The authors of the much-discussed Bitcoin Sidechains paper “Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains,” released in October, formed the company Blockstream to implement sidechains and accelerate innovation in digital currencies. In November, Blockstream closed a $21 million seed funding round with nearly 40 high-profile investors.
The Bitcoin Sidechains paper envisages an ecosystem of “sidechains” separate from the main Bitcoin blockchain but interoperable with it by means of two-way pegs, allowing for the transfer of assets between sidechains and the main blockchain. A sidechain can implement changes from Bitcoin Core, for example, more powerful scripting features or more watertight privacy. According to Blockstream, 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.
For a readable explanation of sidechains, see “A simple explanation of Bitcoin ‘Sidechains,” by Richard Gendal Brown, executive architect for banking innovation at IBM UK. Despite the considerable interest in sidechains, the enthusiasm of developers has been so far dampened by the lack of actual implementations of sidechains.
“We’re excited to announce the