The bitcoin cash (BCH) community has recently been discussing the use of op-codes with the BCH blockchain. The technology may allow the creation of different types of metadata implementations such as colored coins and representative tokens, along with the ability to perform smart contracts, however in a more simplified manner compared to ethereum’s solidity programming language. The subject of re-activating certain op-codes as well as scripting abilities has garnered some excitement from BCH proponents and this May – after the bitcoin cash hard fork – the community will see some new op-code features.
Bitcoin cash is forking on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 and will feature a 32 MB block size upgrade as well as “several bitcoin script operation codes (op-codes) being added or reactivated.” Op-codes are an abbreviation for ‘operation codes’ which is basically a portion of machine language instructions that enable the performance of a certain task. The Bitcoin Cash codebase uses a scripting system in transactions using a Forth-like process, and the protocol has the ability to create colored coins and simplified smart contracts that can perform automatic functions.
Bringing back op-code deployment has been discussed for quite some time, but was recently brought back up when Bitcoin Unlimited’s Andrew Stone launched the ‘Op-Group’ meetings on Github. Bitcoin cash developer participants at the meeting included Amaury Sechét of Bitcoin ABC, Steve Shadders of Nchain, Dan Connolly of bitcoin.j.cash, and several other programmers.
According to the Op-Group meeting, the devs will re-instate 9 op-codes that were once available in previous bitcoin implementations. Some of the op-code phrases were removed because there was a fear of bugs. For example, in an earlier version of the bitcoin codebase, the op-code ‘OP_LSHIFT’ allegedly could crash any bitcoin node if it was exploited. The reinstating of op-codes came with some outrage within the bitcoin cash community. When Bitcoin Unlimited fans brought up the subject there was an argument about using op-codes or the recently developed Counterparty Cash implementation. During the heated debate, Bitcoin Unlimited supporters showed some angst against ABC developers.
Amaury Séchet stressed during the initial discourse, “If Counterparty breaks, only Counterparty breaks. If OP_GROUP breaks, Bitcoin Cash entirely breaks.” The Counterparty protocol uses a totally separate network to complete the tokenization process rather than the BCH chain.
The devs must create a generic system (or suite of interactive systems) that produce secure blockchain-based tokens, full wallet compatibility, and even an audit solution so the public can check the validity of tokens created. Further developers will be allowed to utilize Nchain’s intellectual property assets. The firm recently launched its completed 1.0 version of its new ‘Nakasendo’ SDK for BCH devs.
Bitcoin cash fans are excited to see BCH take on some neat features like creating colored coins or tokens that can represent any virtual or physical asset like stocks, bonds, precious metals, loyalty points, and much more. Smart contracts could also bring the advancement of basic types of automated processes like leaving funds for someone to receive at a later time, or more complicated ideas like decentralized autonomous organizations.