Bitcoin SV as Turing complete system, as explained by Craig Wright

Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig Wright has published a new blog post, titled “Infinite and Unbounded,” setting out his thoughts on Bitcoin as a Turing complete system.

The blog post comes as a response to criticisms from the BTC community and skeptics who insist that Bitcoin cannot be considered Turing complete. While Dr. Wright acknowledges they are correct in the respect that BTC is not Turing-complete, they ignore the reality of Bitcoin SV, the true implementation of Bitcoin as set out in the original Bitcoin whitepaper.

Dr. Wright starts by explaining the simple misunderstandings at the heart of so many problems with these types of discussions of Bitcoin as a Turing complete system.

“Unfortunately, a major problem stems from a lack of understanding of many common terms today. Turing completeness does not require an infinite tape, and it was not an infinite tape that Turing mentioned in his paper; it was an unbounded system. Importantly, you cannot have a Turing machine with an infinite tape rather than an unbounded tape—by definition. An infinite tape is not related to a problem that can be computed,” Dr. Wright said. 

He asserts that Bitcoin is demonstrably a Turing complete system, hitting back against criticisms from the BTC Core community.

“Bitcoin is a Turing-complete system even in script. A Turing machine assumes that you have an unbounded tape. In our instance, it would mean an unbounded script size. Given an arbitrarily long script, you can run any possible computable algorithm. The fact that the size of the script becomes unwieldy is irrelevant. Not all Turing machines are efficient. In fact, there is nothing in the foundations of Turing machines that requires efficiency. Whilst it is possible to run many programs that will take a seemingly considerable time to complete, the process of optimising them through parallel paths or through approximation may be sufficient,” according to Dr. Wright.

In his blog post. Dr. Wright notes that the objections from those in the BTC Core community come from the flaws in their own system, namely the introduction of arbitrary block size limits, originally supposed to be temporary, which distort the original vision and execution of Bitcoin.

“The main reason Bitcoin Core attacks the comment that I have made, of Bitcoin being Turing-complete, is related to the introduction of limits that were originally temporarily imposed upon Bitcoin and that have been implemented in more insidious manners within BTC. Whereas I said that Bitcoin would grow to the point where it would end in data centres, they wished to create a separate system, one that was more limited. A limited tape is not one that can run any algorithm. In other words, with a limited transaction size, you can never achieve the same level of computation as you can with an unlimited transaction size.”

“As Rogers (1959) demonstrated, degrees of computational unsolvability exist, but it does little to remove the fact that we don’t know, in many cases, whether a program is solvable or not until it is run. Worse still, as Gaboury (1942) and later Rogers (1958) demonstrated, there is no solution addressing whether we can even find a solution to many problems.”

Dr. Wright summarizes the argument as being one of the transactions and block size limits, with the true Bitcoin, BSV, rather than BTC, being a Turing complete system.

“The argument against Bitcoin being Turing-complete is one of transaction and block-size limits. Given such limits, Bitcoin would not be a Turing-complete system, but Bitcoin wasn’t designed to be limited in such a manner. Hence, whilst the BTC system is not Turing-complete, Bitcoin is.”

Watch: CoinGeek Zurich presentation, The Original Bitcoin Protocol: What Is It and Why Does It Matter

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