Monday, March 25, 2024

Drivechains Are Silly, Show Me Flawed

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Shinobi’s Strawman is a weekly collection the place our Technical Editor Shinobi challenges the Bitcoin group, aiming to fire up dialog round heated technical debates.


We’re going to attempt one thing of an experiment at present.

Drivechains are being proclaimed by some because the savior of Bitcoin, the reply to all of its issues. It solves the long run safety price range, permits full freedom to include new options into Bitcoin, and presents no downsides for present Bitcoin customers.

Sounds too good to be true? It’s:

1) Drivechains Change Miner Incentives

Drivechains introduce a hodgepodge of latest variables into miners’ incentives, and after introducing that instability advocates push for customers merely adopting a degraded safety mannequin for all new use circumstances and performance by utilizing a sidechain in lieu of adjusting the bottom layer. How is that this any totally different than an outright assault on Bitcoin self custody?

2) Present Sidechains Have No Adoption

There have been many alternative design proposals for sidechains through the years, however the one presently deployed ones are run by federations (Liquid and RSK), each of which have failed to achieve any significant stage of adoption since they have been deployed. Does this imply sidechains are usually not price continued improvement effort? Or are they price it, and the failure of federated chains to be adopted is solely the results of shortcomings in that particular sidechain design?

3) Drivechains Exacerbate The Dangers Of MEV

MEV is one thing that’s attainable on Bitcoin already, as techniques like Stacks are demonstrating, however presently the types of MEV attainable on Bitcoin are both generated by completely unbiased altcoins like Stacks (which traditionally have trended to an insignificant share of miners’ earnings, like Namecoin), or very low within the stage of complexity (like frontrunning Inscriptions). Drivechains open the door to arbitrarily complicated types of MEV on sidechains, whereas additionally making certain that the token producing that MEV is pegged to the worth of Bitcoin. I.e. it can’t merely fade away to an irrelevant fraction of miner earnings as individuals cease shopping for an altcoin. This drastically worsens the dangers and potential harm of MEV on Bitcoin.

4) No, Swap Markets Aren’t An Reply

Paul Sztorc replied to a few of these considerations on Twitter, however these responses do not likely deal with the basis points. Swap markets would possibly sound like a solution, however the actuality is that these simply shove the liquidity necessities onto yet one more celebration, assuming they may present huge quantities of liquidity for nearly nothing in return. That may work for small scale utility customers, or having liquidity out there to arbitrage uncertainty across the peg, I don’t assume it is a foregone conclusion that sufficient liquidity to cowl the “resolution to the safety price range downside” with out slippage is a given, to say nothing of all the opposite customers who would need to swap out and in. He then goes on to disregard the distinction between a mainchain reorg, which requires redoing work and vitality expenditure, versus a sidechain reorg which doesn’t. Lastly, he equates a random particular person for no logical or revenue pushed cause giving cash away with somebody producing a revenue with an exercise they’re the only real gatekeepers of.

Look, finally, I’m a Bitcoin maximalist. I need what’s finest for Bitcoin.

I believe drivechains are silly, harmful and a waste of time, however I need to hear your ideas on the topic. Am I unsuitable concerning the factors above? Is there another excuse that I ought to be towards drivechains that I’ve neglected?

Please don’t write to me with some random hopium. I’m open to novel opinions. I need the dialog to progress. Above is my finest summation – we merely aren’t anyplace near a significant consensus on drivechains.

My DMs are open. Let’s hash it out.

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