Conflux, a layer 1 blockchain that combines proof-of-work and proof-of-stake algorithms, has launched a new solution that allows users to interact with Bitcoin and other networks. The solution, called ShuttleFlow, is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and supports smart contracts and asset transfers. Users can use bitcoin as gas fees, stake bitcoin for network security, and access inscription-based tokens on Conflux.
Addressing Bitcoin’s Limitations
In an unprecedented move, Chinese blockchain platform Conflux announced the development of an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible Layer 2 (L2) solution for Bitcoin. This innovation aims to address Bitcoin’s limitations in transaction speed and smart contract capabilities while leveraging its existing security and user base.
The current Bitcoin network, while revered for its decentralized and secure nature, struggles with processing transactions quickly and efficiently. Additionally, it lacks the built-in functionality to run smart contracts, the complex programs that power decentralized applications (dApps) like DeFi platforms and NFT marketplaces.
dApp Support and High Speed
Conflux’s L2 solution tackles these challenges by creating a separate sidechain that operates alongside the Bitcoin mainnet. This sidechain, compatible with the EVM language used by Ethereum, allows developers to easily port their existing dApps to Bitcoin without rewriting them from scratch. Additionally, the L2 can process transactions significantly faster than the mainnet, potentially achieving thousands of transactions per second.
Another key feature is the ability to pay gas fees, transaction fees on the network, in Bitcoin itself. This eliminates the need for users to hold separate tokens for gas, simplifying the user experience and potentially attracting more Bitcoin holders to the L2 platform.
Pros and Cons
A Medium post by the network stated:
“Conflux Network is making an exciting strategic move by introducing an EVM-compatible Bitcoin Layer 2 solution. By leveraging Bitcoin’s strength and integrating it seamlessly into our network with forward-thinking features like PoS-based staking capabilities, our network is offering users more channels to interact with decentralized applications built on top of the platform, marking a significant step towards achieving greater interoperability between different blockchains.”
The announcement of Conflux’s L2 solution has generated mixed reactions. Bitcoin purists who value the network’s simplicity and immutability raise concerns about potential centralization and security risks associated with sidechains. Conversely, Ethereum enthusiasts see the L2 as a gateway to expand the reach of their dApps to a wider user base familiar with Bitcoin.
Testnet Launch Soon
Conflux plans to launch a testnet for the L2 solution in February-March 2024, followed by the mainnet launch in May 2024. The success of this venture hinges on its ability to address security concerns, attract developers and users, and ultimately, demonstrate its value in scaling Bitcoin without compromising its core principles.
Whether Conflux’s L2 becomes a game-changer for Bitcoin or fades into obscurity remains to be seen. However, its emergence undeniably sparks a vital conversation about the future of Bitcoin and its potential to evolve alongside the ever-changing blockchain landscape.