The Counterparty Foundation announced their move to include a port of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) allowing users to develop smart contracts on the bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin users will have the ability to handle decentralized autonomous organizations, social networks, building tools for voting, programmatic escrow services, and many other applications.
This announcement comes months after the founder and Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation warned his Twitter followers on endorsing the platform. He said, “It’s 100% hype, with no substance.”
Even with his lengthy Twitter rant, the company obviously does not agree with his judgment. Since November 2014, Counterparty announced its re-creation of smart contracts. In February of this year, the company brought on Ruben de Vries as their core developer to oversee this expansion.
Trevor Altpeter, Director of the Counterparty Foundation, admitted to Bitcoin.com, some developers in the Counterparty development team have left to concentrate on Ethereum projects. However, Altpeter stated this merge between the two platforms would attract bitcoin users back to the blockchain.
Ruben de Vries wrote in a release, the EVM is currently in testnet and is welcoming all feedback. The post does mention that this project, due in a month’s time, has been focusing on fixing and eliminating any bug that would interfere with the code. He states:
There’s a fair chance bugs in that code could still keep the contracts functioning for 99.999% but have some edge case where a bug might pop up. This is priority #1 at the moment, because once the unittests are added it will make sure there’s no regression when continuing with other changes.
One of the reasons smart contracts run so smoothly, is through the power of Ether. Ruben de Vries acknowledges Ether’s capabilities, but it’s currently in the works to allow their smart contracts to function through XCP, Counterparty’s virtual currency. However, the gas cost behind this is still undetermined since XCP is not mined, but burned. This process, called “proof-of-burn”, destroys existing bitcoin to become XCP.