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The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado - The Technical Side of Bitcoin


Jan 15, 2021

In this episode of “The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado,” hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost are once again joined by Ruben Somsen. The trio discusses Drivechain, a sidechain project spearheaded by Paul Sztorc.Sidechains are alternative blockchains, where coins are pegged to bitcoin.

This should make the sidechain coins interchangeable with bitcoin and therefore carry an equal value. In a way, sidechains let users “move” bitcoin across blockchains, where they are subject to different protocol rules, allowing for greater transaction capacity, more privacy, and other benefits.Aaron, Sjors and Ruben explain that Drivechain consists of two main innovations.

The first is blind merged mining, which lets Bitcoin miners secure the drivechain with their existing hash power, but without necessarily needing to validate everything that happens on the sidechain.

The second is hashrate escrows, which lets miners “move” coins from the Bitcoin blockchain to the sidechain and back.

The hosts also discuss some of the benefits as well as complications with Drivechain, most notably the security implications of letting miners control the pegging out process. They consider the arguments why this process is incentive compatible (in other words: secure) — or why it might not be.