Ethereum design studio ConsenSys has launched BTC Relay, an open source project enabling Ethereum-based networks to interoperate programmatically with the Bitcoin network and eventually other Ethereum and Bitcoin-based systems.
BTC Relay is a fully decentralised smart contract for the community that does not grant special privileges to any party. Using BTC Relay, Ethereum developers can implement a “Pay with Bitcoin” button in their Ethereum-based decentralised applications, allowing Bitcoin holders to interact with smart contracts and decentralized applications on the Ethereum platform, said a statement.
BTC Relay has been added to EtherEx, a decentralised exchange, as a mechanism whereby Bitcoin can be exchanged with Ether, without any counterparty risk. Another potential use case is the issuance of an Ethereum-based “BTC” token (ETHBTC) based on locking actual BTC tokens in a multisig on the Bitcoin protocol.
This bidirectional bridge between BTC and ETHBTC is planned. From a technical perspective, BTC Relay implements Bitcoin SPV (simplified payment verification) to verify whether a Bitcoin transaction has been confirmed (sufficiently) on the Bitcoin blockchain. Community members, called Relayers, provide BTC Relay with the new Bitcoin block header that has been generated by Bitcoin miners. Ethereum decentralised app developers can make API calls to BTC Relay from their smart