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A new project allows Bitcoin smart contracts and provides developer awards

The DFINITY Foundation is a non-profit organisation that works to advance the Internet Computer (IC) project. IC is a public blockchain that provides enhanced smart contract capability to the world's largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

“The Internet Computer can now serve as a Layer 2 for Bitcoin where smart contracts on the Internet Computer can hold, send and receive Bitcoin natively, without the need for blockchain bridges or other third parties. This provides a trustless foundation for various DeFi and Web3 applications seeking to code Bitcoin,” IC said.

The world's most popular cryptocurrency can now be used for DeFi activities such as yield farming, loans, and payments, among others. This is possible thanks to the Internet Computer's upgraded Chain-key cryptography. Direct integration with Bitcoin eliminates the need for bridging and wrapped Bitcoin, a technology commonly employed to ease interaction between different blockchains that is error-prone and frequently hacked.

“Blockchains are like walled gardens, incapable of interaction between one another. When this comes to Bitcoin, applications, such as DeFi applications, that could benefit most from interacting with the world’s largest cryptocurrency do not have the ability to do so. The Internet Computer’s integration with Bitcoin is a true game-changer for the industry, finally bringing smart contract functionality to Bitcoin and enabling a whole new landscape of DeFi and dapp (decentralised applications) development never before possible using BTC. We are incredibly excited to see how developers interact with this revolutionary functionality,” Manu Drijvers, Director of Engineering at the DFINITY Foundation, said.

The DFINITY foundation is currently working on Chain-Key Bitcoin to enable speedy Bitcoin transactions between smart contracts on the Internet Computer (ckBTC). CkBTC will function as a local ledger, promoting rapid, low-fee transactions, and will only settle transactions on the Bitcoin network when necessary.

The integration of the Internet Computer with Bitcoin also offers a more secure alternative to centralised bridges in the form of threshold ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm). The introduction of ECDSA allows the Internet Computer's Container smart contracts to execute Bitcoin transactions directly without the use of an intermediary or bridge. This provides a trustless framework for Bitcoin-based DeFi applications and allows IC developers to code natively on Bitcoin.

“Making Bitcoin programmable will increase the overall potential of blockchain technology. Unlocking Bitcoin’s unmatched liquidity will bring enormous benefits and new possibilities for users and developers across a wide range dapps including DeFi, GameFi, SocialFi, and NFTs. This direct integration also eliminates the Achilles’ heel of other approaches to make Bitcoin available on other networks such as wrapping and bridging. Unfortunately, we have seen the drawbacks of these solutions over the past year through a number of high-profile hacks, leaving networks hopelessly vulnerable to attacks. Bitcoin lending via decentralised exchanges, for example, is now possible with security superior to what is available on any other platform thanks to the Internet Computer’s direct and trustless integration, making it a natural choice for DeFi developers,” Jan Camenisch, Chief Technology Officer at the DFINITY Foundation, said.

The Internet Computer solves the limits of traditional blockchains and smart contracts by providing improved speed, storage costs, security, and scalability on an endless Web3 platform.

The foundation provides community development awards as well as a dynamic educational community centred on their technologies. By giving support to promising developers and teams, the DFINITY Developer Grant Program intends to catalyse the growth of the Internet Computer ecosystem and make the Internet Computer accessible and approachable to more developers around the world.

“Our aim is to support the reimagination of all systems and services in new forms using smart contracts on an infinite public blockchain, and nothing else. What the world now builds to take advantage of blockchain’s new capabilities shall be an important and fascinating next chapter,” Dominic Williams, the founder of Dfinity, said.


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