TL;DR: Developer Mark B. Lundeberg released details of what he’s calling a “new era” for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). He’s proposing two features for the May 2019 scheduled upgrade of BCH. Lundeberg explains, “In short, we will be able to do: payment channels hidden as ordinary payments; atomic swaps hidden as ordinary payments; Lightning-style payment channel networks too, if we want; secure chains of unconfirmed transactions involving multiple parties (layer 2).”
Developer Claims New Era in Bitcoin Cash Privacy, Smart Contracting
“Two new features are coming to Bitcoin Cash soon, hopefully in the May 2019 upgrade,” Lundeberg posted to GitHub. “I’d like to take the time to explain why I’m so excited about them.” With a table of contents reading, “Schnorr-Spilman payment channels protocol” and “Hidden atomic swaps (high frequency microswapping),” along with “Hidden bidirectional payment channels,” his post is meant for a tech literate audience (though he writes warmly enough).
He outlines two features for the coming software upgrade: BIP62 malleability restrictions and allowing users Schnorr signatures. “Why is this a big deal?” Lundeberg asked. “No more third-party malleability: By completing the BIP62 malleability fixes, it will be possible to make P2PKH-spending transactions that cannot be malleated by any third party (miners, relay nodes, etc.). This removes the need for OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY timeout clauses. We can also engineer smart contracts to be immune from malleability.”
As for Schnorr, they “allow very simple multi-party aggregation schemes, where multiple parties collaborate to produce one aggregated signature under one aggregated pubkey, checked with OP_CHECKSIG as in pay-to-public-key-hash (P2PKH) addresses. Avoid second-party malleability: Schnorr signatures cannot be malleated at all, even in the aggregated case, except when all signers collaborate to create a new signature from scratch,” he elaborated.
As CoinSpice readers recall, Lundeberg is a physicist by training, and in recent months he’s focused his efforts on projects such as “working on making an atomic swap tool based on Electron Cash. The software is designed to follow the model of a decentralized exchange, in the sense that it could be used by any capable liquidity provider to provide exchange services,” he explained.
This time around, he’s insisting “these three aspects is a significant upgrade. Together, however, they make up a massive upgrade: we will be able to make multi-signature transactions, which are not malleable by third parties or unilaterally by a subset of signing parties. This creates the perfect conditions for doing complex off-chain smart contracting. And best of all, those multi-signatures will appear on the blockchain as P2PKH, i.e., indistinguishable from regular payments. Altogether, it’s a simpler and more private replacement for complicated ‘malleability fix’ transaction formats like segwit,” Lundeberg explained.
There’s a lot more detail concerning his proposals, and BCH enthusiasts are encouraged to check them on GitHub. Better payment channels, Schnorr-Spilman payment channels protocol, CLTV payment channels, hidden atomic swaps (+ high frequency microswapping), Layer 2, and more are all discussed thoroughly. He’s also, in the spirit of a scientist, unafraid to issue caveats, difficulties with some aspects. All in all, the bear market continues to be a fruitful building time for BCH.
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