In fact, Jeff Garzik, better known as the CEO of blockchain startup Bloq, now believes his prior work could be revived in a way that promotes interoperability between the increasingly fragmented set of protocols bearing the bitcoin name (see: bitcoin, bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold). And in a new interview, he revealed that he is working on forthcoming updates to the software, called BTC1, with this goal in mind.
While he admits he’s not sure how successful the effort will be, Garzik nonetheless framed it as one aimed at unifying a bitcoin developer community that saw no shortage of infighting in 2017.
Garzik told CoinDesk:
“I hope that bringing multiple chains together in one software will, in some small way, bring multiple developers from multiple communities back together.”
Still, the development is notable given the software’s history in achieving the opposite.
After all, the BTC1 code is most associated with Segwit2x, a failed attempt by business and miners to change the rules of the bitcoin protocol. Forged at a meeting in New York in May, the agreement called for the block size parameter to be raised to 2MB, while also pushing for an upgrade called Segregated Witness, designed to both improve and expand bitcoin’s block size.
However, while SegWit was enacted, the block size increase, formally coded in BTC1, was officially called off not weeks before it was supposed to go live amid significant pushback and criticism from developers.
But while a handful of new cryptocurrencies have been created out of new bitcoin software versions over the past few months, Garzik stressed that the goal of the new BTC1 iteration is not to create a new currency.
“It’s not a new chain. That’s the key innovation of BTC1,” he told CoinDesk.
Instead, Garzik’s concept relies on developing a new version of the Bitcoin Core software – the most popular implementation of bitcoin – though one in which the code can support multiple different cryptocurrencies. In this way, BTC1 will follow whatever changes are added to Bitcoin Core.
Garzik went on to compare the software to ethereum, which allows new cryptocurrencies to be issued on its blockchain, something that’s possible on top of bitcoin, though perhaps not as easy as it is on competing protocols.
“The focus will be on multi-coin support of ‘bitcoin cousins,'” he said, defining “cousins” as coins with software that shares 97 percent or more of the code with the original bitcoin software the Core developers manage…