Creating smart contracts on the Bitcoin network has always been a bit of a tough task, especially with the limitations of the Bitcoin scripting language. In a bid to make smart contracting in Bitcoin easier, a group of Bitcoin developers have put together a new smart contracting language specifically for use on the Bitcoin network. Dubbed Miniscript, the language is designed to make Bitcoin transactions far more versatile.
Building on the Existing Framework
Pieter Wuille, Andrew Poelstra, and Sanket Kanjalkar are the brains behind Miniscript, and they announced their new language in an email to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list. Miniscript adds to the existing framework, extending the possibilities of transactions through the use of time locks, hash locks and signatures. It opens up the possibilities for wallet developers to create new types of payments and create nifty features for their users to take advantage of.
Just announced our Miniscript project website on the bitcoin-dev mailinglist: https://t.co/vOceWbgPe0
— Pieter Wuille (@pwuille) August 19, 2019
No Changes Necessary
The best part about Miniscript is that it’s designed for Bitcoin as it currently exists. This mens no forks are required and no consensus changes are needed either. Miniscript will continue to evolve as Bitcoin does, adding in new features and possibilities as the Bitcoin codebase grows. Currently, the Bitcoin devs are also working on adding in Schorr Signatures – a feature Bitcoin Cash recently added – and Taproot. Once these features are live on the Bitcoin network, then the developers can work on adding in support for these features in Miniscript.
Bitcoin Version 0.18.1 Goes Live
Just the other week we saw Bitcoin version 0.18.1 go live, adding in a whole range of new features to the Bitcoin world. Aside from bug fixes and a few GUI improvements, 0.18.1 added in a number of useful features, including being able to see uncompressed public keys in a multisig always return a legacy address, “No Wallets Available” will now show in the menu rather than nothing as well as being able to console line edit on setClientModel. These are all features that will work with Miniscript right off the bat.
It’s new features like Miniscript that are why the Bitcoin network has survived for so long and continues to reign as the most preferable blockchain. Developers love the Bitcoin network and new developers are joining all the time – the polar opposite of Litecoin. As Bitcoin grows and evolves, we’re looking forward to see how Miniscript adapts to the changes – not to mention the fun types of transactions that wallet developers can now create.