With Bitcoin dominating the world of cryptocurrencies and virtual digital currencies, many financial institutions are now starting to considering Bitcoin in mainstream adoption as a new form of payment method in the near future.

However, Bitcoin too, has had its own share of ups and downs in past few years due to varying difference of opinion between the miners and developer team in the Bitcoin community.

As a result, we have seen Bitcoin splitting twice in the recent past with its two derivatives existing currently known as the Bitcoin Cash and the Bitcoin Gold. But it seems that against all odds, the original Bitcoin has managed to sustain confidence within investors and has shown unprecedented growth in the past year.

In order to make things more streamlined, an ambitious bitcoin project is expected to launch a live network by the year-end. Bitcoin startup RSK is planning to integrate smart contract functionality in Bitcoin in the form of interoperable sidechain. Sergio Lerner, RSK chief scientist, and co-founder said that as the technology goes live, users will able to use for the very first time Ethereum-like tools on bitcoin.

Sidechain is a wonderful idea which allows different coins having a set of rules to be tied to bitcoin. This means that an advanced privacy or security feature for one coin can be applied to Bitcoins. Similarly, using this method, one can also allow for increased block size. This sounds really interesting idea and could prevent further hardfork and split possibilities in Bitcoin. As the major debate with bitcoin has always been around advanced security and the block sizes, such a solution can address both simultaneously.

While commenting on the launch of the sidechain technology, Lerner said “This will be the mainnet launch of RSK. You’ll be able to transfer … bitcoin to ‘smart bitcoins,’ the native cryptocurrency of RSK. You’ll be able to deploy any contract in Solidity and deploy that using the bitcoin cryptocurrency.”

However, Lerner said that they are waiting for the Segwit2x hardfork which could split the Bitcoin into two tokens if implemented. He said “We’re waiting for the hard fork to pass to launch. We don’t know which [cryptocurrency] will last. […] The change is fork conditional. That’s a must.”

Lerner has said that they have got long-term plans associated with the sidechain such as adding of new “opcodes” which are basically rules in the blockchain which developers will be using in their smart contracts. In addition, they will also be working for more enhanced and advanced privacy features like “confidential transactions”  and other on-chain scaling improvements like the number of transactions permitted for RSK users per second.

A lot of efforts are currently undergoing in order to implement smart contracts in bitcoin and we could possibly see this going live by 2018.

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