About a week ago, Blockstream announced the launch of their long-awaited sidechain protocol dubbed Sidechain Elements:
“Sidechains extend Bitcoin functionality through interoperable blockchain networks and today’s open source release includes an experimental sidechain that has a number of new working capabilities. With the release of Sidechain Elements, Blockstream is moving this effort into the community,” says Adam Back, co-founder and president of Blockstream. “We’re inviting developers to work with us, to test and use the code for their projects, and to share their proposals and code for additional capabilities,” he adds.
“Sidechains are decentralized, peer-to-peer networks that provide useful security, risk, and performance enhancements for global systems of value exchange that don’t need intermediaries, central banks or other third parties. They are distributed ledgers that are interoperable with each other and with Bitcoin, leveraging the most secure blockchain and code infrastructure in an additive way. Sidechains enable innovators to safely develop new applications without jeopardizing Bitcoin’s core code and putting billions of dollars worth of digital currency at risk,” explains Mr. Back in the announcement.
According to the WSJ, enhanced transactions confidentiality could be useful for Wall Street-focused businesses such as Digital Asset Holdings, a New York-based startup that’s developing blockchain-based solutions for post-trade securities settlement. Shaul Kfir, DAH Chief Technology Officer, said it could be a “very powerful way to protect investors from having to disclose sensitive business information, even while providing complete transparency to regulators.”
“Computer security is at a pretty abysmal point,” Mr. Kfir adds. “You really want it to so that when any data is moving through the transactional layer it is as secure as possible, as encrypted as possible.” Moreover, Blockstream’s confidentiality element goes “99% of the way” toward achieving those goals, states Shaul Kfir.
Last year Blockstream raised $21 million in a new funding from about 40 investors, such as Reid Hoffman,