Roadmap Spotlight #4: Research into Native Bitcoin as BYOC
Bitcoin is what started it all. The coin that began the blockchain industry and even over 14 years after its initial creation, and after so many new coins trying to improve upon the original, it still stands as the king of crypto currency. It is still the main form used as payment in the blockchain industry and others are either built as bringing functionality more than being a currency or is relegated as 2nd place at best.
As mentioned in our interoperability article, the current blockchain L1 ecosystem are basically in a zero sum game. Every chain is trying to be faster, cheaper, more secure and easier to build on. And each blockchain operates by using their own native coin for their transaction fees. And as DeFi came into the picture, DEX’s began looking for options to allow for swapping between chains that were not native to itself. Enter wrapped tokens.
Currently in the DeFi ecosystem, there is only one way to trade BTC. By creating a wrapped version of itself. Whether its wBTC, HBTC or renBTC, etc, it is basically all a similar form of custodying a BTC and minting an IOU type mirror token on the native network. When the smart contract holding the mirror coin is burned, then the locked, or custodied real bitcoin is released. One of the problem in this system is that you must give trust to the custodians. Not only does this go against the trustless-system ethos of public blockchains, if something happens to the custodians (hack, out of business, etc) then your wrapped tokens could be lost or become worthless.
While Partisia Blockchain can implement wrapped bitcoin as BYOC asset easily, this fundamental architecture of wrapped bitcoin tied to a custody goes against the principles of allowing native coins to be used as a form of transaction payment in the blockchain. As mentioned above, from price parity between real and wrapped BTC, to security issues raised by using a custodian (corruption or even worse, a hack in the custody system) there were too many compromises. And so we are taking the road less traveled and working toward finding a solution to allow for native bitcoin to be usable as an asset in the Partisia Blockchain.
This means we are creating a multi-phase program to build this road. The first phase will be a research phase. We’ve already begun this effort and hope to complete it in the next few months. Once the research is complete, we will know the effort needed and then will engage in an architecture and engineering sessions to plan out the work to accomplish this.
This has some major possible benefits. From allowing users to spend native BTC as gas transactions for applications built on the Partisia Blockchain, to creating a native token swap between BTC and another BYOC chain, or even helping to scale transactions in the bitcoin network, implementing native BTC directly in the Partisia Blockchain network will open up new possibilities in the blockchain industry as a whole.
Please be on the lookout for future news of the results of this research.