The scheduled integrations with Ethereum and Bitcoin may displace the need to use a bridge that can open the ecosystem up to malicious operators. The Internet Computer released a roadmap for 2021 and the future, showing plans to roll out integrations with Ethereum and Bitcoin by the end of this year.
Internet Computer is a public blockchain and protocol that enables the developers to install smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) directly on the blockchain. It was launched and incubated in May 2021 after several years of development by Dfinity, which is a nonprofit based in Zurich.
— DFINITY Foundation (@dfinity) January 27, 2022
This direct Bitcoin integration is set to be launched as part of Dfinity’s “Chromium Satoshi Release,” which is planned for Q1 2022. Notably, it will add smart contracts to the Bitcoin blockchain using “Chain Key cryptography,” displacing the requirement to use a bridge that can open the network up to different malicious actors.
Berto Parga Pena, a Dfinity community member, explains that Chain Key cryptography is:
“One of the fundamental breakthroughs enabling the Internet Computer to scale to millions of nodes. It is a set of cryptographic protocols that orchestrate the nodes that make up the Internet Computer and the engine that drives it and makes its operation possible.”
The Director of Product at Dfinity, Diego Prats, wrote in a January 29 roadmap post:
“Smart contracts on the Internet Computer will be able to hold, send and receive Bitcoin, without the need for private keys.”
In the meantime, integration with Ethereum is scheduled for Q3 2022 with the “Vanadium Vitalik Release.” For now, Dfinity has not yet published any other details about the integration. However, Michael Less, the Vice President of Communication highlighted:
“So when you make a transaction on the internet computer in Bitcoin, it actually changes the Bitcoin ledger versus what you see today, with a bridge. It’s like a wrapped Bitcoin or wrapped Ether.”
Less said that Dfinity has chosen to prioritize the integrations to assist in the facilitation of its vision for a multi-chain future. He added:
“If Bitcoin is going to be around forever, how do we actually provide? The best user experience is to combine all these networks directly.”
In December 2021, Dfinity enabled the smart contracts, known as ‘Canisters’ in its ecosystem, to hold their balances of ICP tokens. The ICP now supports 250,000 queries per second, which are executed with 1-2 second transaction finality.
1/ 📢 Announcing the new post-Genesis roadmap to ensure #InternetComputer remains the most powerful general-purpose blockchain for building infinitely scalable Web3 dapps
Titanium: Mid Q1
Chromium: End Q1
— DFINITY Foundation (@dfinity) January 28, 2022
Kyle Peacock, Lead software engineer at Dfinity, stated:
“ICP on Canisters was the important feature that made it viable, and it will probably go crazy once direct integration with BTC and ETH are released.”
On January 28, reports emerged that the Internet Computer blockchain had welcomed its first decentralized exchange (DEX) Sonic. At least two other exchanges are in the pipeline.
The upcoming Polychain Capital-backed DEX “InfinitySwap” seems to be orienting itself to capitalize on the upcoming integration with Bitcoin. Based on the statement by Lee, it will enable the users to stake their bitcoin as liquidity providers.
ICP token gained 56% in the first five days of the New Year amid a flurry of optimistic news. But, it was one of the worst-performing crypto assets last year, losing 97% from its all-time highs set in May 2021. On January 4, Binance said that it would list a financial instrument that would let traders directly swap ICP to and from Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH).
The main idea for a perpetual world computer was mainly inspired by Ethereum technologist Dominic Williams, the Founder and Chief Scientist at Dfinity.