On April 27 the startup Parity Technologies announced the release of a new protocol stack using a new implementation of the Bitcoin software. The ‘Parity Bitcoin’ client is written in Rust adding one more alternative implementation to the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Another Version of the Bitcoin Software is Born
The startup Parity Technologies is a blockchain-based firm led by the former Ethereum CTO and co-founder Gavin Wood. The company’s first product was the popular ‘Parity Ethereum,’ an ETH client that integrates into a browser. The team behind the new bitcoin client says the software was built from the ground up, with great attention to detail.
The Parity Bitcoin client (Pbtc) is a full bitcoin node much like the existing software today, the only difference is the protocol is written in a different programming language. The Pbtc protocol stack can act as a wallet, verifying node, and also import Bitcoind among its many features using the command line. The computer hosting the Parity client also needs to install the Rustc 1.16.0 and Cargo software in order to use the new protocol with the Rust codebase.
Furthermore, the Parity Bitcoin software is open source licensed under GNU GPL and will enable other projects to either fork or build upon it further. The Rust codebase is also used widely among developers, being known for its ease of use and reliability. Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, the founder of Zcash, believes the Rust version of the Bitcoin software is great for decentralization.
“Zcash is based on Bitcoin, and we’ve started using Rust, so we’re delighted to see a full Bitcoin implementation in Rust from a good team,” Wilcox-O’Hearn explained. “This kind of innovation helps move the whole ecosystem forward.”
Diversity and Collaboration
Dr. Gavin Wood
The project was initially funded by the mining pools Bitmain, Bixin, and F2Pool. The three company’s said during the announcement that a Rust version of Bitcoin is an excellent addition to the growing number of Bitcoin implementations. “The diversity and choice better represent the different participants in the ecosystem, allowing everyone to adopt a solution that works for them,” said the company’s joint statement.
Parity Technologies is also developing its Polkadot software that aims to increase interoperability between multiple blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Gavin Wood is thrilled to unveil the new Bitcoin implementation and is excited to see it foster development. Moreover Wood detailed he would love to see more collaboration between the Bitcoin developer community and alternative blockchain programmers.
We’re glad to hand this to the Bitcoin developer community and hope the fresh start can form a springboard for innovation. We’d love to work with other Bitcoin protocol folk to get key improvements like Schnorr signature schemes widely adopted
Scaling Neutral but Pull Requests Are Welcome
The new Bitcoin software comes at a time when alternative implementations are faced with scrutiny over the scaling debate. When asked if the project supported Segwit a Parity Bitcoin developer stated the software was currently neutral.
“It does not commit to any previously discussed scaling approach, and neither favors Segwit nor increased block size. It’s a neutral release and pull requests are always welcome,” explained a Parity team member.
What do you think about the Parity Bitcoin client? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Parity Tech, and Twitter.
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