After weeks of debate over Bitcoin transmission chains, a similar project aimed at unlocking the network’s programming potential is gaining momentum.
On Monday, Jameson Lopp, co-founder and CTO of mobile self-care company Casa, released a blog post about “Spiderchain,” which he called “yet another proposal for creating bidirectional pegging sidechains.”
A sidechain is a separate blockchain that is linked in some way to the main Bitcoin network. They generally use the same native currency, BTC, and can also take advantage of Bitcoin’s security guarantees. Sidechains allow Bitcoiners to access more features with their BTC that the mainnet cannot always provide, such as scalability, programmability, and privacy.
However, a major difficulty with sidechains is building a “two-way anchor” allowing BTC to be securely transferred to the sidechain and vice versa without requiring a centralized intermediary.
This is where the Spider Chaindeveloped by Botanix Labs, comes into play.
“The Spiderchain functions as a layer 2 proof of stake on Bitcoin,” said Willem Schroé, founder of Botanix Labs. Decrypt. “You stake Bitcoin on Bitcoin in decentralized multisigs.”
The entities that manage decentralized multisigs are called “orchestrators,” which run both a Bitcoin node and a Spiderchain node. With each request to move BTC to Spiderchain, a new multisig is created, controlled by a random subset of 100 participants within the pool of stakers.
In many ways, Spiderchain works much like Ethereum: it is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, has block times of 12 seconds, and uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to secure the network, in which orchestrator nodes must stake BTC to participate.
Its EVM is also “fully equivalent,” meaning existing Ethereum dapps can be easily ported to the network by developers. But unlike Ethereum, Schroé said a malicious majority of orchestrators still cannot conspire to steal users’ BTC.
“The design is possible on the current Bitcoin core, so no soft forks or upgrades are necessary,” Schroé noted. This distinguishes Spiderchain from that of Paul Sztorc. transmission chain proposalwhich requires modifying the Bitcoin code that users and miners are currently running.
Drivechain was introduced under the names BIP 300 and BIP 301 in 2015, and has not yet been widely adopted for implementation by Bitcoiners.
Transmission chains effectively place control of the pegged BTC in the hands of Bitcoin miners, but allow the creation of an unlimited number of side chains with an unlimited number of properties. It also directly inherits Bitcoin’s security through merge mining, which leverages the mainnet’s immense security proof.
When asked about Spiderchains, Sztorc said they seemed “very complex” compared to his proposal.
“I also think that the ‘need for a change to Bitcoin’ is unfortunately pure superstition,” he added. “People think it means”the network needs to be upgraded, but in reality it’s like asking users to install an app on their phone.
In Lopp’s blog post on Monday, the CTO cited the nearly decade-old Rootstock proposal and pointed out some technical vulnerabilities in Spiderchain. Among them is the risk that its BTC anchor will be “broken” if the main Bitcoin blockchain suffers a disruption. reorganization of more than five blocks, due to the system by which Spiderchain orchestrators are determined.
“This is unlikely to be catastrophic due to the way funds are dispersed across many multi-sig wallets,” he noted.
Schroé also admitted that in the beginning of the network, Spiderchain will be centralized until more users can come and stake their BTC. “We have to start centrally in the sense that we will have to initially authorize staking,” he said.