Good Sidechain Projects

Most Altcoins are bad, but a few are worth copying.

1. “zSide” (A clone of zCash)

z-transactions improve BTC privacy by hiding three things: the sender, the receiever, and the amount. They also improve UX and encourage good privacy habits, by giving users one single z-address that can be safely reused. Melt/Cast is a GUI tool which replaces all privacy UX headaches with just one button.

Read more.

Try it for yourself by following this guide.

FAQ: Why zCash and not Monero?

2. “EthSide” (A clone of Ethereum)

Ethereum is the #2 coin by MarketCap, and the #1 coin by usage (in terms of fees paid). Thus ETH is Bitcoin’s greatest rival, in the crypto world.

The BTC vs ETH “Holy War” is one fought via: technology, features, tradeoffs, and governance. But it is also fought via marketing, culture, and politics. As we in the crypto community quarrel among ourselves, the laughter of the banks is our only reward. BTC can win the war once and for all… if we just make a perfect copy of ETH’s technology… into a Bip300 sidechain!

Try it for yourself by following this guide.

3. “BitNames” (A clone of Namecoin)

Warning: This project does not yet exist! Do you want a job? Email paul [at]

Satoshi helped invent this idea, back in 2010.

You “own” a name, such as “EdwardSnowden.bit”, and then no one can take it away from you. (Unless you sell it to them.) You own it permanently, and it can automatically (for example):

  1. direct all webtraffic to your webserver (including a TOR/i2p server)
  2. log you into any website on the internet (no registration, email, username/password required – it just logs you in as “EdwardSnowden” after you authenticate), and thus eliminate username-squatting,
  3. allow you to receive encrypted/signed email/messages/payments to/from anyone in the world, safely and easily
  4. eliminate our reliance on cell phone numbers / ISPs / email profiders (a reliance which today is nearly absolute)
  5. facilitate privacy, by allowing users to generate as many new identities as they like, whenever they like

Read more.

4. “Thunder” – Scaling via Sidechains

Unfortunately, it would take many decades to onboard users to LN.

Sidechains do not have this onboarding problem. 8 billion users can onboard to 5-15 geographically-segregated 50-250 MB sidechains, with no delay. The important difference is explained in this talk.

Aren’t large blocks bad? On L1, they were bad indeed. On L2, however, it is the other way around. The “blockchains don’t scale” arguments that would apply to a single blockchain, do not apply to a team of blockchains. There is no global state – in fact, users will naturally segregate (with US East consumers/employers clumping up on one sub-chain, and their European counterparts clumping up on a different chain). While L1 is mandatory, for everyone, L2s are not. L1s can not tolerate free-riding, but L2s can. L1s cannot exploit geopolitical rivalries; L2s can. With these considerations, the empirical costs far less prohibitive than originally feared ($X00/month). See details here.

Sidechains are the most realistic way to scale Bitcoin (and to also generate enormous revenues for miners, via merged mining).

Download, and try it for yourself.

Do you want a job? Are you interested in improving this project? Email paul [at] .

5. BitAssets (Counterparty-like, but without touching L1 blockspace)

The Bitcoin blockchain moves BTC around. But can it move other goods?

Of particular interest was the registry/storing/transfer of other (non-BTC) “proportional” goods, such as shares of a corporation.

Academic discussion continued for years. The market eventually gave us: Counterparty, ICOs, backed-stablecoins (such as Tether), and NFTs.

Those projects had two drawbacks: they consumed L1 blockspace, and they confused retail users (and murked-up Bitcoin’s value proposition). With this sidechain, we aim to reverse both: the BitAssets sidechain has its own blockchain (and its own block space); and it uses BTC for all txn fees (making it clear that BTC is money, and the BitAssets are completely separate “non-money” tokens).

Read more.

Download, and try it for yourself.


6. Truthcoin/Hivemind

Warning: This project is not yet finished (though it is very far along)! Do you want a job, working on it? Email paul [at] !

P2P Oracle System and Digital Marketplace. This project aims to revolutionize the way information is created and diffuses through society. As a side-effect, it creates efficiencies in capital markets, destroys scams, and creates certain types of digital insurance markets.

This enormously ambitious project has its own mega-site.

Other Projects We Could Copy (if we wanted to)

1. SiaCoin

A P2P Dropbox. Matches users who want to back up files, to users with unused hard drive space. Sortof an “AirBnB” of hard drive space.

This remarkable project allows you to purchase a new laptop, type in your seed phrase, leave, and come back to find your entire filesystem pulled from the cloud, decrypted, and restored to your local hard drive.


2. Blockstream’s Elements

Blockstream’s Labratory. Where extremely technical (and highly ambitious) features are tested before they make their way to Bitcoin Core.


3. MimbleWimble

Forged in the Chamber of Secrets by the Dark Lord himself, this hyper-specialized transaction system is far less programmable than Bitcoin, but features a ‘magically’ shrinking blockchain.

Link. Link.

4. Monero

Uses ring signatures for greater transaction privacy, at the chain level.


5. Original Ripple


Original Ripple allowed users to extend credit to their friends, and for that credit to then be extended to friends-of-friends in a big trust network.

If you would like to add a project, please let me know or submit a pull request to this page.