Bitcoiner Drops BitVM Paper - Bringing Ethereum-like Contracts to Bitcoin and Crypto Bull Run
Bitcoiner drops BitVM paper — Bringing Ethereum-like contracts to Bitcoin

A Bitcoin developer, Robin Linus, has proposed a new way to bring more expressive off-chain smart contracts to Bitcoin without needing a soft fork. Announced in an Oct. 9 white paper titled “BitVM: Compute Anything on Bitcoin”, BitVM enables Turing-complete Bitcoin contracts without altering Bitcoin’s consensus rules. A Turing-complete system is one that can theoretically provide an answer to any computational problem.

BitVM’s architecture is based on fraud proofs and a challenge-response model where a “prover” can make claims and a “verifier” can perform a fraud proof to punish the prover when false claims are made. With BitVM, the “logic” of Bitcoin contracts would be executed off-chain, but verification would be made on Bitcoin — similar to Ethereum’s optimistic rollups.

Linus stated that Bitcoin, in its current form, is limited to basic operations, such as signatures, timelocks and hashlocks — but that can now be broadened with BitVM, which can compute a host of interesting applications, such as bridging BTC to foreign chains, building a prediction market, or emulating novel opcodes. He also mentioned that a limitation of the model is that it is limited to a two-party setting with a prover and a verifier and that a significant amount of off-chain computation and communication is needed to execute programs.

Linus said the next “milestone” is to fully implement the BitVM in addition to Tree++, a high-level programming language to write and debug Bitcoin contracts. BitVM is enabled by the Taproot soft fork, which took place in November 2021. Linus cited Ethereum research into optimistic rollups and a study on Merkle trees in contributing to the eight-page white paper.

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Bitcoiners respond to BitVM

Prominent Bitcoiner Eric Wall shared his thoughts on X (Twitter) about the concepts outlined in the BitVM white paper, expressing that they “check out” and that he is “cautiously excited” to see what real-world experiments stem from it.

Bitcoin analyst Dylan LeClair also praised the BitVM white paper. However, Adam Back, a Bitcoin Core contributor, suggested that people shouldn’t get too hyped up about the development just yet.

One builder in the blockchain space, “dotta,” pointed out that there is already a proof-of-concept on GitHub.

Another X user, Sam Parker, sought to allay a common fear among Bitcoin (BTC) maximalists by explaining that BitVM won’t force Bitcoin’s to be “locked” into these contracts.

Others, such as “Psage,” claim that BitVM adds to the list of things that will push Bitcoin’s price forward during the next crypto bull run.

Cointelegraph reached out to Linus for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

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