Stacks CEO Muneeb Ali discussed the potential of Bitcoin as a settlement layer and the renewed developer culture in the community during his speech at Consensus 2023 on Friday. Ali mentioned that a small change to Bitcoin’s base layer could open up a vast array of layer 2 technology applications.
- Ali shared that Bitcoin only needs minimal modification at its base layer to allow true “ZK rollups,” a layer 2 scaling solution that Ethereum typically uses to batch transactions. These changes require only two OP codes, namely OP STARK verify or OP SNARK verify.
- Ali expects that this modification won’t happen for at least four to five years due to the slow-paced evolution of Bitcoin’s base layer.
- Despite this, Ali remains optimistic about the potential for Bitcoin’s continued development to keep up with more developer-friendly chains. Stacks, Ali’s company, has created a Bitcoin layer 1.5 protocol called sBTC, which allows relatively decentralized bridging of BTC from layer 1 to layer 2 chains.
“That sort of technology is what’s needed to really kickstart Bitcoin DeFi,” he said. “We need to make Bitcoin programmable in L2s, and then put that BTC in smart contracts, put them in the hands of developers, and then let them go wild.”
- Stacks’ STX token surged as Bitcoin Ordinals NFTs popularized in February. Stacks itself supports NFTs on its own chain, though Ordinals is a base layer technology.