Bitcoin will hardfork in Mimblewimble technology — It’s inevitable.
Bitcoin is a revolution. One of the most misunderstood aspects of the revolution is that, unlike the traditional fiat system, the best ideas are celebrated and incorporated into the system and the bad ideas will be discarded. That’s why there will be be no helicopter money or QE in Bitcoin. Just think about it. How was Segwit implemented? The big money miners and VC backed firms didn’t want Segwit. They wanted the big blocks that came with Bcash or Segwit2X. Neither of those were implemented because a grass roots push to run BIP148 full nodes forced the miner’s hands who subsequently cancelled Segwit2X. The people who don’t want the best technology will always speak loudly, as they did in the block size debate, but in Bitcoin, the best tech will be implemented. Forced down their throat or not.
Recently, I was on Adam Meister’s show and one of the guests, Lorien Gamaroff, told me that the Government would shut down all coins that offer privacy for their users. As he put it, the Government needs to “get their pound of flesh”. This is the same kind of thinking that the anti-segwit crowd put forth and, frankly, it’s just not how Bitcoin works. Despite these neo-luddite’s view that the best tech should not go into Bitcoin because it will disrupt banks or scare Government officials, throughout its history, the best tech has been incorporated into Bitcoin.
We’re about to begin the next debate about the future of Bitcoin and in fact, it’s already started. The calls for no encryption will become louder and louder by the neo-luddites, but when Tom Elvis Jedusor released the Mimblewimble whitepaper on July 19, 2016 Bitcoin’s destiny was sealed. The only question was in what form, and what timeline this destiny would manifest itself.
Mimblewimble is a technological tour de force. It’s the culmination of research that has been done by cryptographers for decades and put together in brilliant fashion by the creator. It will improve scaling in Bitcoin by 10X and allow for private/fungible/confidential transactions at the same time. It’s been vetted on paper for the last two and a half years and now it’s being implemented in the real world by grin and beam and soon to come MWC which’s airdrop will open registration on April 20, 2019. This will allow Bitcoin holders to register to get their own MWC coins and benefit from this technology even before Bitcoin incorporates it.
The writing is on the wall and no, Mimblewimble will not be implemented as a sidechain or extension blocks. The only way to reap the benefits of Mimblewimble is by hard forking it into Bitcoin itself because extension blocks or sidechains won’t change the fact that the initial block download time puts running the Bitcoin blockchain out of reach for most users. This will be a colossal change to Bitcoin, and a change for the better. It will be much bigger than Segwit and much more hotly debated, but it’s inevitable.
This change won’t occur for many years and it won’t occur until much after Mimblewimble matures. If I was forced to make a prediction about it, I’d say it’s not likely to occur before 5 years and not likely to occur after 10 years, but it’s hard to pin point the dates of these types of events.
Before Mimblewimble is incorporated into Bitcoin, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. At the moment, Mimblewimble’s UI is very difficult to use. For instance, currently if you paid your landlord with a Mimblewimble coin, he/she could immediately spend the transaction at the grocery store and since Mimblewimble transactions are routinely merged into a single transaction by miners, you’d have no proof of payment and it would just appear that your payment went directly to the grocery store. To solve this, you’d have to use a 2 of 2 multisig transaction, which are not yet implemented on any of the Mimblewimble chains. This is one reason we are working on 2 of 2 multisig on MWC. It is also the basis for atomic swaps and HTLCs (which enable lightning network). Yes, lightning network works on Mimblewimble. It’s also part of what’s needed on a Mimblewimble chain before it’s implemented in Bitcoin. All this work must be done ahead of time so that the transition to Mimblewimble in Bitcoin is very smooth. The promise of Mimblewimble + Lightning Network is what early Bitcoin adopters had hoped for a privacy, scalable, and fungible currency that can be used by everyone, but as much as we’d like to be here now, it’s years out. During this time period, the Mimblewimble coins will outpeform Bitcoin and other altcoins as it continues to prove itself in the real world by making all these necessary upgrades.
As a Bitcoin holder, you should understand that information is asymmetric and if you know this, you might want to position yourself for this inevitable future. One way to position yourself is by registering for the free MimbleWimbleCoin airdrop which opens on April 20, 2019. This coin will have a limited supply of 20 million and Bitcoin holders who register will receive a full 30% of the supply that will ever exists. We hope all Bitcoin holders will help us develop this incredible technology while benefiting from the free airdrop themselves.