The vast assemblage is projected to bring forth massive outcomes for bitcoin’s usability.
‘Bitcoin Improvement Proposals’ (BIPs) concerning Taproot and Schnorr promotion to the chief cryptocurrency, is under scrutiny by an army of around 200 developers. This could introduce aggravated privacy and scalability.
Initiated by Xapo bitcoin core contributor Anthony Towns, it intends to bring on board as many developers as possible to inspect the changes, to battle-test the BIPs and ensure the ideas are safe.
“This is a way to make sure more people understand the proposal as early as possible,” Towns said.
Organizers have been referring the review group as an ‘experiment’ as this kind of a review group has never been witnessed before. Besides, they are not completely sure how it will go. In Chaincode developer John Newbery’s weekly, Towns points out bitcoin review group as a model for curbing in developers into the review process.
BIPs are usually public. This means that anyone can review and present feedback, such as, in the worst situation, where the code’s security is susceptible to breach. This is done through the numerous avenues for offering feedback. However, most are unaware of the working of this process.
The project description admits that ‘not many people are familiar with reviewing BIPs in the first place, and there are a lot of concepts involved in the three BIPs for people to get their heads around.’
Despite the odds, Steve Lee, project manager at Square Crypto, has no doubts that it is the ultimate way to get more developers engaged. He adds, “People from all over the world have registered, and many names I have not heard before.”
Square is a key player in bitcoin tech owed to its massive investments and innovations.
With the spread in code change, consent seems unattainable. According to Towns, a three-step process is involved. That is identifying the need for a change, writing the code that executes the change and lastly, ‘having everyone using bitcoin adopt the new code so that the change happens,’ says Anthony.
He adds that the review group is part of stage one with the partakers examining the BIPs or rather technical proposals for a better bitcoin.
“It is where we get the details nailed down so that we can work out if things make sense or its all pie-in-the-sky dream,”Towns said.
The process itself is long. Though, over the last decade, several BIPs have made it into the bitcoin code. Notably the renowned is Segregated Witness(SegWit) which brought with it lighting network, an early-stage technology that might be bitcoin’s best opportunity at raising its number of users.
The addition of Schnorr to bitcoin has been a matter if deliberation among the developers for years. With no greater problem encountered as of now, it alongside Taproot seems a perfect fit in.
With the current efforts, it is believed that more reviewers will be involved in the BIPs. Also, experts will be offering guidance to developers who are virgins in the BIP process.
In a period of two months from now, the partakers will be spending four-plus hours a week sifting proposals and deliberating over them in small groups.
A question-answer session is being held by the BIP group involving gurus with a diverse and in-depth understanding of bitcoin’s core technology.
Easy proposition making
According to Towns, the formation of the group was spontaneous just as a localized bitcoin development process usually is.
Through Internet Relay Chat (IRC), developers chat about modifications to bitcoin. The chat group is entirely open to any bitcoiner whether it is to read the transcripts to learn about bitcoin or to add fresh ideas.
A good example is a discussion based on how to get the change Taproot to scale new heights.
“A few of us were chatting on IRC about the Taproot proposal and how to move on from the current draft BIPs to the next steps, and how we would even know when people were comfortable enough with the BIPs that it was time to do that,” Towns said. “A couple of hours later we had a shared doc with a rough draft of what that might look like, and it ballooned from there.”
With the impromptu start of the two-month program, it’s a clear indication of the versatility of the bitcoin development process. Therefore, anybody with a clear understanding of the present processes is free to take part.