What are the reasons in favor of activating BIP-119 in Bitcoin?

What are the reasons in favor of activating BIP-119 in Bitcoin?

The BIP-119 debate has had very strong critics against this Bitcoin update proposal, but also defenders who have publicly supported it.

During this week in CriptoNoticias we were analyzing the arguments of the BIP-119 debate in two articles: one on the political aspects and the other on the technical arguments.

In this article we will review the reasons that Jeremy Rubin, author of the BIP-119has given to consider this proposal as a positive change for Bitcoin. Some of his opinions have been issued outside the debate and others within that context.

The idea is to collect these opinions and have a general notion of why this developer believes that BIP-119 or OP_CTV is a desirable change and functionality to include in Bitcoin.

Why might we need covenants of BIP-119?

As we have mentioned in other articles on BIP-119, this proposal would allow the creation of a kind of pact or covenant what It would condition the way in which some bitcoins could be spent in the future.

Bitmex, what did an interview with Jeremy Rubin at the dawn of this debate, explains the covenants of BIP-119 in this way:

OP_CTV (Check Template Verify) allows the user to create a Bitcoin address associated with a compromise hash around some components of a potential future transaction […]

This commit hash is typically revealed in the token field of the transaction when the coins are redeemed, rather than with the user’s digital signature, so revealing the commit hash authorizes the spending of the coins.

Therefore, if some bitcoins are sent to this address, the funds can only be spent under certain conditions, conditions that have been compromised by the hash. This is usually called ‘covenant’.

Bitmex Research.

In an interview of Compass Mining with Jeremy Rubinbroadcast in January 2022, Rubin said some users might not see immediate benefits from BIP-119 if it were to go live, but features like sidechains could take advantage of it as they develop around Bitcoin.

“I think my job is to design the best possible protocol and not wait if the user of that technology thinks if it’s good or bad,” he said.

What are the reasons in favor of activating BIP-119 in Bitcoin?
Jeremy Rubin introduces OP_CTV as a type of smart contract for Bitcoin. Source: Utxos.org / Jeremy Rubin.

He also explained what the goal of BIP-119 is from a comparative point of Bitcoin with Ethereum, since OP_CTV would allow to execute what in a very basic way is the concept of a smart contract.

To do this, he gave the example of the ecosystem of NFTs or non-fungible tokens, where there are markets that allow these tokens to be exchanged in a decentralized and censorship-resistant manner.

What I like to tell people is that the goal of BIP-119 is to give users even 25% of what Ethereum is doing, just some of the cool and useful stuff, so I think we should try to do some of these things […].

OP_CTV aims to give Bitcoin composability, where you can write an optional module or contract that you can apply for example to an NFT, or to open a Lightning channel with another user. […]since Lightning channels can be viewed as non-fungible assets, if you will.

What I aspire to deliver with OP_CTV is not necessarily Ethereum functions, but a way to define and structure a contract where you can compose and do different things in an obvious and direct way..

Jeremy Rubin, developer of BIP-119.

In that interview, and very timely to the debate over whether Bitcoin needs to change, Rubin said that beyond NFTs, triggering BIP-119 was not about NFTs or sidechains, but about how to improve what Bitcoin can do right now.

“Bitcoin is a finished product? fuck you Tell me if Bitcoin is private, tell me if in 10 years a user can’t end up in a gulag [campo de trabajo forzado] because their transactions are unpopular. If we are not solving that problem, how can we solve it? To think that Bitcoin is ready when you don’t have privacy, is very silly,” he asserted.

Personal attacks and failures in coordination

In the interview that BitMex did with Jeremy Rubin Bitmex, published on April 22, 2022, closer to the context of this debate, the developer explained some of his certainties about the process for making changes to Bitcoin.

In that sense, he believed that in his perception the SpeedyTrial o quick trial, a process of signaling support by miners, seemed to be the fastest method and requested by the market at the moment to start the activation of BIP-119.

Rubin stated that I don’t see any problem starting the signaling process before trying to insert the BIP-119 code or OP_CTV in the Bitcoin Core client, without activating it. In fact, he said that with Taproot, the activation parameters were defined before the code for this proposal was pushed into Bitcoin Core.

The developer said that on this occasion, he has not proposed the insertion of the BIP-119 or OP_CTV code in Bitcoin Core because You have not received any guidelines from the developers of this software.

“The maintainers [de Bitcoin Core] I have not been given guidelines on what the criteria to accept it would be, so without being clear in that regard, my reading is that the consensus changes are proposed by Bitcoin Core, “he said.

Similarly, he reported receiving personal attacks and accusations of being an inexperienced developer, which he denied:

“Someone told me the other day that someone else hadn’t checked the CTV code because they personally didn’t like me. I am not ‘new’ to Bitcoin, I have studied it since 2011, and I started doing development in 2015 », he said.

My question is, am I new to what? Who are the developers actively thinking about stuff like this? […] What is the responsibility of the old guard, if they retire or are inactive, to pass the baton? […]

I think that if we don’t deal with these questions, and improve our engineering capabilities, the Bitcoin network will become a fossil. While we’re working on making Bitcoin more robust, the simple truth is that it’s far from perfect, and when the people who built it retire and the next generation doesn’t have the same skills, then Bitcoin will become something we don’t verify. , just something we trust…

Jeremy Rubin, Bitcoin developer.

Who does support BIP-119 or OP_CTV as functionality for Bitcoin?

Although many of those who support BIP-119 do not necessarily support its immediate activation in Bitcoin, they do at least recognize and support the functionalities that OP_CTV brings.

Among the companies that pass BIP-119, According to a survey made by Jeremy Rubin, there are LN Markets, Lightning Labs and Muun Wallet among others.

As for personalities from the bitcoiner ecosystem, there are Daniel McNally, chief technology officer (CTO) of BitGo, Ben Carman, developer, Fluffy Pony, main maintainer of Monero and Charlie Lee, maintainer of Litecoin, Olaoluwa Osuntokun, chief technology officer of Lighting Labs , Jameson Lopp, one of the most experienced Bitcoin developers, among others.

For now, BIP-119 will continue to be reviewed and its activation will have to wait an undetermined timeso Jeremy Rubin will have to be patient until he sees his creation integrate into Bitcoin.

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