Dfinity’s Internet Computer to bring smart contracts to Bitcoin

    25 Sep 2021

    Internet Computer blockchain developed by Dfinity Foundation is bringing smart-contract capabilities to the Bitcoin (BTC) network, potentially opening the door to new use cases for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

    Following the trailblazing successes of Ethereum and more recently Cardano, Dfinity is looking to plug its upgraded mainstream network link known as ‘chain key cryptography’ into the Bitcoin blockchain network, thereby linking native ICB addresses to the BTC network and providing smart contract extensions that perfectly work on BTC addresses.

    The Bitcoin blockchain is the oldest blockchain protocol in the world, and arguably the most renowned. While the monetary innovation that Satoshi Nakamoto introduced remains the most significant in today’s digital currency world, there are new evolutions that have pushed the paradigm to a whole new level.

    This evolution includes the hosting of smart contracts on blockchain protocols as Ethereum pioneered back in 2015. Today, new innovative functionalities are now featured on blockchain networks, and the Bitcoin network has been lagging due to its closed nature. However, this is all changing soon as Dfinity’s Internet Computer protocol is creating the capabilities whereby smart contracts can be hosted on the Bitcoin network.

    Adopting its key chain cryptography technology, the Internet Computer blockchain will integrate with Bitcoin such that smart contracts will be able to generate BTC addresses as well as utilizing the robust liquidity found on the Bitcoin blockchain.

    Internet Computer will utilize its so-called chain key cryptography to integrate with Bitcoin, paving the way for smart contracts with native BTC addresses that are hosted directly on Internet Computer, Dfinity Foundation announced Tuesday.

    “Internet Computer smart contracts will gain access to Bitcoin liquidity, and Bitcoin will gain powerful new smart contract functionality, without the need for insecure and cumbersome trusted bridging services,” said Dominic Williams, the founder and chief scientist of Dfinity Foundation.

    Smart contracts on Internet Computer will feature associated BTC addresses, giving them direct access to transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. Transaction finality on Internet Computer takes two seconds, compared with 40 minutes on Bitcoin. To get around this, so-called “Bitcoin banks” can be utilized directly on Internet Computer, enabling swift two-second transactions.

    Earlier in 2021, Dfinity Foundation launched a $223 million Developer Ecosystem Program to support further smart contract and blockchain development. The project, since 2014, has received financial backing from some of crypto’s biggest venture firms, including Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.

    Dfinity’s latest efforts are part of a wider industry initiative to make Bitcoin more accessible for transactions, decentralize finance and Web 3.0. In January, open-source network Stacks unveiled its vision for Bitcoin-centric smart contracts utilizing a layer-one blockchain with a native bridge.

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