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Debate reignites over years-old Bitcoin Drivechain proposal


– A debate has reignited among Bitcoiners over a six-year-old Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) to add “sidechains” on top of the network.
– Some warn that it could increase scams on the Bitcoin network, while others believe it will bring new users to the cryptocurrency.
– The BIP-300, also known as Bitcoin (BTC) Drivechains, was first introduced in 2017.
– The proposal suggests introducing separate blockchains, called “sidechains,” on top of the Bitcoin network.
– Paul Sztorc, the author of the proposal and founder of LayerTwo Labs, explained that these sidechains would allow BTC to move onto them and create altcoins.
– The debate on the proposal was reignited when a Bitcoin core developer, Luke Dashjr, rewrote the proposal’s code and requested to add it to Bitcoin’s codebase.
– BIP-300 would require a soft fork of Bitcoin, activated by miners, similar to the Taproot soft fork in November 2021.
– On September 10, Maxim Orlovsky claimed that he was able to create a two-way peg on Bitcoin without a soft fork of the blockchain, which BIP-300 requires.
– Orlovsky explained that an old project proposal could work as a BIP-300 alternative, using an oracle to validate a sidechain’s state.
– Supporters of BIP-300 argue that Drivechains will allow users to choose a blockchain security model they agree with and customize how their Bitcoin works.
– Critics of the proposal, like Cory Klippsten, believe that Drivechains will increase the number of scams on Bitcoin, potentially raising concerns with regulators.
– Pierre Rochard, the VP of research at Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, called the proposal “pure hopium” and said it relies on speculative economic arguments rather than substantive engineering ones.
– Supporters of BIP-300 include educator Dan Held and Jameson Lopp, co-founder of Casa, who believe that introducing more speculative assets through sidechains can introduce new audiences to Bitcoin.

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