Last October Robin Linus from Zerosync dropped a bit of a bomb in the form of BitVM. One of the longest running criticisms of Bitcoin is that it is not possible to make arbitrary programs to control how money is spent or locked. Bitcoin only has a very limited amount of programmability in its scripting language, and the primitives available are extremely constrained. You can check a signature, you can add a timelock to something, you can manipulate data in a few simple ways, but that’s it.

You can program a Bitcoin UTXO to require a signature check, a timelock verification, etc. But you cannot program it to unlock based on any arbitrary conditions. Robin’s insight with BitVM was that one single primitive in the field of computing could be enforced in Bitcoin script: a NAND gate, one of the basic primitives of computing at the physical/electrical level. Every computation that is possible can be constructed out of NAND gates.




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