Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Sidechains
Drivechain allows Bitcoin to create, delete, send BTC to, and receive BTC from “Layer-2”s called “sidechains”. Sidechains are Altcoins that lack a native “coin” – instead, pre-existing coins [from a different blockchain] must first be sent over.
Once on a sidechain, coins can change hands an unlimited number of times, and in an unlimited number of new ways. Thus, BTC-owners can opt-in to new features or tradeoffs. Meanwhile, the Bitcoiners who don’t opt-in, never need to care what any sidechain is doing.
Transfers from sidechain back to the mainchain (ie, from Layer 2 back to Layer 1) are not done via verifiable proof, but instead via conjecture-and-refutation. A “bundle” of transfers is asserted, and then slowly “ACKed” over time. After 3 months of ACKing, the bundle succeeds. Thus, the SC:BTC market price cannot deviate significantly from a 1:1 ratio. More info.
Only obtainable via Drivechain:
- Three existential threats to BTC are neutralized – altcoin-competition, hard fork campaigns, and extension block campaigns.
- BTC development becomes anti-fragile with respect to CoreDev mistakes.
- BTC maintains hashrate security in the long run.
- BTC can scale to credit-card level txn-processing – without changing the CONOP of Bitcoin Core. These cheap txns have optimal fungibility and supply vital pretext to the BTC ecosystem.
- BTC gains new, experimental abilities, especially P2P event derivatives.
Drivechain is made of two BIPs, 300 and 301:
- Hashrate Escrows – “Container UTXOs” that compress 3-6 months of transaction data into a fixed 32-bytes.
- Blind Merged Mining – A technique to replace the act of running a sidechain node with the act of including a single high-fee transaction.
Selected Recent Interviews
- 51 Minutes (0:26:00 to 1:17:40) during an Oct 14 Whalepool Talk on Bitcoin, Drivechain, and Hivemind
- Let’s Talk Bitcoin – Episode #377
Critiques and Controversy
Please read the FAQ!
Go here for a guide on downloading and using this software. It has screenshots to help walk you through the process.
Even More Info
Problems With Today’s Mono-Chain Setup
- Blockchain technology has economic tradeoffs, and users disagree over the optimal tradeoff. But only one group can have their way at a time. Instead we need multiple heterogenous layers (Satoshi, Finney).
- Bitcoin investors must worry about competition from other projects (Ethereum, Z-Cash, Ripple).
- Satoshi, creator of Bitcoin, wanted to support many transaction types, but knew that his design was prohibitively inflexible.
- Bitcoin is supposed to be used as money, but if it cannot be used on some networks, it is constrained as a medium of exchange – and therefore at a competitive disadvantage.
Instead, sidechains are alt-chains that all use the same Bitcoin token. They start with zero coins; they accept Bitcoin deposits, conduct Bitcoin transfers, and finally dispense Bitcoin withdrawals.
- Permissionless Innovation: Anyone can create a new blockchain project, without facing the (near-impossible) task of also bootstrapping a new unit of money.
- Eliminates Competition: Bitcoin will always have the best code, because it can copy any code that exists.
- Freedom to Choose: Satoshi’s consensus protocol requires everyone to agree on everything, down to the very last byte. Sidechains allow users to choose which benefits they would like to pay for.
- Anti-Scam: SCs filter out get-rich-quick schemes (the ‘get rich’ part is now impossible). Therefore, good projects can stand out and receive our attention.
- Faster Progress: SCs let us test new features. The tests are safe – if these features fail, they won’t take down the main network. However, the tests are also informative – real BTC is on the line.
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