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Bitcoin developer announces Miniscript project to enable analysis of scripts, ‘generic signing’ on network

Matthew Chan

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Pieter Wuille, Bitcoin developer at Blockstream, recently announced a new Miniscript project on the Bitcoin-dev maling list on Twitter.

According to the website, Miniscript is a type of language which can be used to write Bitcoin scripts in a more structured way, something which would allow comprehensive analysis, composition of data and “generic signing” on the network.

The script also consists of different implementation cases that included spending conditions based on multiple signatures, hash locks and time locks.

Wuille identified that the main focus of the Bitcoin scripts’ functionality is to facilitate more complex applications, which had been “impossible” until now.

He said,

My hope is that Miniscript, together with things like PSBT can reduce some of the barriers between pieces of software. Ideally, the executive’s 2FA setup could interact flawlessly with the cold storage setup, computing the necessary composed script, and still be able to sign.”

Wuille added that the project also had a policy compiler feature, which would lay down the conditions under which “an output should be spent,” with respect to relative probabilities associated with it.

Over the course of 2019, Blockstream developers have been relatively active. Earlier this year, Wuille had also revealed two Bitcoin Improvement Proposals [BIP] to provide an upgrade to the largest cryptocurrency in the industry.

It was revealed that the proposals included the implementation of Taproot on the network, which was developed to improve Bitcoin’s privacy. Alongside Taproot, Schnorr upgrades were also mentioned, upgrades which would be potentially carried out in a soft fork in order to deal with the scalability issues of Bitcoin.

However, Wuille specifically mentioned on Twitter that Miniscript would be “mostly unrelated” to their work with Taproot as the script already worked with Bitcoin’s current code.

That being said, Wuille concluded by saying,

I’ll work on incorporating parts of this in Bitcoin Core if that’s desired [I believe it could be very useful], but ideally it gets included in many pieces of wallet technology.”

Matthew is a full-time member of AMBCrypto. Prior to joining AMBCrypto, Chan had an extensive 2-year investigative business reporting stint with Tribune media. He has been following the blockchain space and currently writes about blockchain products and cryptocurrencies. Matthew will be reachable at matthew@ambcrypto.com.