Looking Ahead: Where Does Bitcoin Go From Here?
We know where bitcoin has been, and we know where it’s at now. But what does the future of the OG cryptocurrency look like from here? From “LApps” to Confidential Transactions (CT), and sidechains in between, the powerhouse crypto has no shortage of coming developments on its plate.
A Lot on the Horizon
On March 24th, Crypto columnist Ian Andrews wrote an excellent primer entitled “Roadmap to Bitcoin Developments.”
In it, Andrews briefly dicusses some of the major developments coming to bitcoin, including:
- Confidential Transactions
- Mimble Wimble
- Schnorr Signatures
Some of these projects are related, though all are nuanced. And, likewise, some projects are closer to being brought to fruition than others. For example, Schnorr Signatures — a replacement of Bitcoin’s signature algorithm to facilitate multiple transaction signatures and ease transaction storage burdens by over 20 percent — appear to be several years off.
Sidechains are arguably the most popularly understood field of work of those listed. Sidechains involve “pegging,” or connecting, a separate blockchain to Bitcoin. To this end, Mimble Wimble — a project that could bring totally fungible transactions to bitcoin — could work as a sidechain. Similarly, Drivechain is a play that would facilitate numerous customizable sidechains being pegged to Bitcoin.
Confidential Transactions and Bulletproofs are akin, in that they both aim to improve the privacy of bitcoin usage. The latter is aimed at obfuscating transaction quantities while the former seeks to transaction details available only to the parties involved.
None of these interesting projects will be dropping tomorrow. But they do offer a glimpse at what tomorrow’s tomorrow may look like for BTC.
Rise of the LApps
LApps — or apps deployed on the Lightning Network, bitcoin’s proposed layer-two scaling solution — are starting to pop up more and more. Bitcoin development company Blockstream has been running a “Week of the LApps” that highlights the inaugural LApps.
So far we’ve seen:
- nanotip, a tip jar for Lightning Network
- Lightning Publisher, a Word Press plug-in that allows users to accept Lightning payments
- FileBazaar, an “ecommerce tool for content creators”
If Lightning Network ends up scaling BTC in the years to come, LApps will seemingly explode in popularity.
What’s your take? Which of BTC’s future developments are you most looking forward to? Are you skeptical about any of them? Sound off in the comments below.
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