Is Bitcoin ready for 0 sat transactions?
Is Bitcoin ready for 0 sat transactions?

These two zeros trigger Bitcoiners when mentioned: The zero in zero sat/byte and the zero in zero satoshi transactions. Lots of zeros here, don't worry we will go through it right away. If you believe that BSV ( Bitcoin SV) can only be used for satoshis transactions from somewhere to somewhere else while paying with satoshis you are wrong.

How HODLers want Bitcoin to be

People who own a lot of Bitcoins often have a problem with the idea of Bitcoin being used without satoshis involved. If Bitcoin could only be utilized by sending satoshis and paying transaction fees in satoshis, the demand for satoshis would indeed skyrocket once more and more users act within Bitcoin through apps and services.

But Bitcoin offers more than that. You will be able to pay transaction fees in whatever way miners are accepting to be paid in. You will also be able to write onto the Bitcoin ledger without moving a satoshi.

HODLers hate that, because their dream of infinitely price appreciating satoshis could come to an end.

Miners/transaction processors accept fiat for transaction fees

At the CoinGeek London conference 2020, Bitcoin SV dedicated miners/transaction processors elaborated on their plans to let customers pay transaction fees in fiat rather than in satoshis:

The idea is to offer customers “the Bitcoin experience” without “the Bitcoin hassle.”

In other words: customers of transaction processors should be able to get their transactions processed without having to obtain satoshis in order to pay the transaction fees. They will simply pay the transaction fees in fiat.

Imagine a big enterprise that wants to use Bitcoin for any data processing reason, but having to buy tons of Bitcoins first and then pray for the price of the Bitcoins to remain stable.

At CoinGeek London 2020, EHR Data Inc.’s representatives said:

“That’s going to generate 16 billion to 32 billion Bitcoin SV transactions. So when you look at those numbers, right, it’s an amazing rate, we’re talking 5-6,000 transactions per second, right? So it’s huge, and that’s why we went with Bitcoin SV.”

Do people expect EHR Data Inc. to buy up uncountable amounts of satoshis in order to have their transactions processed in the future?

Transaction processors will probably serve EHR Data Inc. conveniently without forcing “the Bitcoin hassle” upon their client.

In fact, you could argue that transaction processors will make sure their clients do not even have to touch Bitcoin at all, while still being able to enjoy all of Bitcoin’s benefits.

So transaction processors are offering 0 sat/byte transaction fees, which does not mean there is no transaction fee though. There is—but not necessarily to be paid in satoshis. 0 sat/byte does not mean “for free.”

0 sat transactions in Bitcoin SV?

So we understand that 0 sat/byte is possible, but what about 0 sat transactions in Bitcoin? Transacting in Bitcoin without spending Bitcoins?

It might be time to differentiate between Bitcoin the tokencoin and Bitcoin the network. In the Bitcoin network, you can operate without the Bitcoin token/coin.

We are able to construct transactions and send them to the Bitcoin network without satoshis being spent. If you send a transaction with a 0 sat output but pay the transaction fee, miners will process it. https://streamanity.com/video/aPTkUNHLiXF6

Even a transaction with 0 sat output and 0 sat/byte transaction fee (but paying the miner in fiat or other ways, pre-arrangement necessary) is possible.

Yes, you read right: 0 sat/byte transaction fee and a 0 sat output.

All of this is controversial though and has been lively discussed recently:

I have no final conclusion to the “0 sat controversy” yet

There is no reason to worry about satoshis—you will be able to pay in satoshis as you like, but there will be other options, too.

Satoshis are finally going to compete with fiat in the Bitcoin network and not outside of it in speculative markets alone.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Many focus on the “peer-to-peer” part of the white paper title. Others focus on the “electronic cash” part of it. Few pay attention to the word “system” there.

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Nathan George

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