The Course Ahead
At inception, Bitcoin Gold was focused on providing a cryptocurrency in the Bitcoin model, but which was more decentralized for miners. Today, our focus is on making BTG a more trustless and useful cryptocurrency for everyone, and that change in focus is evident in our current development roadmap.
While we’ve always been broadly pro-crypto and believed in collaboration, the push to improve usability and usefulness entails a push towards interoperability. This means adapting so that BTG can be used with the best smart contract protocols; it means pooling security from bigger chains and offering it to smaller chains; it means making BTG, and BTG’s value, accessible throughout the smart-contract ecosystem, leveraging their security models as well as their technical capabilities: it means creating more value for everyone.
The development items on our current roadmap fall into four general areas:
Interoperability: things which grant or enhance the ability for BTG to interact bidirectionally with other blockchains and blockchain ecosystems, like Polkadot and Ethereum. Work on the bridge to Phala Network is already underway.
Applications: things which can be done after that interoperability is established. These hint at what’s possible, but need to wait until Interoperability comes to life. One notable item here: we plan to gradually shift from our traditional Board-based governance structure to a modern DAO-based model, which we expect to bring new people into the governance process and to help decentralize management of the chain and the project.
Infrastructure: these are core items in the BTG tech stack which need updates and refreshers. These are already underway, and some are very near completion, like new version(s) of our explorers, and a very-updated version of ElectrumG.
Lightning Network: establishing a robust and effective LN as a layer-2 solution is still very much on our development agenda, although current transaction volumes and fees don’t necessitate a solution at the moment. We want to build up the infrastructure and, most importantly, the user tool set, for an effective and easy-to-use LN before it becomes a critical need to alleviate transaction fee concerns and allow people to continue to make micropayments.
Here are all the things we’re currently doing or planning to do:
BTG-Polkadot Bridge: we’re building a lightweight BTG-Polkadot Bridge based on a Phala Bridge solution, built in partnership with Phala Network. This will enable cross-chain transactions between BTG and Phala, and leads to BTG gaining access to advanced blockchain functions like smart contracts, DeFi protocols, on-chain governance, and eventually connect to external blockchains like Ethereum.
Bridged ERC20/Wrapped Token: we’re creating a trustless wrapped token (like WBTC) through the cross-chain bridge, and making it accessible in the Polkadot and Ethereum DeFi ecosystems. This depends on the BTG-Polkadot Bridge.
Smart Contract Integration: we’ll connect BTG to smart-contract-enabled blockchains on Polkadot and / or Ethereum, allowing wide use cases to be developed for BTG. This depends on the Bridged ERC20/Wrapped Token.
Confidential Smart Contracts: integrating with Phala Network’s Confidential Smart Contracts to provide on-chain confidentiality. This depends on the BTG-Polkadot Bridge.
BTG for DEX: we’ll work to establish BTG trading pairs on a well-known DEX (e.g. Uniswap) and bootstrap liquidity, making BTG more accessible and attracting more liquidity around the world. This depends on the Bridged ERC20/Wrapped Token.
BTG for Lending: we’ll list BTG as a lending asset on well-known lending platforms (e.g. Aave) and bootstrap liquidity. This will empower investors and miners to better plan and utilize their BTG income. This depends on the Bridged ERC20/Wrapped Token.
DAO On-chain Governance: we’ll build a DAO structure as a smart contract to replace the current governance model. This will take time, but the intent is to fully move the Endowment and any future project income to the DAO for budget management. We also hope for this to open governance to the community to participate in development, decision making, and spending actions. This depends on Smart Contract Integration.
CCBN: we’re committed to fully Implementing CCBN – first as an add-on script, and later as part of core consensus code, deployed first to testnet and then to mainnet. CCBN is a decentralized approach to thwart secret mining attacks by notarizing blocks to independent blockchains, providing a way to resolve chain splits in favor of honest mining, which will greatly enhance on-chain security.
ElectrumG 4.0: it’s time to upgrade to the upstream Electrum 4.0 client and the latest ElectrumX Server with improved security, performance, and more features, including: PSBT support, payment server, native Android support.
Bitcoin Gold Core v21: continuing to follow upstream updates brings in value bugfixes and security improvements, and also introduces new features including schnorr signatures and taproot.
Refreshed Explorer: we’re deploying a new blockchain explorer (Blockbook and / or Bitcore v8) for improved stability, appearance, and usability.
LN Client: we’ll deploy a stable BTG version of a mature lightning client to testnet and then mainnet (lnd, c-lightning, and/or eclair.) Even if fees don’t demand an LN infrastructure, a Lightning Network can still deliver greater efficiency on transactions.
ElectrumG Lightning Network Integration: after deploying new Lightning Network clients, we can enable Lighting Network within ElectrumG and connect it the Bitcoin Gold Lightning Network for near-instant transactions. This depends on both ElectrumG 4.0 and the LN Client.
BTCPay Integration of BTG Lightning Network: BTCPay, the best decentralized payment gateway, already supports BTG, so extending BTCPay to support BTG LN is next. This depends on the LN Client.