From the combination of

Hashrate Escrows

A mechanism defined by BIP300 that allows people to send money to specific sidechain "buckets" on the mainchain, and then block producers to vote over a long period of 3~6 months to authorize withdrawals back from that bucket. There is also an alternative, compatible proposal.


Blind Merged Mining

A mechanism that allows a sidechain to anchor itself on the Bitcoin chain (therefore not needing any proof-of-work of its own) while also pushing the sum of all its block fees into a single Bitcoin transaction that can be earned by Bitcoin block producers without them even knowing. It can be implemented using either this simple method that uses BIP118 or the more involved BIP301 method.

Drivechain is born.

Drivechain is the technique for the creation of decentralized 2-way peg sidechains for Bitcoin. These sidechains can be used to improve Bitcoin in every front, including privacy, scalability, decentralization and security, and also add many interesting features not possible before that can make the world better and continue the revolution started by Satoshi Nakamoto. Join us!

Watch this on YouTube, or see slides and transcript.

Things to read or watch

From Paul Sztorc:

From others:

How does Drivechain improve...

Possible Sidechains

A list of some good candidates of things that can be enabled as sidechains once BIP300 is activated on Bitcoin.

Community Opinions

Important people and what they think about Drivechain.

Adam Back 🟩 "Yes, of course!"
Luke Dashjr ⬜️ "I'm neutral on drivechain."
Mr Hodl ⬜️ "I personally don't really care. There are other people who are against them."
Giacomo Zucco 🟩 "I like Drivechain"
Eric Wall 🟩 "Yeah, I like drivechains better."
Robin Linus 🟩 "I think the exciting thing about Drivechains is bip300, which solves the 2-way peg."
Anton Kumaigorodski 🟩 "Here's another project which I think is more critical than LN for bitcoin's long term survival."
Jimmy Song 🟩 "The good news is that Drivechains don’t require (less) trusted entities and the code is almost done. The bad news is that Drivechains require a soft fork."
Rusty Russell 🟩 "The nice thing about Drivechains is that they're isolated, right? You don't have to use it if you don't want to, they exist and it doesn't damage Bitcoin in any way. So from like a high level I'm broadly supportive, but, I'm not in the weeds and can't give any like deep technical critiques."
Sergio Demian Lerner 🟩 "I hope Bitcoin someday soft-forks to add Drivechain"
Hasu 🟩 "Drivechain: good"
Hampus 🟩 "My favorite solution for this is Drivechains BIP300/301 + an interoperable Lightning Network."
calle 🟩 "I support BIP-300!"
Peter Todd πŸŸ₯ "Just use an alt currency."
John Carvalho πŸŸ₯ "Sidechains are inferior to altcoins."
Sjors Provoost πŸŸ₯ "I'm worried it will bring politics and drama from altcoins to Bitcoin. This doesn't happen today because since altcoins are viable the drama people go there and have their drama."
Ben, the Carman πŸŸ₯ "There's a million other ways to do side chains, I don't see why we need to soft fork another way in"
Torkel Rogstad 🟩 "We desperately need to take a long and hard look in the mirror, and start doing things differently. I think starting a more serious and thorough discussion about BIP300 (Drivechain) is the right place to start. "
Metamick 🟩 "If you do the research, it makes so much sense to do drivechains."

Drivechain Implementation and Testnet

Visit the Releases page on or this directory.

There is a video tutorial for using zSide and a Drivenet written tutorial with many screenshots and a tutorial specific for adding sidechains.

Arguments against Drivechain

These are some of the common arguments voiced against Drivechain. They have been answered innumerable times and you can find the answers on the articles and videos listed above, but here are some quick answers again:

  1. A vast majority of miners can collude to steal

    They are very unlikely to do because it's not a reasonable economic decision and it would hurt their businesses. Sidechains are likely to have a relatively high ratio of money being moved to money that is just parked, so it's likely to produce a lot of fees (that would then go to Bitcoin miners) for a small amount of coins in it. It will never be advisable for anyone to send their life-savings to a sidechain, so even in the case of a theft losses are likely to be minimal, much smaller than the losses people have had from running Lightning channels or buying shitcoins in the past, and the Bitcoin protocol has never prohibited these activities.

  2. A minority of miners can keep funds hostage

    That is the security mechanism that prevents funds from being stolen by a simple majority. A minority of miners can also create chaos on the Bitcoin main chain by orphaning blocks and threatening the profits of the majority miners, but that would come with a huge cost, therefore it's not expected that they do it. The same rationale applies to keeping funds hostage.

  3. MEV on sidechains will affect Bitcoin mining incentives

    Because of blind merge-mining Bitcoin miners just need to grab the sidechain block hash that is paying more fees on Bitcoin and include that, they don't have to care about MEV. If the sidechain has any MEV opportunities these are to be captured by sidechain block builders who will just translate them into fees for the Bitcoin miners.

  4. Merge-mining creates miner centralization

    In non-blind merge-mining there is indeed an added fixed cost for Bitcoin miners to keep up with the sidechain nodes, as it happens today with Namecoin, RSK, Stacks and others. That cost can be assumed to be negligible though, and it's something that already happens today. With blind merge-mining the cost falls to zero as Bitcoin miners can capture ~99% percent of the value created on sidechains without having to run a sidechain node or care about building its blocks.

  5. Sidechain fees can cause fee sniping problems

    If there are multiple sidechains and constant activity the fees coming from these sidechains are likely to not have huge bumps such that it makes more sense for everybody to go on and wait for the next sidechain block paying fees anyway.

  6. Politics of the sidechain will contaminate Bitcoin

    There is no reason to believe that will happen. Bitcoin users do not have to care about what happens in the sidechains, regardless of what is the decision from miners: they can either decide one way or another, or just follow what most people running sidechain nodes decide.

  7. Sidechain blocks will be empty, thus not pay much in fees

    They may be empty in the beginning but miners will still want to keep them until they get enough activity. If after a long time it has become clear that a specific sidechain is not being used it can be transitioned to another without users losing funds, or the funds can be returned in a final withdraw. Even if miners decide to pocket the funds, it's not as if people would have their life savings on this very new experimental sidechain anyway, they are likely to lose less on this than by running a Lightning node and getting tons of force-closes and uneconomical HTLCs.

  8. Even if they pay fees and bring benefits to Bitcoin, with too much money deposited the sidechains become honeypots

    No one can steal from them without getting >70% of the hashrate and going through the very long 6-month withdraw process, so it's not like a custodial exchange whose server can be invaded or whose owner can be kidnapped and coins stolen.