On March 13 the Bitcoin network experienced a historic event. During the early morning hours, the first block from an alternative client, not written in Satoshi’s original C++ code, was mined on the mainnet.
Block 457010: The First Block Ever Mined By Client Not Written In Satoshi’s C++ Framework
Just recently the mining pool BTC.com mined the first block ever written in an entirely different codebase. The alternative implementation of the bitcoin protocol named ‘Bcoin’ is written in node.js. Bcoin was built by developer Christopher Jeffrey, the Chief Technical Officer at Purse and former employee for Bitpay.
Jeffrey is a long-time developer of open source code and has contributed to many different projects. Bcoin has been in development for almost two years, and the 1.0.0 beta version was released this past February. The alternative Bcoin implementation has been tested on the Bitcoin testnet and is currently used in production within the backend and wallet system at purse.io. However, this is the first time a mined Bcoin block was battle-tested on Bitcoin’s mainnet as stated by the miners on Github:
We just made the first Bcoin block: 457010
Bcoin Gets Some ‘Battle Testing’ On Mainnet
Bcoin’s node.js. protocol offers full blockchain validation, runs natively in browsers and apps, includes SPV mode, wallet infrastructure, mempool/miner configuration, and is Bitcoind compatible among other features. Furthermore, the alternative client provides support for many BIP proposals such as BIP70, BIP150, BIP151, and BIP152. The alternative client allows developers to test and experiment with a multitude of applications and scaling methods. Many open source programmers believe various implementations can help decentralization and can also uncover errors within the dominant client.
“Multiple implementations are also good for standardization; in a monoculture, the dominant software becomes the standard, giving the developers of the dominant software a higher degree of control over the future development of the protocol than was originally intended,” explained Ethereum developer Vitalik Buterin back in 2013. “If there is only one implementation, errors get uncovered later rather than sooner, and the result is a sort of Talebian ‘stability breeding its own instability.’”
Moreover, Bcoin also supports other integrations such as MAST, the Lightning Network, Segregated Witness and more. Purse and Bcoin creator Christopher Jeffrey say they open sourced the protocol “to accelerate the next generation of killer apps.” Following the first block mined not written in C++, Bcoin developer Christopher Jeffrey stated:
Up until now, bcoin in production usually just meant the chain, mempool, and wallet code. Excited to see that the mining code is finally getting some battle testing.
Bitcoin.com spoke with Purse founder Andrew Lee about the recently mined Bcoin block and he said he’s very pleased with Christopher Jeffrey’s accomplishment.
“It’s a pretty significant milestone in the path towards decentralized protocol development,” Lee told Bitcoin.com. “I’m very proud of Christopher and what we’ve built at Purse/Bcoin. With hostility and fatigue at an all time high, the event gives me hope that we can come to a resolution that doesn’t involve a chain split.”
Additionally, on the weekend of March 24, a Bcoin Hackathon will be taking place in San Francisco at the Hackreactor HQ. Attendees will hear from Bcoin developer Christopher Jeffrey, as well as build cryptocurrency applications with the chance to win three prizes – including a 1BTC award and a signed copy of “The Internet of Money” written by Andreas Antonopoulos.
What do you think about the first block mined using a client not written with the original codebase? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Twitter and feature image via @bitcoinsite.
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