A six-year-old Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP300) is causing a stir among industry experts for and against the controversial concept. However, not everyone agrees that implementing the proposal via a soft fork, which could radically alter the Bitcoin network and its usage, is a good thing.
In 2017, the introduction of BIP300 and its accompanying BIP301 introduced a concept known as ‘drivechains’ to partition the network.
Bitcoin Drivechain Controversy
BIP300 “Hashrate Escrows” proposes that Bitcoin sidechains should have transactions signed in bundles by hash power over time.
Drivechains will allow the network to create, send, and receive BTC to and from these layer-2 sidechains. Furthermore, it also appears to have an underlying motivation of eliminating altcoins depending on how this statement is interpreted:
“BTC can copy every useful technology, as soon as it is invented; scamcoins lose their justification and become obsolete; and the community can be pro-creativity, knowing that Layer1 is protected from harmful changes.”
Last week, BTC educator Dan Held said that other assets on or connected to Bitcoin and speculation around those assets are good for Bitcoin.
“The more speculative assets on Bitcoin the better as those assets introduce new audiences to Bitcoin.”
The author of the proposal, Paul Sztorc, said that “it has enormous upside, and zero – literally zero – downside,” before adding:
“The risk Bitcoin faces by not adding BIP300 is at least 10,000,000x greater than the risk Bitcoin faces by adding it,”
Bitcoiner “@hodlonaut” questioned this rationality on August 27, stating:
“Keep in mind that BIP300 fundamentally changes the transaction validation mechanism and network attack vectors. Crazy claim.”
“The more I read about BIP300, the more it seems like a great way to introduce enormous amounts of grift, complexity, risk, and sh**coinesque functionality into the Bitcoin codebase,” he said.
However, Sztorc emphasized that users have the option to “turn off” the use of Drivechain.
Diluting the Bitcoin Network?
“It would end 90% of the politics, new BIPS could be tried as a drivechain without changing base layer. Developers and new ideas would 1000x,”
Tierion CEO Wayne Vaughan mocked: “Drivechains would greatly diminish the power of Bitcoin’s anonymous cartel of gatekeepers.”
Meanwhile, Swan CEO Cory Klippsten commented,
“Having lots of scams on Bitcoin will make people and regulators (understandably) think that Bitcoin is full of scams.”
The hardcore ‘laser-eyed’ Bitcoin purists and maximalists are adverse to change. They largely believe that the code should be set in stone. On the flip side are those favoring evolving and expanding network functionality. This could be done through improvement proposals such as this highly controversial example.