Nervos CKB leads the Bitcoin renaissance with its Bitcoin Layer-2 technology

Cryptocurrency Scripts
Cryptocurrency Scripts
6 min readApr 8, 2024


The primary role of the Bitcoin blockchain is to operate as a giant network for the transfer of value. The Bitcoin cryptocurrency controls the value system on the network. For a technology at the level of adoption it had in its earliest days; a 7 Transaction per second was in fact a sufficient throughput. Considering the value per coin of Bitcoin at this time, the transaction fee was also considerably cheap, compared to other payment systems in existence.

Bitcoin’s current user experience, Utility, and performance issue is a case of poor scalability. The Bitcoin network was ‘perfect’ for its early-day scenarios. But this has been torn away by the rapid adoption and growth in the price of Bitcoin. Thanks to its superstructure design model, scaling the Bitcoin blockchain is a perilous attempt. However, Bitcoin Scaling solutions like Nervos CKB are weathering this storm.

Nervos CKB blockchain is lined with features that are capable of operating complementarily with the Bitcoin blockchain and also functioning as a sovereign blockchain network. Nervos has seen significant success in both areas.

What is Nervous CKB?

Like the Bitcoin blockchain, Nervos CKB is a public blockchain built for P2P transfer of value. It extends Bitcoin’s UTXO model to develop the Cell model — a decentralized asset management design that uses a lock and type script to handle asset transfers. The Cell model and the UTXO model are similar in the sense that they create a First-class asset system, placing user assets as the primary subject in blockchain transactions. This is in contrast to the account model where assets are just part of a system.

Nervous CKB operates a double-layer structure. The CKB layer serves as the consensus layer for the Computation layer. The Nervos CKB VM controls the network state. The CKM VM is blockchain-agnostic. It is capable of running different virtual machine designs, smart contracts, and adapting to the operational model of several blockchain models.

Nervos CKB is designed with unique high flexibility to allow it to fit diverse use cases. As a standalone network, Nervos runs a consensus system that processes state change data from its computation layer. The computation layer can relay states generated from external systems to the CKB (Common Knowledge Base). These systems could be state channels, internet applications, or external networks.

Leading the Charge for a Better Bitcoin

Nervous CKB’s multi-layer structure makes for a dynamic system, the verification layer controls the consensus and custody system while the generation layer is built for interoperability, high throughput, and privacy. This architecture, in synergy with the CKB VM (Virtual Machine), presents a highly modular structure for the building of extensive applications for public blockchain utility. The Cell model operates within the verification layer, using the Type and Script lock to ensure that assets are transferred securely and also prevent double-spending. With a globalized state, CKB creates a scenario where a blockchain’s state can be handled through diverse means. This design enables it to fit numerous use cases as an autonomous network and an on-chain scaling solution for the Bitcoin network.

Leading the Bitcoin renaissance, Nervos CKB is committed to developing utilities that can be leveraged by Bitcoin blockchain developers and users.

First, Nervos CKB is a layer for the development of highly advanced payment channel networks (PCN). Nervous handles known issues of Payment Channel Networks (PCNs). The Nervos CKB’s Cell model is complementary to Bitcoin’s UTXO model. It inherits the advantages of a first-class asset cryptographic transaction model. The CKB VM’s Turing-complete design and the computation layer’s relationship with external systems make a case for interoperability between the Nervos CKB, other blockchain networks, and web2 systems. These features allow Payment Channel Networks significant freedom in running smart contracts and integrating a multi-token payment channel. Unlike off-chain state channels like the Bitcoin Lightning Network, Nervos CKB also enables users in a state channel to execute transactions to users who are not linked to the channel.

Not just Bitcoin-based PCNs, Nervos is scaling the Bitcoin network itself; here’s how.

By design, CKB is built to synapse with external systems. Using this ability, the Nervos team is extending the CKB to improve the Bitcoin blockchain. As part of this effort, the computation layer will develop a connection with Bitcoin to stream state data to the CKB. To achieve this, Nervos is using an improved version of the RGB protocol — RGB++.

RGB (Really Good Bitcoin) protocol is built to enable Bitcoin lightning network users to run automated transactions using one-time smart contracts. RGB protocol users can also issue tokens. But RGB protocol has a few bottlenecks; these issues are related to the generation of transaction proof, smart contract ownership, and its heavy reliance on a P2P network for propagation.

As a fix, RGB++ Protocol will implement the Uniform Isomeric Binding (UIB) technology as proposed by Cipher Wang. The UIB technology will enable a point-to-point mapping of the Bitcoin UTXO with the CKB Cell model to create a stable connection with the states of both networks. This way, Bitcoin and CKB can share resources including network assets (like Bitcoin) without bridges.

With its overall architecture put into active use, Nervos is building Web5; a fusion of Web3 and Web2. The computation layer creates a channel for communication with decentralized and centralized networks while the CKB creates an immutable store for validated states from these systems. CKB expands the use cases of Bitcoin without the need for 2-way peg intermediaries. It is building the next evolutionary stage of the Bitcoin network.

Compared to other BTC L2s, CKB is more decentralized/secure (POW consensus) and ecosystem compatible — CKB has similar data structure as it’s based on an extension of Bitcoin’s UTXO and similar UX because users can use Bitcoin addresses and wallets to access CKB (native account abstraction).

The key components of the “BTCKB” initiative:

1. RGB++, a new Bitcoin asset standard launched —

2. UTXO stack, a Bitcoin L2 platform —

3.The team is also working on “CKB lightning” to connect pieces together. —

The Nervos token (CKB)

CKB is the utility token of the Nervos CKB blockchain and is issued as a representation of one byte of storage data on the CKB. One CKB = one byte of CKB data. CKB holders have storage rights relative to the amount of tokens they hold. As the native token on the network, fees for transactions on Nervos are paid in $CKB.


The total supply of CKB is pegged at 33.6 Billion. CKB halves every four years, reducing emissions through miner rewards. However, an uncapped secondary emission also contributes to the token supply swell. CKB can be purchased on Top-tier exchanges including Binance, gate exchange, and MEXC.

Closing Thoughts

If Bitcoin must transcend the sole purpose of P2P transactions, then it needs an enhancement. Even as a network for the transfer of value only, it still faces a performance and cost-effectiveness issue. With Bitcoin’s price rising steadily alongside the adoption rate, the network could become unusable as these metrics grow. Nervos and other Bitcoin L2 solutions are vital to the continuity of the Bitcoin blockchain as a public network. Nervos presents a complete scaling solution for the Bitcoin blockchain, one that can interoperate with other Bitcoin layer-2 networks, a wide range of Virtual Machines, and even web2 systems. As the project continues to expand its reach and improve its technology, we could see a diverse adoption and increased utility.

Having said this, it is important to understand the risks involved in cryptocurrency investments. Also, note that this article is only for educational purposes and not financial advice. Always do your research.