The Internet Computer blockchain from the Dfinity Foundation is bringing smart-contract capabilities to the Bitcoin (BTC) network, potentially opening the door to wider mainstream adoption for the cryptocurrency.
Dfinity Foundation announced Tuesday that Internet Computer will connect with Bitcoin using its chain key cryptography, paving the way for smart contracts with native BTC addresses hosted directly on Internet Computer.
“Without the need for insecure and cumbersome trusted bridging services, Internet Computer smart contracts will have access to bitcoin liquidity, and Bitcoin will acquire powerful new smart contract functionality,” Dominic Williams, the founder and chief scientist of Dfinity Foundation, noted.
Smart contracts on the Internet Computer will have connected BTC addresses, allowing them direct access to Bitcoin blockchain transactions.
On the Internet Computer, transaction completion takes 2 seconds, compared to 40 minutes on Bitcoin. To get around this, so-called “Bitcoin banks” can be used directly on a computer through the Internet, allowing for 2-second transactions.
Dfinity Foundation announced a $223 million Developer Ecosystem Program earlier this year to assist smart contract and blockchain development.
The initiative, which began in 2014, has garnered funding from some of the industry’s most well-known venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
Dfinity’s latest efforts are part of a larger industry push to improve Bitcoin transaction accessibility, decentralize finance, and Web 3.0.
Stacks, an open-source network, announced its concept for Bitcoin-centric smart contracts using a layer-one blockchain with a native bridge in January.
Several other developers are currently working on new applications in anticipation of Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade later this year. Mining nodes overwhelmingly supported the update, paving the stage for the soft-fork to go live in November.
While Bitcoin hasn’t reached all of Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 whitepaper’s goals, such as widespread use as an electronic cash system, it has established itself as a leading alternative asset.
In May, the Bitcoin network’s entire market capitalisation surpassed $1 trillion before experiencing a broad market slump. Much of this rise might be attributed to the growing institutional acceptance of Bitcoin as an asset.