Drivechain Vaguely Escaping Vaporware Status
Bitcoin developer Paul Sztorc.
Paul Sztorc has submitted two BIP proposals for the bitcoin protocol that involves the ‘Drivechain’ protocol. Drivechain technology can be forked into the network adding the ability to implement autonomous sidechains and new mining features that are tethered to the bitcoin protocol. Sidechains are basically alternative blockchains or networks that can do nifty things like perform smart contracts or process blocks faster. But instead of being an altcoin the alternative network is designed to work with the bitcoin protocol’s rule set and bolster the bitcoin network. Now Sztorc explains Drivechains have become more than just a pipe dream as he built the codebase.
“First, Drivechain has vaguely escaped vaporware status,” explains Sztorc this week.
If you’ve ever thought “I’d like to take a look into Drivechain when there is code”, then now is a pretty good time.
Sidechains and two-way pegs. Photo via RSK.
Hashrate Escrow and Blind Merged Mining
Sztorc also details there are some unfinished elements to the Drivechain codebase, but he is still requesting a code review from peers. The two BIPs the developer submitted revolve around what’s called ‘hashrate escrow’ and ‘blind merged mining.’ A hashrate escrow is a concept that is similar to a 2-of-3 multisignature escrow, but the third party is a group of miners. Instead of signing a transaction with a private key the miners can sign it by dedicating hashpower.
Blind Merged Mining (BMM) is a type of mining method that uses sidechains or ‘extension blocks.’ “It produces strong guarantees that the block is valid, for any arbitrary set of rules; and yet it does so without requiring miners to actually do any validation on the block whatsoever — BMM actually is a process that spans two or more chains,” explains the Github proposal.
Are New Features Coming to the Bitcoin Network Next Year?
The developer believes the Github documentation and BIP-drafts are “tolerably readable” and asks the developer Lukejr to assign formal BIP numbers to the proposals. The BIPs also come at a time when the Lightning Network is being regularly tested, Rootstock (RSK) is launching soon, and atomic swap technology is being built. Many people believe sidechain technology like Sztorc’s Drivechain could remove the need for many of the altcoins in existence today. If protocols like these and Sztorc’s Drivechain offering gets implemented into the bitcoin blockchain — Bitcoiners may see some new features in the near future.