Although the Bitcoin network is not programmable, it serves as an excellent settlement layer to build powerful applications on top of, says Hiro CEO Alex Miller.
Hiro provides Bitcoin development tools for developers that can leverage the Stacks blockchain. Miller said that Stacks inherits 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-settled, well-accepted, very reliable level of settlement.”
He added that because of this, it is a much simpler blockchain to build on compared to most other smart contract platforms that do calculations and settlements at the same level:
“When you have both your settlement and your calculation at the same level, it really complicates things in a lot of ways. […] You don’t want to modify the trim level that much.”
This allows developers to “do more innovation faster” in a tier two that “has much, much more powerful capabilities.”
Miller claimed that it shouldn’t surprise us that developers are making Bitcoin programmable, as this is what Satoshi Nakomoto envisioned:
“Satoshi himself wrote in 2010, 2011 that he predicted additional layers [and] additional chains will be built on top of that to provide all this kind of programming.”
Miller said the Stacks developer ecosystem has grown rapidly since the platform’s launch in January 2021, “we have hundreds of developers working on the ecosystem and thousands of smart contracts and applications deployed on it.”
Within the first year of launch, the Stacks blockchain achieved more than 350 million monthly API requests, 40,000 Hiro wallet downloads and deployed 2,500 Clarity smart contracts, with these figures to further increase in 2022.
Miller also said that we will live in a “multi-chain future” with no specific smart contract platform in place. “Ethereum will be around for at least a little while, but there are a lot of other smart contract platforms out there that haven’t stood the test of time yet,” he said.
Related: Stacks’ Mitchell Cuevas discusses building integrated DeFi bridges for Bitcoin users
As for where the crypto market is headed, Miller said cryptocurrency volatility will decrease as crypto applications become more “accepted, embedded and used in our society,” adding:
“[By] by bringing programming and smart contracts to Bitcoin, it contributes to the further adoption of Bitcoin as a technical and financial platform in our society, thus reducing volatility while increasing the price in the long term.”