Taproot Wizards released a cartoon yesterday called CatVM. I will not refer to it as a whitepaper, those are real academic documents for adults. In the cartoon, interspersed amongst the absurd childish narratives, were a few valuable technical insights regarding different scaling proposals in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Of course, in true cartoon fashion, buried between wild exaggeration and embellishment.

The end goal of the cartoon was to propose a new mechanism for moving in and out of scaling layers built on top of Bitcoin. To disentangle that actual proposal from the cartoon, we’ll have to break down the two pieces involved.

The Building Blocks

Rijndael’s first OP_CAT experiment was constructing a vault, a scheme that allows a user to create an intermediate “staging” transaction to withdraw their funds from the vault. This kicks off a timelock, during which they can at any time send their funds back to the vault or a secure cold storage wallet, and after the timelock the…

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