Dec 135 min read

sBTC: Bitcoin Untethered

As I am sure you have heard by now, on December 14, 2022 Muneeb made blockchain history by dropping the sBTC whitepaper. To those in the know, I do not have to explain the significance. To those users who enter the Bitcoin economy of the future, they will more than likely take for granted that the ways they utilize their Bitcoin have always existed. That is how technology stacks, isn't it? Most people don't stop and think about the technological evolution of the products that they use in their everyday life.

I make no secret of my belief that Bitcoin is a technological innovation that is on par with the discovery of the wheel, writing, electricity, etc. The fact is that the vast majority of humanity doesn't understand this at the time, and that is ok. If we waited for everyone to get it, we would likely still be driving Ford Model T's right now.

To go back to previous analogies, if Bitcoin was the wheel, sBTC is the wagon. If Bitcoin is the discovery of writing, sBTC is the printing press. Yes, sBTC is that big of a deal, let me briefly explain:

To understand sBTC first you must understand BTC and ETH

Bitcoin is capable of doing a very basic thing extraordinarily well: it is an immutable blockchain that records transactions transparently to a public ledger. This is one of the reasons that Bitcoin makes for an excellent currency, truthfully the best currency ever created.

Ethereum is also a blockchain, but it allows for peer to peer creation of smart contracts in a decentralized manner. Smart contracts allow for the creation of applications such as DeFi, NFTs, and DAO's.

Bitcoin in and of itself is not capable of having smart contract functionality, but due to its proof of work consensus, and security it rest comfortably on its throne as the king of blockchains. At its all time high it was valued at over one trillion USD. Ethereum at its all time high was roughly half that, and it contained a near equal amount of value based in the various ERC-20 contracts and NFT contracts native to its blockchain.

At this point you may be thinking "how valuable would Bitcoin be if it could use smart contracts like Ethereum?". Well, what if I told you that thanks to sBTC we are about to find out?

Bitcoin, but fully programmable

sBTC allows for the movement of Bitcoin in and out of smart contract applications in a completely trustless manner. This is a solution to an old problem. Prior to sBTC there always had to be a "middleman" of sorts to use Bitcoin in a smart contract application. Since Bitcoin exist as the ultimate "middleman" eliminator, using these methods really are not consistent with the Bitcoin ethos. On a more practical note, if we have learned anything by now it is that anytime you add centralization into a process you introduce the possibility of fraud, mishaps, or outright theft.

sBTC solves this, and as a result can now put hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin to work. Thanks to Stacks and sBTC, the programmability of Stacks smart contracts can be used to truly create a Bitcoin based economy. Let that sink in.

The Bitcoin economy

This idea excites me. Even the idea of DeFi on Bitcoin as exciting as it is to me, doesn't even scratch the surface of what is coming. If it isn't apparent at the time of this publication, what normies think of as the economy is completely wrecked. Even if they do not know why, we do, and that is why we are here. The best thing that I can say about fiat is that it has persisted well past its expiration date. One could argue that for some time fiat was a superior alternative to gold as gold just does not scale well. That said, anyone who understands Bitcoin can easily demonstrate why Bitcoin is the best form of money ever created.

The reason why everyone works harder for less is because of fiat, it is just that simple. Where fiat destroys wealth and prohibits savings, Bitcoin does just the opposite. Now because of the ingenuity and hard work of the Stacks devs, and their making Bitcoin programmable via sBTC we can expand Bitcoin's use in such a way that everyone from the individual to the country can participate in/build the decentralized financial services of the future.

Many governments of the world have this idea that their citizens will be forced ,via poor economic conditions, to use things such as CBDCs that ultimately allow for total control of their citizenry (If this thought doesn't upset you then you really haven't thought about it enough). Bitcoin is the ultimate bulwark against such mass abuse of human rights, and it cannot be stopped. Using Bitcoin as the foundation of a new and improved economy makes perfect sense, and now thanks to sBTC, we can begin to construct the building blocks that will lay the foundation of a better future for all.

The magnitude of what has been accomplished on Stacks is massive, and we can only see a small portion of the possibilities that are now open to us. I am confident that we will remember December 14, 2022 as one of the most significant days in blockchain history. I am here for this and so are you.

Parting thoughts

Thank you so much for reading, and for your support. To say that I am thankful to you all is a massive understatement. I also want to thank the Sigle team for featuring me in their "Meet the Author" series, what an honor. I love what I do, and I couldn't do it without you. So thank you again, as always. Until next time, Jack.

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