Most people in the Bitcoin community know Paul Sztorc for his work on the Truthcoin concept (now backed by Roger Ver and currently in development as Bitcoin Hivemind), but the former Yale statistician also recently joined blockchain startup Bloq (of which Bitcoin Core contributor Jeff Garzik is a co-founder) under the role of economist.
In a recent message to the Bitcoin development mailing list, Sztorc attempted to jump-start the conversation on a potential BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) to enable two-way pegged sidechains on the Bitcoin network.
Sztorc noted the inclusion of a new opcode (currently going by the name OP_CheckVotesVerify) that could be added to Bitcoin via a soft fork. Although the main purpose of his email was to kick off the technical discussion around a specific two-way peg implementation, Sztorc also noted four of the key benefits that sidechains may bring to Bitcoin.
1. Optional Hard Forks
The first benefit of sidechains mentioned by Sztorc was what he called “optional hard forks.” He noted, “Sidechains allow ‘opt in’ adoption of new features.”
In addition to allowing innovation to take place that would usually happen on a blockchain in an