Introducing Bcoin

Like many in the community, we have been excited about the endless opportunities for cryptocurrencies. However, our enthusiasm was often met with skepticism or apathy. Frustrated with the lack of real world applications, we started Purse to provide clear cut use cases for consumers.

We began by providing deep discounts on Amazon. We’ve been incredibly successful in this venture. Purse now represents the largest consumer use case outside exchanges and carries more inventory than Amazon, Google Shopping, or eBay — with lower prices. Our mission is to bring make Bitcoin useful. That means providing a superior experience and value compared to using fiat.

Why we built infrastructure

When we started Purse, we spent a lot of time thinking about how to implement Bitcoin. We tested third party services that promised to make Bitcoin simpler and more secure, but in the end, they did not meet our needs in terms of both functionality and scalability. Unable to find a simple solution for managing our wallet infrastructure, we built on top of Bitcoin Core for our initial wallet infrastructure.

Marketplaces that use bitcoin can pass on savings from transaction fees while serving a global user base on Day 1.

While Bitcoin Core is battle-tested and the go-to standard, the codebase is difficult to work with, even for an experienced software engineer. As a result, only a handful of developers contribute actively to Bitcoin Core — and a only few dozen individuals fully understand it and all of its unique quirks. Additionally, it wasn’t built for large marketplaces and takes excessively long to implement new features.

These conditions make it increasingly difficult for bitcoin businesses to build applications, hindering the development of new use cases. In turn, this slows down adoption. This can be frustrating for those who wish to bring new products and services to the industry.

The most advanced fullnode bitcoin implementation

Christopher Jeffrey, a former BitPay employee and long-time contributor to many open source projects, joined Purse as CTO last year to build “bcoin”. Having a fullnode implementation that we can utilize and build off of here at Purse is crucial for the success of our future products, and ensures our infrastructure can take advantage of new additions to the bitcoin codebase as they become available.

However, fullnode’s come with their own unique set of issues as implementing a fullnode wallet from scratch is challenging, to say the least, and even Satoshi warned against it historically.

Our goal is to accelerate the development of the protocol — solve some scaling issues by implementing Lightning, and enable cool features that will allow for new use cases, like for instance, smart contracts. Our motivation isn’t to defy Satoshi, become a “menace to the network,” or take sides in the block size debate. We just want to make Bitcoin great again.

Not Just a Product

Bcoin is not a product: it’s infrastructure for the entire ecosystem. Bcoin is the most versatile and easy-to-use bitcoin library to date, with support for Segwit, Lightning, and Schnorr signatures — and other popular new BIPs. We’ve open sourced bcoin to accelerate the next generation of killer apps, even if they’re not built at Purse…

Here are some of the most noteworthy features.

Technical Features:

  • Full Blockchain Validation
  • SPV mode
  • Runs natively in browsers and apps
  • Wallet system & wallet database (HD keys w/ BIP44 derivation)
  • Mempool/Miner
  • Bitcoind-compatible JSON RPC API
  • Support for: Segwit, Lightning Network (bcoin-plasma), Versionbits, CSV, BIP70, BIP151, BIP152, BIP150, and MAST.
  • Open source (MIT license)

Over the next couple of weeks we will be integrating bcoin directly into Purse’s backend; battle-testing it accordingly to ensure it’s ready for primetime. And, once fully live on the site, developers can feel comfortable knowing that bcoin is ready for use on large scale, production ready projects.

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