"Drivechain ... arguably could have been more important or useful than Taproot."

- Adam Back, Baltic Honeybadger 2022

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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.

“Sidechains” boils down to allowing consenting individuals to:

  1. choose their own security models
  2. spend their bitcoin how they like
  3. permissionlessly create voluntarist technology

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.

Why Sidechains?

Drivechain lets users do what they want, with their own money.

Drivechain happens to solve a number of huge problems for Bitcoin.

Why Drivechain Is Zero Risk

Drivechain claims the unused OP NOP 5, and basically uses it to count up to 13,150. That’s it.. If there are problems, then OP NOP 5 can be disabled (via soft fork) – restoring things to exactly the way they were. It would just be cntrl + z on drivechain.

Better for Everyone

  • Users – Get (eventually) every feature of every crypto-coin.
  • Investors – Permanent solution to the problem of rival coins (and hard-forking).
  • Miners – Automatically collect txn fees from all chains at once (no node software needed).
  • Developers – Freedom to manage your own blockchain, and to keep out those who would ruin your masterpiece.

At Bitcoin 2021

ZCash Sidechain Demo

The Tradeoffs

It is very risky for Bitcoin to go without Drivechain.



Drivechain is made of two BIPs:

  1. BIP 300 (Hashrate Escrows) – “Container UTXOs” that compress 3-6 months of transaction data into a fixed 32-bytes.
  2. BIP 301 (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 Podcasts

  1. Van Wirdum Sjorsnado #23 – (see my comments)
  2. 51 Minutes (0:26:00 to 1:17:40) during an Oct 14 Whalepool Talk on Bitcoin, Drivechain, and Hivemind

Per learning theory, here is an explainer written by someone who just learned Drivechain (as is the Sjornado #23).

Key Benefits

Only obtainable via Drivechain:

Critiques and Controversy

View the main critiques of Drivechain.

Please read the FAQ!

Read Why Drivechain is Hard for Bitcoiners to Understand.

Pro-Drivechain Evidence

  • The ever-present disagreement over consensus rules (blocksize controversy, rise of Ethereum/Altcoins, BCH/BSV/Amaury split, activation logic disputes). Cultural enforcement of meta-consensus has attracted sociopath “guardians of Bitcoin” who are making everyone miserable.
  • The degree of heterogeneity among people (some preferring govt-aligned exchanges and custodial wallets, others always running a full node, others preferring Electrum, etc). If BTC caters only to the paranoid, then it can never be mainstream; we must somehow please everyone.
  • The unwillingness of txn fees to rise above $5 (and to stay above $5 permanently), see here.

Getting Started

Go here for a guide on downloading and using this software. It has screenshots to help walk you through the process.

Hang out with us by joining the Drivechain Telegram Group.

Check out this this blockexplorer, and this SideShift (Instant Sidechain Withdrawal Service) project, by @abrkn.







Explainer Memes

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.

Main Benefits

  1. Permissionless Innovation: Anyone can create a new blockchain project, without facing the (near-impossible) task of also bootstrapping a new unit of money.
  2. Eliminates Competition: Bitcoin will always have the best code, because it can copy any code that exists.
  3. 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.

Other Benefits

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


Email: truthcoin /at/gmail/

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