blockchain - Smart Contracts for Bitcoin’s Blockchain – Is That Possible?

Smart Contracts for Bitcoin’s Blockchain – Is That Possible?

Technology keeps improving and new developments are implemented. Bitcoin has a rich developer community all over the world. Chain, one blockchain development platform, has announced a new programming language named Ivy.  According to the company, it is possible to write smart contracts with it for the Bitcoin platform.

Smart Contracts Not Just For Ethereum

Ethereum has been growing pushed by one of its most important features, known as Smart Contracts. In general, people believe that the smart contracts are an exclusive feature of Ethereum’s platform. But Chain explains that Bitcoin allows to write contracts through a low-level programming language known as Bitcoin Script.

It is true that Bitcoin does not allow to send advanced smart contracts as in Ethereum or the Chain Protocol. But it allows you to write a set of useful primitive signature checks, hash computations and absolute and relative time locks.

While sending Bitcoin to a specific address, we lock them in a safe deposit box on the blockchain, known as “unspent transactions outputs”. Ivy refers to them as “contracts”. In this way, each contract has an address that is linked to a program that must be satisfied for bitcoins to be spent and unlocked.

Ivy Programming Language

“Ivy is a language for writing contract templates. Each contract template, when instantiated with specific parameters, can compile to a Bitcoin address (specifically, a Segregated Witness compatible address),” reads the statement released by Chain.

At the moment, Bitcoin Script is used by relatively few people that work with bitcoin wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges and payment platforms. They use it so as to create diverse security solutions like multi signature wallets or other interesting solutions related to scaling, privacy and interoperability.

In order to try Ivy out, you can do it through the Ivy Playground for Bitcoin, that allows everyone interesting in coding to design, create and spend simulated Bitcoin contracts. The Ivy Playground for Bitcoin has some preloaded templates that demonstrate a small fraction of possible contracts and there is an explanatory document that explains how these contracts work.