A debate has reignited among Bitcoiners over a six-year-old Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) to add “sidechains” on top of the network, with some warning it could increase scams on the Bitcoin network and others saying it will bring new users of the cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, one developer claims to have found a way to achieve the proposal’s goal without a soft fork of the blockchain.
The proposal in question, BIP-300 — also known as Bitcoin (BTC) Drivechains — was first introduced in 2017, which proposed introducing “sidechains” that are separate blockchains on top of the Bitcoin network.
Paul Sztorc, the proposal’s author and founder of the Drivechain development firm LayerTwo Labs which raised $3 million in December, has explained the blockchains would allow for BTC to move onto them and create altcoins.
This is how Bip300 can eliminate all crypto and fiat transactions, leaving only Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/1TwQsu9ZPj
— LayerTwo Labs (@LayerTwoLabs) July 10, 2023
However, the debate over the proposal was kicked up again when a Bitcoin core developer known as Luke Dashjr rewrote the proposal’s code and requested to add it to Bitcoin’s codebase on Aug. 22.
BIP-300 would require a soft fork of Bitcoin that would be activated by miners — not unlike the Taproot soft fork in November 2021 that paved the way for the equally controversial nonfungible token (NFT) emulating Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens that launched earlier this year.
On Sep. 10, Maxim Orlovsky, the CEO of blockchain scaling solutions project Pandora, posted on X (Twitter) claiming he was able to create a two-way peg on Bitcoin without a soft fork of the blockchain which BIP-300 requires.
Just understood that one can do cryptoeconomically-safe trustless 2WP on #Bitcoin without any softfork today – using Prometheus – our 5-year old proposal for arbitrage of any high-load Turing-complete computing on top of Bitcoin: https://t.co/NljYszgkk7 pic.twitter.com/wV5MDuqUov
— Maxim Orlovsky (@dr_orlovsky) September 10, 2023
In an accompanying note Orlovsky explained an old project proposal could work as a BIP-300 alternative with an oracle working to validate a sidechain and “the protocol will reach consensus on whether the state reported by the oracle is correct.”
Details, so far, are sparse. Orlovsky said he would work on a paper describing the setup “in [an] understandable way.”
Meanwhile, BIP-300 proponents including Sztorc argue Drivechains will allow users to choose a…