This is how BIP-199 Could ‘Kill’ Bitcoin Based on Andreas Antonopoulos

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Bitcoin (BTC) educator, author, and entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos has voiced concern regarding a potential far-reaching results of the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 119 he states could “kill” Bitcoin.

Suggested by Jeremy Rubin, a Bitcoin developer and founding father of Bitcoin development and research organization Judica,  BIP-119, also referred to as CheckTemplateVerify (CTV), is really a soft fork proposal that aims to allow new use cases for that Bitcoin network with the addition of a kind of “covenant.”

A covenant is comparable to what is known a good contract around the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Basically, a covenant is really a mechanism that will enable users to enforce conditions in route BTC coins inside a wallet could be transferred later on.

As of this moment, Bitcoin programmability is basically restricted to the bottom degree of transactions. For example, using Bitcoin Script, a programmer can restrict what you can do before a transaction is spent. Similarly, utilizing a timelock, it’s possible to set a quantity of your time before a transaction could be spent.

Covenant aims to create more programmability to Bitcoin by permitting programmers to manage how bitcoins could be spent later on. Using covenant, one could whitelist or blacklist certain addresses, restricting where BTC could be spent for the one who has got the answer to individuals bitcoins.

Unpredicted effects

As the author of BIP-119 claims the proposal for CTV largely includes simple covenants, Antonopoulos has contended the proposal may potentially enable unpredicted or unintended effects.

More particularly, Antonopoulos noted the proposal could “kill” Bitcoin whether it brings support for recursive covenants. A recursive covenant happens when a programmer not just limits the following transaction but additionally “limits it in a way it limits the transaction after it, which limits the transaction after it, etc,” he stated.

This could create very significant challenges for Bitcoin. For example, utilizing a recursive covenant, a programmer could limit their email list of addresses where BTC might be sent later on. By doing this, that exact BTC would not be fungible and would become dissimilar to other bitcoins that may be delivered to everybody, essentially developing a new group of bitcoins.

Furthermore, when users be capable of blacklist certain addresses, there’s a good venture that governments and regulators would part of and begin banning some addresses. 

“And you will finish track of basically PayPal, only not so scalable,” Antonopoulos stated. “This is the way you kill Bitcoin.” 

It’s important to note that this is actually the worst-situation scenario. Nevertheless, there’s more debate round the proposal.

More particularly, Rubin claims that BIP-119 is prepared and it has requested for that upgrade to become implemented through the fast trial process, where miners might have 3 or 4 several weeks to signal support for that proposal. During this time period, if greater than 95% of miners election meant for the proposal during any two days period then it will likely be activated.

However, for any proposal to become implemented, it requires massive support from users, developers, wallets, and exchanges too – not just miners. And when an offer will get through without support all these groups, it might even create a hard fork.

As of this moment, the proposal doesn’t appear to possess overwhelming support all these groups, also referred to as constituencies of consensus, Antonopoulos stated. 

He added the proposal also needs extensive testing, reviewing, and auditing prior to it being implemented.

Echoing this perspective, Adam Back, co-founding father of the blockchain technology company Blockstream, stated the proposal requires a thorough review. Also, he contended that developers should think about other options before proceeding.

“It’s disappointing to determine someone create a run at bypassing or ignoring review or regardless of the rationale,” he tweeted. Back mentioned there are “multiple alternatives which have been suggested around the dev-list.”

Similarly, Matt Corallo, additionally a Blockstream co-founder and free engineer at Block/Spiral, opined the push for BIP-119 feels “wrong in almost every way.” “Rather of collaborative engineering it seems like “I built this, lets get it done” while ignoring any feedback,” he authored.

Rubin, however, has listed numerous explanations why he thinks the proposal is efficacious. One of the more notable advantages, the proposal would improve Bitcoin programmability, enabling payments to become scheduled for any specific date or multiple dates.


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