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January 10, 2022 by Lipika Deka
The DFINITY Foundation announced that the team focusing on implementing the direct integration of its native Internet Computer [ICP] with Bitcoin [BTC] has completed its first phase to unlock smart contracts on the BTC network. Announcing via Twitter, the foundation quoted a line from Vitalik Buterin’s “future will be multi-chain, but it will NOT be cross-chain..” asserting that ‘Direct integration is next-level cryptography and R&D called it.’
Through a series of tweets, DFINITY mentioned that in order for both networks to ‘talk to one another,’ an ICP canister smart contract needs an ECDSA public key and to sign in a secure way and submit the transaction to BTC.
1/ #BTC 🤝 #ICP direct integration (🚫🌉)@dfinity cryptographers & engineers hackin’ over holidays and weekends… phase 1 ✅ to unlock smart contracts on BTC
✅ Phase 1: Threshold ECDSA signatures (see demo)
🛠️ Phase 3: BTCICP full integration pic.twitter.com/KEfJpx0c8q
— DFINITY Foundation (@dfinity) January 9, 2022
The announcement of the integration of Internet Computer and Bitcoin was first made on September 2021 through a press release that claimed will facilitate smart contracts to directly operate on bitcoin balances for the first time. A community vote was initiated on September 15 and approved on September 17 with a 96.55% consensus.
As per the blog post,
The Internet Computer protocol will be able to securely generate the ECDSA signatures involved in bitcoin transactions on behalf of smart contracts, using chain key cryptography [after the Taproot Bitcoin upgrade in November, Schnorr signatures will also be created]. Meanwhile, Internet Computer network nodes will directly consume Bitcoin blocks, to ensure that balance information is always available to smart contracts.
DFINITY Foundation extensive web of developers
The Internet Computer network was launched by the not-for-profit DFINITY Foundation based in Zürich and is joined by many community contributors. Project R&D is pursued by a team that consists of more than 200 people that includes many leading cryptographers and computer science researchers and engineers. The project is the result of a multi-year R&D effort, which concluded in the launch of the Internet Computer network’s Genesis on the 10th of May 2021.
Two weeks ago, Dfinity’s Internet Computer connected Ethereum Bridge. Dubbed as Terabithia, the bridge enables cross-chain contract communication, asset mirroring, and transfers across different blockchains and is built on a forked version of the Ethereum scaling tool StarkWare.