Examining Bitcoin SV’s Developer Ecosystem Claims
Supporters of Bitcoin SV claim there is a thriving developer ecosystem being built. After seeing a recent Twitter thread on the topic, I decided to take a closer look to find out how true this actually is.
The definitive directory of Bitcoin SV projects is maintained on BSV/DEVS. It’s a simple website that currently has 136 listings. I decided to click through each and every link to get a better picture of what is actually going on.
There are a few surprisingly good looking projects.
MoneyButton is a service created by Ryan X. Charles that provides a simple and easy way for developers to accept BSV payments on websites.
Both the user experience and developer experience are simple and straightforward. The UI is slick and attractive. It accomplishes this task very well.
Handcash is the widely acclaimed mobile wallet for Bitcoin SV. It’s easy to use and incorporates a nice human readable handle system.
However, not all the bugs are out just yet. When I first tried to use the wallet it crashed on me several times. Then someone tried to send me a payment and it failed.
Bitcom is a “Decentralized Global Registry of Bitcoin Application Protocols” created by the well-known Bitcoin maximalist, _unwriter.
This isn’t the kind of project that a normal user will ever interact with, but it is an important building block to future applications based on open standards.
There were also many projects that were less than impressive.
A site that lists moneybutton.com e-mail addresses for sale. For the low price of $1,000,000, you could own “[email protected]”!
Real-time chat on the blockchain… but why? Seems like a complete waste of disk space.
It would have been nice to at least see it in action, but unfortunately, it wasn’t working. I couldn’t see any other messages other than a bunch of garbled messages at the top, and I couldn’t post anything.
Lottery 6/45 Number Generator
I saved the worst for last. This app consists of just a couple of random numbers and a tip button.
During my examination, I encountered many small things which are harmless on their own but shouldn’t be ignored when viewing the ecosystem as a whole.
- Copy and paste clones of open source projects.
- Forks of existing open source projects.
- Purchased codebases (off the shelf solutions).
- Broken or dead websites.
- Unfinished or abandoned projects.
There is nothing wrong with adopting open source or purchased codebases. But the quantity of them as a percentage of what is listed seems to be high, and the continued development is low.
Broken and abandoned projects occur all the time, but they tend to be more prevalent in dwindling ecosystems because the developers are demonstrating that they are unwilling to give more time investment.
There are a couple of projects that look great or have high potential, but the vast majority are sub-par.
There seems to a lack of investment and innovation in the ecosystem in general. The ecosystem, as a whole, pales in comparison to some of the other industry leaders.
Does it have any merit? Yes. Could there be some hidden gems being built that haven’t been announced yet? Possibly, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Based on what is available today, I would conclude that the claims are false and that the Bitcoin SV ecosystem is not thriving by any means.
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