Blockstream, an emerging crypto startup focusing on the development of ‘sidechains’, has announced its release of the alpha version of open source code behind its first major project, Sidechain Elements.
The startup received $21 million in venture funding late last year, one of the largest rounds in the industry at the time, and whose contributors included a number of notable tech leaders. The round affirmed growing investor interest in sidechains, believed by many as harnessing the future power behind blockchain technology.
Blockstream began its work on sidechains roughly one year ago. The concept aims to create an entire ecosystem of alternative, interoperable blockchains supporting the decentralized transfer of digital property. Put differently, “Sidechains enable innovators to safely develop new applications without jeopardizing Bitcoin’s core code and putting billions of dollars worth of digital currency at risk.” The ‘sidechains paper’ is said to have been downloaded over 10,000 times within the first few days.
Sidechain Elements introduces core software to build an initial sidechain for testing, eight functions not supported by Bitcoin, a basic wallet and the code for moving coins between blockchains. The eight new functions include Confidential Transactions, Basic Asset Issuance, Relative Lock Time, among others.
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Developers are invited to test and use the code for their projects and work collaboratively with the startup.
To date, a handful of banks have disclosed their intent to try blockchain technology for streamlining transaction processes. Sources familiar with the industry previously told Finance Magnates that many more are interested. On Blockstream’s blog, Adam Back said that the company would join developers in their research effort, and noted the scale of institutional interest in blockchain technology:
“We’ll undertake many of these efforts, and anticipate many others will happen independent of Blockstream with over 30 major financial institutions launching blockchain innovation projects, as well as interest in this tech from other Bitcoin and blockchain-based ventures.”
The company also said it will soon be unveiling a draft of its Bitcoin Improvement Proposal, which envisions a “two-way peg mechanism” to which sidechains will be migrated.