Drivechain for Bitcoin (BTC) to Replace Hard Forks with Sidechain Option

The technology has been released in testnet after years of development, and may turn into a game-changer for the Bitcoin ecosystem.


The Drivechain technology for Bitcoin (BTC) may be a game changer, as it would allow variations of the Bitcoin protocol to appear on sidechains. The technology, developed over a few years by Paul Sztorc, is seen as a potential replacement for hard forks. Drivechain is now only available on testnet.

The main feature of Drivechain is the potential to create sidechains, which are then settled on the Bitcoin main chain. While other projects also allow sidechains, settling on the Bitcoin main chain offers the most valuable proof-of-work and may be preferred by new projects. There are already partial attempts to settle through Bitcoin, as in the case of Komodo (KMD) with its delayed proof-of-stake.

Sztorc tweeted earlier this week:

The sidechains would allow modifications to the Bitcoin protocol, since Bitcoin Core is notoriously hard to modify. Achieving consensus by miner voting for Bitcoin, to establish a hard fork, has proven extremely difficult, as seen last November, in the attempt to push the SegWit2X change to the protocol. However, the creation of sidechains with their own liquidity could allow for alterations without splitting the community.

Rhett Creighton, famous for the serial forks of ZClassic (ZCL), suggested sidechains would represent different services and economies, which could be paid in Bitcoin:

In effect, the sidechains could have their own coins, but also use liquidity from the main chain. However, for now the Drivechain solution is still in the making, with faucets available for the testnet. It remains to be seen if Drivechain will create much hype, as digital assets are still trying to tailor their speed, block time and other parameters to better serve potential use cases.

However, there are skeptics who see the system as doomed to fail, since the sidechains would be operated by third parties, which raises more questions on their integration with the main Bitcoin blockchain.

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