What if we could have prevented the infamous Bitcoin civil war?
The scaling war beginning in 2017, which led to multiple Bitcoin hard forks, was much more than just a debate between the ideas of small and big blocks.
While the BTC version of Bitcoin has won out being the dominant version in the market, there are still some people who believe that after experimenting with different scaling modalities, the current version of BTC does not entirely reflect the original Bitcoin at scale as described by Satoshi’s whitepaper.
I know many Bitcoiners who insist that some of the most influential Bitcoin core developers have sown seeds of destruction by ignoring the miners, who are essentially the network’s backend.
There is one Bitcoiner who seeks to turn this tide.
Paul Sztorc, my favorite BTC Maximalist, has proposed scaling Bitcoin through a Hayekian process. Having studied with a Yale statistician, Paul Sztorc is all about statistics. He brings the concept of Drivechain to the table with the hope of saving BTC.
To provide some background, Blockstream promised sidechains in 2014. A drivechain or sidechain is a way for Bitcoin to express itself differently. For example, enabling blocks of different sizes on the blockchain or having zero-knowledge proofs.
As Paul describes:
“Drivechain allows Bitcoin to create, delete, send BTC to, and receive BTC from “Layer-2”s called “sidechains.” Sidechains are Altcoins that lack a native “coin” – instead, pre-existing coins [from a different blockchain] must first be sent over.
Once on a sidechain, coins can change hands an unlimited number of times and in an unlimited number of new ways. Thus, BTC-owners can opt-in to new features or tradeoffs. Meanwhile, the Bitcoiners who don’t opt-in never need to care what any sidechain is doing.”
My favorite analogy is to think of Bitcoin as a huge party where the partygoers are all mingling in different rooms. That is what a sidechain is like.
People don’t need to be concerned with what happens on another block with this tech, as it doesn’t affect them one bit. To the central planners out there, who are you to tell me what to put on a blockchain? Sidechains further emphasize this point.
Of course, Blockstream eventually changed their tune and trajectory on sidechains, so Sztorc adopted the idea around 2015. Drivechain is comparable to a plugin because it can also be applied to other blockchains, such as Monero (XMR).
All the code for Drivechain is already open source. Implementation on Bitcoin, however, is a bit tricky. Could Drivechain be the saving grace for BTC and provide the network with a real possible future?
Since it is necessary to subsidize and incentivize the miners, is this the best way for Bitcoin to succeed?
Enjoy the full interview here:
During my conversation with Paul, we also discussed the Bitcoin Hivemind project and the importance of a decentralized predictions market which makes cheap talk expensive.
Lastly, Sztorc was asked who he believes Satoshi Nakamoto is. His answer is worth checking out the interview.
One thing is for sure. When Bitcoin developers compete, users win.
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