While the Bitcoin network is not programmable, it serves as an excellent settlement layer on which robust applications can be built, says Hiro CEO Alex Miller.
Hiro provides Bitcoin developer tools for developers to build on the Stacks blockchain. Miller said that Stacks will inherit the security of the Bitcoin network through a consensus mechanism called proof-of-transfer (although this is a controversial statement for some).
Miller told Cointelegraph that the value proposition behind building programs on top of Bitcoin is that it’s a “really well-established, well-accepted and very trusted settlement layer.”
He added that because of this, it’s a much simpler blockchain to build on top of compared to most other smart contract platforms that do calculations and settlements at the same layer:
“When you have settlement and calculation on the same layer, it really complicates things in a lot of ways. […] You don’t want to modify your settlement layer that much.’
This allows developers to “do more innovation faster” on a second layer that “has much, much more robust capabilities.”
Miller argued that we shouldn’t be surprised that developers are making Bitcoin programmable because that’s what Satoshi Nakomoto envisioned:
“Satoshi himself wrote in 2010, 2011 that he foresaw additional layers [and] other chains will be built on top of that to provide all this kind of programmability.”
Miller said the Stacks developer ecosystem has grown rapidly since the platform launched in January 2021, “we have hundreds of developers working in the ecosystem and thousands of smart contracts and applications deployed on it.”
Within the first year of launch, Stacks blockchain has reached more than 350 million monthly API requests, 40,000 downloads of the Hiro wallet and deployment of 2,500 Clarity smart contracts, with these numbers growing further in 2022.
Miller also said that we will live in a “multi-chain future” without any specific smart contract platform making the decisions. “Ethereum will at least be around for a while, but there are plenty of other smart contract platforms that haven’t stood the test of time yet,” he said.
As for where the crypto market is headed, Miller said crypto volatility will decrease as crypto applications become more “accepted, integrated and used in our society,” adding:
“[By] it brings programmability and smart contracts to Bitcoin and helps drive further adoption of Bitcoin as both a technical and financial layer in our society, reducing volatility while increasing price over the long term.