What is Drivechain?
Drivechain is a soft fork upgrade for Bitcoin that enables new features and promotes 'build on Bitcoin'. Drivechain accomplishes that by introducing a superior type of sidechain for Bitcoin. Currently, all Bitcoin sidechains are federated. The sidechains introduced via Drivechain are, in the words of Adam Back, 'more peer-to-peer'. The new sidechains will allow users to experiment with new features and implement alternative rules for blockchains. Importantly, Drivechain is designed to enable more features to exist for Bitcoiners without necessarily introducing more monetary supply. To parrot Dr. Back again, we can say that Drivechain is designed to maximize innovation and minimize seigniorage.
How does Drivechain work?
With Drivechain, sidechains run parallel to Bitcoin's mainchain without a 15-party federated multisig. Instead, the massive dynamic multitude of Bitcoin miners play a vital role in the security model of the sidechains. The sidechains have their own consensus rules, allowing them to support new features. Bitcoin can be transferred between the mainchain and sidechains, enabling users to access use a wide variety of blockchain applications without the need to buy an altcoin.
What are the benefits of using Drivechain?
Drivechain offers several benefits, including:
Scalability: Drivechains can help alleviate congestion on the main Bitcoin network by offloading transactions to large-block sidechains i.e. Thunder sidechains.
Flexibility: Developers can experiment with new features and technologies on sidechains without risking harm to Bitcoin mainchain.
Interoperability: value can be moved seamlessly between Bitcoin sidechains and Bitcoin mainchain, allowing users to use multiple blockchain applications without holding multiple cryptocurrencies.
Security: Sidechains are economically secured by transaction fees. As a sidechain grows, it becomes stronger.
How does Drivechain maintain security?
Drivechain utilizes a two-way peg system called hashrate escrow to securely move value between Bitcoin's mainchain and sidechains. As with Bitcoin, economic self-interest drives the successful operation of this mechanism.
How do I transfer bitcoin to a sidechain?
To transfer bitcoin to a sidechain, a special transaction is used (a 'peg in' transaction). This transaction locks your Bitcoin on the mainchain and simultaneously creates an equivalent amount of tokens on the desired sidechain. Once the transaction is confirmed, you can transact on the sidechain as you wish.
How do I transfer coins from a sidechain to the mainchain?
To transfer coins from a sidechain back to the main Bitcoin mainchain, you'll need to use a 'peg out' transaction. This transaction burns the sidechain tokens and unlocks an equal amount of bitcoin on the mainchain. After the transaction is confirmed, your bitcoin will be available for use on the mainchain.
What are some potential use cases for Drivechain sidechains?
The sidechains can support a wide variety of use cases, including:
Instant, low-cost payment channels
Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications
Tokenization of assets and securities
Co-founder and CEO
Paul Sztorc (@truthcoin) is the inventor of Drivechain, a pivotal innovation for Bitcoin. Recognized as the author of BIP300 and BIP301, he charted a path for the integration of sidechains into Bitcoin. He also championed Bitcoin Hivemind, formerly Truthcoin, a decentralized oracle system enabling prediction markets on Bitcoin. Committed to advancing the Bitcoin landscape, Paul established LayerTwo Labs, focusing on the progression of sophisticated Bitcoin sidechains.
Austin Alexander (@btcismoney) is a trailblazer in the cryptocurrency landscape. He founded the Bitcoin Center NYC, a pivotal institution in driving Bitcoin adoption and awareness. Later, Austin took on a leadership role as the head of sales and accounts at the renowned Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange. His contributions to the crypto community did not stop there. In collaboration with Paul Sztorc, he co-founded LayerTwo Labs with the mission to integrate Drivechain into Bitcoin, catalyzing the cryptocurrency to reach unprecedented heights.
Nikita Chashchinskii (@nchashch) is a standout software engineer and cryptocurrency expert, known for his pivotal role in the Drivechain project. He boasts expertise in C++ and Rust and a true passion for building on Bitcoin. Chashchinskii's significant contribution in his bachelor's program involved converting Zcash into a Bitcoin sidechain, enhancing Bitcoin's privacy features. At LayerTwo Labs, he continues to drive innovation, working on Ethereum sidechains and streamlining altcoin conversions into sidechains.
CryptAxe (@CryptAxe) is a pseudonymous Bitcoin Core developer who co-founded LayerTwo Labs with longtime collaborator Paul Sztorc. He is recognized for his work on BIPs 300 and 301, better known as Drivechain. His efforts, especially at LayerTwo Labs, have been pivotal in advancing blockchain technologies, underscoring his commitment to evolving the Bitcoin landscape.