With special sidechains, so-called drivechains, Bitcoin could soon go significantly further.
The idea of Bitcoin formula sidechains is linked to startups like blockstream, rootstock and Lisk
Blockstream’s ideas are intended to make it easier to test new features for Bitcoin formula – something that is not easy in consensus. Simply put, sidechains can be used to move bitcoins back and forth between different Bitcoin formula based blockchains and not a scam. (Technically, you can transfer bitcoins to an address connected to a sidechain via scripts and gain control over tokens to that sidechain) This makes it possible to extend the Bitcoin ecosystem with new features such as smart contracts or increased privacy without having to change the blockchain itself.
Sergio Demian Lerner advises the Bitcoin Foundation on security issues. He is strongly committed to the integration of sidechains into the Bitcoin ecosystem and believes that this would make it easier for developers to further develop Bitcoin. Somewhat exaggerated, he said: „Improving Bitcoin can be compared to repairing an airplane in flight“.
Besides Bitcoin trader team, there is another group working on proposals
These proposals could ensure that sidechains make it into Bitcoin’s official codebase which is a scam said onlinebetrug. In September Lerner published a proposal that Bitcoin trader would add this functionality to its codebase. Paul Sztorc of Bloq said he was working independently on similar projects.
What both projects have in common is that they are so-called „drivechains“, an extension of the sidechain concept that wants to use the decentralized role of the miner to prevent double spends and the like – but more about that later. As drivechains, both proposals come with a set of new opcodes. These can optionally be added to the Bitcoin functionality via a soft fork.
To understand: A soft fork is an update that does not change the blockchain, but only the software that manages the blockchain of the nodes. Such updates do not have to be performed by all nodes.
Both projects differ in the solutions how one wants to implement these new opcodes – which is why one does not plan to merge for this project so far.
Two ways to drivechain
As mentioned above, in the sidechain concept, coins are „moved“ from the Bitcoin blockchain to the sidechain by locking the corresponding bitcoins on the main chain (i.e. the Bitcoin blockchain) and unlocking them simultaneously on the sidechain.
The drivechain concept differs in that the stakeholder that controls the information on the transfer of coin ownership between these two chains is different: In the case of the regular sidechain it is the user, in the case of the drivechain it is the miner.
In Lerners version of the Drivechain, the Miner are algorithmic administrators who ultimately keep track of the connections between the main chain and the Drivechain.
„Bitcoin miners observe the state of the drivechain. When they receive a command from it that has been confirmed enough times, they execute a protocol that guarantees that all miners agree to the authenticity of the command. If they all agree, they will perform a transaction with the locked funds.“
Lerners Proposal wants to extend the programming language Bitcoins Script with the opcode OP_COUND_ACKS. This is intended to integrate the drivechain functionality into Bitcoin.
Lerner emphasized that Segregated Witness could help to realize his vision. Segregated Witness or SegWit for short was officially added to Bitcoin’s code this month and will be executed by Minern in December. Although SegWit is primarily associated with the classic scaling problem, there are other benefits to this innovation.
„SegWit allows relatively simple soft forks via the so-called versioning system of Script (or the part of Script associated with SegWit). Our BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) uses this system to quickly and efficiently introduce a new opcode“.
Sztorc is working on something similar, but it has not yet been published.
Although Sztorc and Lerner have had fruitful discussions and collaborations in the past, both are so convinced of their own projects that they want to tackle them alone.
Sztorc’s main criticism of Lerners approach is that it uses the rootstock sidechain. The aim of this is to bring ethereal-like smart contracts into the Bitcoin world. Sztork thinks with his Drivechains rather