The Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP300), which has been around for six years, is creating a buzz among industry experts, with opinions divided on the controversial concept. While some believe that implementing the proposal through a soft fork could drastically change the Bitcoin network and its usage for the better, others disagree.
Back in 2017, the introduction of BIP300, along with its companion BIP301, brought forth the idea of ‘drivechains’ to divide the network.
Bitcoin Drivechain Controversy
BIP300, titled “Hashrate Escrows,” suggests that transactions on Bitcoin sidechains should be signed in bundles by hash power over a period of time.
Drivechains would enable the network to create, send, and receive BTC to and from these layer-2 sidechains. Additionally, there seems to be an underlying intention to eliminate altcoins, although this depends on one’s interpretation of the proposal:
“The Bitcoin network can immediately adopt any beneficial technological advancements as they are created. This renders any fraudulent or unnecessary cryptocurrencies obsolete, while allowing the community to actively support creative developments with the knowledge that the foundational layer of the network (Layer1) is shielded from any negative modifications.”
Recently, Bitcoin educator Dan Held expressed that other assets, whether directly on or linked to the Bitcoin network and the speculation surrounding them, are beneficial for Bitcoin.
“The greater the number of speculative assets on Bitcoin, the better it is, as these assets attract new groups of people to Bitcoin.”
The person who proposed this, Paul Sztorc, mentioned, “it has a tremendous potential for positive outcomes and absolutely no negative consequences,” before adding:
“The risk posed to Bitcoin by not implementing BIP300 is at least ten million times greater than the risk it faces by implementing 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?
Bitcoin Magazine CEO David Bailey was also pro-BIP300, stating that it would improve Bitcoin builder culture infinitely.
“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 staunch ‘laser-eyed’ Bitcoin enthusiasts and maximalists are resistant to change, mostly holding the belief that the code should remain unchanged. Contrarily, there are those who support the evolution and expansion of network functionality, which could be achieved through improvement proposals like this particularly contentious one.