In late May we covered the introduction of Erlay; an efficient transaction relay protocol for Bitcoin. Erlay would be a huge level up for Bitcoin's P2P layer as it would help reduce bandwidth requirements by 40% (!!), increase network connectivity, and increase privacy. All in one fell swoop. These gains would lower the barrier to entry for potential full node operators, allowing bitcoiners in parts of the world with subpar Internet connectivity to validate the ledger. A huge step towards the ideal of decentralization.
Well last night, Pieter Wuille and Gleb Naumenko officially published a BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) that, if implemented, would allow nodes to start relaying transactions using Erlay. A small milestone on the road to making this a reality, but a milestone nonetheless. As you can see from Pieter's tweets above, there is currently only a prototype implementation ready at the moment. The code still needs to be thoroughly reviewed and a production ready implementation needs to be built out. And if you read through the BIP, the path to getting this implemented into Bitcoin Core is not fleshed out either.
Regardless, progress is being made and we here at the Ƀent are big fans of progress. Especially if it means more people may be able to participate in transaction validation.
While some attempt to woo the masses with promises of financial alchemy via insecure, centralized blockchains, those focused on the Bitcoin project seem keen on hardening the system's defenses. Making it as robust and accessible as possible so that it is harder to destroy. Doing the hard hat, lunch pale, non-flashy work to ensure that humanity can have financial freedom in the Digital Age. Shoutout to Pieter and Gleb for pushing this forward.
Had a great hour and a half coffee shop discussion yesterday. Felt good.