The gigantic peak of Bitcoin transactions in December 2017 highlighted the need for scalability and evolution of the old cryptos giant. With the slowness and cost of transactions, combined with its lack of facility to deploy smart contracts , Bitcoin risked being jostled by younger, more optimized cryptocurrencies.
Even though Segwit and the bear market of cryptos have allowed a clear improvement in the execution of Bitcoin transactions, the arrival and experimentation of the Lightning Network are eagerly awaited and observed by the community.
And here it’s even a further breakthrough that CoinDesk reveals : The world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been quietly experimenting with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, demonstrating how it could be combined with more advanced smart contracts than the current ones.
This would improve the Bitcoin network, not only deal with millions of transactions , but also with greater complexity, similar to that of Ethereum for example.
Modeled by the institute’s Digital Currency Initiative, this test, which began in 2015 as a way to continue research and development on cryptocurrencies, envisages a system in which transactions would be conducted automatically following predefined external events.
This is possible thanks to the use of oracles, as we know it on other cryptocurrencies, the best known in this area being Augur (REP) .
As a result of this work, MIT researchers have already created an implementation for the Lightning Network called ” bed “. Alin Dragos, an MIT researcher, tells CoinDesk that:
“When people think about smart contracts, they think about Ethereum, because their scripting language is much richer. (…) [Bitcoin] is not as easy to get to developers because Bitcoin did not go in that direction, but you can use it [for smart contracts], you just have to be a bit creative ” .
This opens new perspectives for the venerable Bitcoin ancestor, who could regain color (and its dominance in the crypto market) if in addition to the increase in the number of transactions per second that promises the Lightning Network , the latter also allowed the easier use of smart contracts on Bitcoin.