Rootstock Founder Outlines Plan to Enhance Bitcoin's Programmability

BitVMX Project Aims to Revolutionize Bitcoin's Functionality, Drawing Inspiration from Ethereum's Success

May 2, 2024 - 06:13
May 2, 2024 - 06:13
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Rootstock Founder Outlines Plan to Enhance Bitcoin's Programmability
Rootstock Founder Outlines Plan to Enhance Bitcoin's Programmability

The founder of Rootstock, a Bitcoin layer-2 protocol, has unveiled ambitious plans for the development of "BitVMX," a project set to enhance the programmability of the world's oldest blockchain. Sergio Demian Lerner, renowned for his contributions to Bitcoin and Ethereum, revealed the project's roadmap during the Bitcoin++ conference in Austin, Texas.

"We have a roadmap to finish this in one year, and we are moving forward at full speed," Lerner announced during the presentation.

BitVMX builds upon the innovative BitVM design introduced by developer Robin Linus last year. Linus's BitVM concept garnered widespread attention among Bitcoin developers for its potential to enable the creation of programmable layer-2 networks similar to those on the Ethereum blockchain, offering cheaper and faster transactions. Crucially, BitVM does not require alterations to Bitcoin's underlying code, a critical factor given the blockchain's decentralized governance and the challenges associated with achieving consensus among developers for significant upgrades.

Lerner had hinted at the development of BitVMX during an exclusive interview on CoinDesk's The Protocol podcast last month, without divulging specific details.

Rootstock Labs recently published a blog post outlining the initiative, emphasizing the disparity between theory and practical implementation in Linus's original concept. The BitVMX research team aims to build upon this foundation, introducing further innovations to create an enhanced development framework for executing programs on Bitcoin. The name "BitVMX" pays homage to its predecessor while signaling a focus on expanding Bitcoin's capabilities and accelerating the advancement of sidechains and layer 2 solutions.

Rootstock Labs revealed that a team of core contributors is collaborating on a public roadmap outlining proposed enhancements to the network over the next 12 months.

According to a whitepaper accompanying the announcement, the BitVMX framework lays the groundwork for running any CPU on Bitcoin, with a specific emphasis on supporting a fully-compliant RISC-V processor programmable using standard compilation tools. This technical description underscores BitVMX's potential to accommodate a diverse array of use cases, heralding a new era of innovation within the Bitcoin ecosystem.

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