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  • George Samuels

Why IPv6 & A Scaleable Blockchain Matters for Future Online Communities

Updated: May 27, 2022


If you hadn't a chance yet, I highly recommend this talk from Latif Ladid about IPv6 at the 2022 Global Blockchain Conference.

It's insightful because it talks about IPv6 and the importance of a blockchain that actually scales. While listening to Latif, I realized how a lot of what he mentions connects in with communities of the future - from meta-communities (future communities of the metaverse) to physical communities leveraging IoT devices.

These technologies will, and are, shaping the future of how communities engage with one another online. It's just that most people don't realize this yet - much like how the Internet itself started.

What is IPv6

IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol version 6. It is the most recent version of Internet Protocol (IP), which helps expand the number of IP addresses available to use for the Internet. The reason this is needed is because IPv4, which is currently being used, has been exhausted at 32 bits (2^32 = 4.3 billion addresses). IPv6 offers 128 bits (2^32 = 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses).

Why a scaleable blockchain matters

Things like the Internet of Things (IoT), gaming, and blockchain, has accelerated the need for more addresses. Once you starting using blockchain technology, you very quickly realize how important it is for it to scale on-chain. Without any on-chain scaling capabilities, using Proof-of-Work consensus building becomes unfeasible. This is why BTC (a limited version of Bitcoin), ETH (Ethereum → Proof-of-Stake), and even SOL (Solana) struggle.

Why Bitcoin (BSV)

We won’t get into any of the personality-driven politics but, as of today, BSV has proven that Bitcoin could always scale on-chain. With world-record blocks being mined, it has silently been pushing what’s possible while ignoring those who say certain aspects are “impossible.”

A flurry of blockchain patents have also been granted to BSV-focused companies like nChain, building up a patent portfolio that may very well see it become one of the most valuable companies in the world over the coming years.

By focusing on things like micropayments, and taking a stand against highly speculative crypto markets, it’s following very similar steps to the way the Internet eventually took over the world: with little to no fanfare (at first).

How it will aid future online communities

Using the gaming industry as a focal point, end-to-end (peer-to-peer) connectivity has become increasingly important. Systems such as Xbox Live actually tunnel IPv6 in IPv4 in order to work around issues associated with a lack of end-to-end connectivity.

At worst, there are no public IPv4 addresses at the end user location; instead there is a series of devices (e.g. NAT/CGN) translating over and over. These devices were only meant as temporary solutions, but have became the de facto standard.

Despite its popularity, NAT was never intended to be a security mechanism. Sound similar? You’d be right. It’s exactly like what’s happened to Bitcoin (BTC). Hash-power and cryptography was mistaken as its security, when it’s really the fact that the Bitcoin blockchain is public and unencrypted. Bitcoin’s technical solution was economic, not cryptographic.

How does this translate to communities?

Well, for starters, it means that online communities of the future will have: more control over their data, the ability to granularly choose who/what to give access to, create micro-economies via micro-payments, and the ability to truly transact peer-to-peer with no intermediaries.

It will mean more seamless experiences for communities like gamers. And it seems like many communities around the world are using increasingly gamified experiences.

So any community on a platform that requires increased bandwidth will benefit. So as the population of online users increase, as well as IoT-connect devices, this will mean all.