Skip to main content

Bitcoin Integration

The Internet Computer enables direct integration with the Bitcoin network. By way of bridge-less communication with the Bitcoin network and a novel threshold ECDSA protocol, canisters on the Internet Computer can now securely receive, hold, and send bitcoins.

How It Works

Two key developments make Bitcoin integration possible: direct integration with the Bitcoin network and a novel threshold ECDSA protocol.

Direct Integration with Bitcoin

Direct integration means that nodes of the Internet Computer communicate directly with the nodes of the Bitcoin network without relying on fragile bridges.

Threshold ECDSA

Threshold ECDSA is a cryptographic protocol that enables canisters to securely hold and use ECDSA keys. Shares of the secret key are stored across many nodes, making the protocol resilient to attacks from malicious nodes.

With the Bitcoin API and ECDSA API, canisters on the Internet Computer can securely receive, hold, and send bitcoins, opening the possibility for Bitcoin smart contracts.

Bringing smart contracts on the Internet Computer unlocks a number of novel applications including decentralized exchanges, using Bitcoin to participate in token sales, and chain-key-Bitcoin, an advanced form of wrapped Bitcoin without the usual drawbacks of token wrapping.

Start building

Release Timeline

Summer 2022

Beta Release

Bitcoin integration

Bitcoin Testnet

Threshold ECDSA

ECDSA test key, deployed on a medium-replication-factor subnet

Example code & doc

Example dApps & web-based documentation

On-chain-tradable asset

n.a.

Purpose

Development, Bitcoin testing and threshold ECDSA canisters

Status

Experimental

Bug Fixes

Code Audits

Developer Feedback

Performance Updates

Operational Experience

2022

GA Release

Bitcoin integration

Bitcoin Mainnet

Threshold ECDSA

Production ECDSA key, deployed on two high-replication-factor subnets

Example code & doc

Additional video tutorials

On-chain-tradable asset

ckBTC Bitcoin (advanced wrapped Bitcoin)

Purpose

Production use of Bitcoin and threshold ECDSA canisters

Status

Production