StarkWare Adds Momentum To Bitcoin Upgrade Plans With CAT Push

StarkWare, the entity behind Starknet, has announced that its plan to expand its scaling technology to the Bitcoin network will not result in Starknet being forked or the creation of a new token. 

StarkWare also clarified that its primary focus remains on scaling Ethereum through validity rollups and ZK Proofs, despite its recent efforts to bring scalability solutions to the Bitcoin ecosystem. 

Plans For The Bitcoin Network

StarkWare, Starknet’s parent entity, is generally associated with scaling Ethereum through its Starknet ZK rollup. However, StarkWare co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson always wanted to scale Bitcoin using STARK proofs. Ben-Sasson stated that it had always been a dream to connect Starknet to Bitcoin. 

“I was red-pilled at the Bitcoin conference in 2013.”

However, with many feeling that StarkWare could fork Starknet, the latter clarified X, highlighting its commitment to enhancing the efficiency of Ethereum scaling in 2024. Starknet says it will serve Ethereum and Bitcoin without creating a new layer or token exclusively for Bitcoin. Instead, it would act as an execution layer that scales Bitcoin and Ethereum simultaneously. 

“Starknet will continue focusing on scaling Ethereum like we’ve done since launching its first Validity Rollup. We will notably continue our work in the ZK field as public goods and strive to scale Ethereum in the most efficient way possible.”

It further added, 

“Our goal, consistent since the initiation of Starknet, is to develop STARK proofs to enhance the scalability and integrity of blockchains that we believe in. StarkWare won’t fork Starknet to create a new layer on Bitcoin or establish an exclusive token for the Bitcoin ecosystem. Instead, Starknet will (try to) act as an execution layer that scales both Bitcoin and Ethereum simultaneously. Its security, governance, and ecosystem will all be driven by the STRK token.”

The Complications Of Upgrading Bitcoin

No one fully understands the complexities of upgrading Bitcoin because, unlike other chains, there is no clear upgrade process or protocol. Progress generally happens after consensus is reached among researchers, coders, project maintainers, full node operators, and miners. To stay true to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision, Bitcoin scaling must preserve a self-custodial nature with sovereign individuals and be resistant to censorship. Ben-Sasson believes that current solutions have too many compromises. 

StarkWare is putting up $1 million to champion CAT publicly. OP_CAT was originally introduced by Nakamoto, who then deleted it without giving a proper reason. Some, such as Udi Wertheimer, speculated that Nakamoto did not fully understand the potential of CAT and deactivated it simply because no one was using it at the time. 

With StarkWare publicly backing CAT, Wertheimer is confident the upgrade could be activated this year. 

“I think this community started looking at this as something that is real, and that made a massive difference. StarkWare, bitcoin miners, core developers, and people who support the Lightning Network, “they all want this, and that’s why I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen.”

StarkWare’s plan to bring ZK scaling to the Bitcoin network is part of a larger plan to address the scalability issues leading blockchains face.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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