ever happened without failure being an option.
Micropayments and Data upstreams
An obvious case for an Internet of Value is connecting user interactions with payments: for uploading data, for receiving payouts and so on. In a full Internet of Value, every user interaction happens by a transaction.
MoneyButton is the perfect tool for this, and Twetch is an amazing example of its power: Twetch recreates Twitter, but everything is onchain: The short messages itself as well as likes and follows are transactions. It integrates Bitcoin value transactions in a fluent user experience – while not even storing the data on its own server. Twetch is by far the most advanced blockchain micropayment application out there.
WeatherSV is another example. It’s a machine to systematically write on the blockchain. It allows users to create data channels, which are streamed on the chain, like the temperature for a certain city. Similarly is RateSV, but for cryptocurrency exchange prices.
Unspent Output as a gravity field
But there is something more. Information and Value can converge more deeply.
From a longterm technical point of view it will happen inevitably. When the Bitcoin SV blockchain growths to multiples terabytes of size – there are few doubts it will – pruning will become an issue more and more. This will make access to data, which can be pruned, harder and more expensive. There will be access providers for prunable data.
However, not every transaction can be pruned easily. If it contains an unspent output (utxo), it becomes part of the UTXO set, which is needed to mine and validate new transactions. So it shouldn’t be widely pruned. This makes data more valuable, when the data creation transaction keeps an output unspent. It will be better accessable.
At the same time it makes an utxo more valuable. Think about the UTXO set as a gravity web, laying under the Internet of Value. It attracts some, repells others, creating a pattern of value in the data layer. You can make data durable by simply holding BSV.
To support and deploy this mechanism, MetaHandle introduces Value Handles.
In case you don’t know: A MetaHandle is a method to access onchain content. Usually, you access onchain data with a Transaction ID, which is very unhandy, because it is a long hexadecimal string. MetaHandles allow you to find and access onchain data with human readable terms.
Imagine MetaHandles as data hooks in the blockchain. They connect any transaction to any word. They act like entry points for humans: Search for your keyword, find the content. As the handle is hashed, it serves like a key to access data onchain.
Value Handles create a third output, beside content and change: a value output. As long as it is unspent, the Value Handle is valid. If it is spent, the Value Handle is considered invalid.
The website MetaHandle.net considers valid Value Handles superior to normal Handles: When a search for an Handle produces more than one result, a valid Value Handle will be on top. If there are more than one Value Handles, they are sorted by the value of the unspent output.
This is not the same like when the content transaction itself has its own utxo. Technically, the content a Value Handle references to, can still be pruned. It has no own utxo. But at least it is a message: someone has put money behind this content; there is an interest in it remaining accesable.
Also, using Value Handles instead of native utxo has some advantages: It enables to top up the value and allows other people as the author to attach value. With Value Handles, people can pick any content and vote with an utxo for it to be not pruned.
For the user, Value Handles have a nice sideeffect: They allow to withdraw a handle. If you spend the utxo, the handle becomes invalid. By this you can delete a handle – from search, not from the blockchain – or update it.
So … enjoy it :)