Presented by Bitcoin developer Robin Linus on October 9, 2023, in a document entitled "BitVM: Compute Anything on Bitcoin", this proposal extends the capabilities of the Bitcoin blockchain by enabling the execution of complex tasks without having to make direct modifications to the code. In this document, Robin Linus explains how to use smart contracts off-chain on Bitcoin, in other words, outside the Bitcoin blockchain, without having to go through a fork, i.e. a change in the project protocol that would result in the creation of a separate blockchain operating according to new rules.
BitVM is a computational paradigm that offers the ability to verify any Turing-complete function using Bitcoin. This model makes it possible to perform the offline calculations essential for interacting with smart contracts on BTC. Without going into technical details, data verification is based on principles similar to those of Ethereum's second-layer solutions, such as Optimistic Rollup.
BitVM revolutionizes Bitcoin by broadening its scope, enabling the creation of a variety of applications on top of it. This advance strengthens Bitcoin's competitive position in the cryptocurrency world, while reducing the need for innovations from other cryptocurrency projects aimed at overcoming Bitcoin's limitations.
In his proposal, Robin Linus also explains that with BitVM, Bitcoin will have the ability to connect to other chains, establish a prediction market and simulate new transactions.