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Dec 4, 2019
Marty's Ƀent


Ten days ago, Bitcoin Core contributor Jeremy Rubin submitted a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP), bip-ctv. This BIP would add a new opcode, OP_CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY.

For those of you sitting there thinking, "Uncle Marty, wtf is an opcode and what the hell is that long string of capitalized letters above?" an opcode is a script that can be attached to a bitcoin transaction. Specific scripts allow users to spend UTXOs in certain ways. Opcodes have a very contentious history within Bitcoin. There were initially many opcodes that could be executed within bitcoin transactions, but Satoshi disabled a lot of them early on after it became apparent that the existence of these scripts increased the attack surface of the protocol. When there is more code that can be executed within transactions there are more unknowns. This increases the network's fragility and susceptibility to black swan events.

With that being said, the new opcode that Jeremy is proposing is a "simple covenant called a *template* which enables a limited set of highly valuable use cases without significant risk". Above is a diagram of one of the use cases CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY would enable, the ability for large exchanges and payment processors to perform congestion controlled transactions when there is a lot of traffic on the network. Helping to create more stability in the fee market, among other things.

On top of this, CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY would help the Lightning Network by enabling better Channel Factories, non-interactive channels, and increasing the number of overall channel routes. It would enable cool Bitcoin vault set ups and make it considerably easier to execute a trustless CoinJoin. All things that, when combined, would make Bitcoin more efficient, more programmable, and easier to secure. Wins all around. Huge kudos to Jeremy for putting the team on his back and getting this BIP in the wild.

From what I can tell via my brief dive into the conversation around CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY there doesn't seem to be too much push back on this particular opcode. Hopefully we'll see the discussion around this BIP pick up in the coming months. Uncle Marty is very interested to see the pros and cons discussed in the wild.  

Final thought...

Kelly Slater 24/7? Yes, please!


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