While the Bitcoin network is not programmable, it serves as an excellent settlement layer for building robust applications, said Alex Miller, CEO of Hero.
Hiro provides Bitcoin development tools for developers to build on the Stacks blockchain. Miller Stacks inherits the security of the Bitcoin network through a consensus mechanism called proof of transfer (although this is a controversial statement for some).
Miller told Cointelegraph that the value proposition behind building programs on top of Bitcoin is “really a well-established, well-accepted, highly trusted settlement layer.”
He added that because of this, blockchain is much easier to build on top of than other smart contract platforms that do computation and settlement at the same layer.
“When both your settlement and your calculation are on the same layer, it really complicates things in a lot of ways. […] You don’t want to adjust your settlement layer that much.
That allows developers to “do more innovation faster” with “extremely robust capabilities” at layer two.
Miller says that this is what Satoshi Nakomoto thought, so it shouldn’t surprise us that developers are making Bitcoin programmable.
“Satoshi himself, as in He wrote that he foresaw additional layers in 2010, 2011. [and] Additional chains will build on this, to offer all kinds of programming.
The Stax developer ecosystem has grown rapidly since the platform launched in January 2021, Miller said, adding, “We have hundreds of developers and thousands of smart contracts and applications working in the ecosystem.”
In its first year of launch, the Stacks blockchain generated more than 350 million monthly API requests, 40,000 Hero wallet downloads and 2,500 Clarity smart contracts deployed, with those figures expected to increase further by 2022.
Miller says we’ll live in a “multi-chain future” without any smart contract platform at all. “Ethereum will be around for at least a little while, but there are many other modern contract platforms out there that haven’t stood the test of time,” he said.
Related: Stacks’ Mitchell Cuevas talks about building integrated DeFi bridges for Bitcoin users
As for where the crypto market is headed, Miller said that as crypto applications become more “accepted, integrated and used in our society, the volatility of crypto will decrease.”
“[By] By bringing programmability and smart contracts to Bitcoin, it will help further acceptance of Bitcoin as a technical and financial asset in our society, thereby reducing volatility while maximizing long-term value.