StarkWare Plans Bitcoin Scaling Effort

The team behind StarkNet is kicking off early plans for Bitcoin-centric ZK scaling.
David C David C Jun 4, 20241 min read
StarkWare Plans Bitcoin Scaling Effort

StarkWare announced its plans to bring its ZK (zero-knowledge) scaling to Bitcoin, simultaneously scaling the network alongside Ethereum.

What's the scoop?

  • Powered by OP_CAT: To bring ZK scaling to Bitcoin, Starkware will build on the OP_CAT proposal, a controversial potential upgrade to Bitcoin that could enable functionality like smart contracts and ZK scaling. 
  • Simultaneous Settlement on Bitcoin and Ethereum: If OP_CAT passes, Starkware states that they will begin enabling scaling within six months. The plan is to settle on both Bitcoin and Ethereum simultaneously, using the same Starknet network, governance, and tokenomics.
  • Unlocking Bitcoin's Potential: StarkWare CEO Eli Ben-Sasson believes this move will help Bitcoin reach its full potential, enabling the development of more complex financial instruments and applications on the network. To fuel this innovation, StarkWare is launching a $1M Fund for Bitcoin Researchers to contribute to and demonstrate the benefits of OP_CAT.

Bankless Take: 

StarkWare’s announcement marks one of the first major, existing scaling solutions expanding their horizons to Bitcoin. If OP_CAT passes, their contribution to the network could go a long way toward increasing Bitcoin’s functionality.

OP_CAT still needs to pass, and not everyone in the BTC Community is in favor of it — pointing to potential unforeseen consequences that might come from the upgrade. When asked if a rejection of the proposal would stop them, though, Ben-Sasson said no.

“While I can't delve into details at this moment, these alternatives hold promise and could potentially serve as a viable workaround."
David C

Written by David C

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David is a writer/analyst at Bankless. Prior to joining Bankless, he worked for a series of early-stage crypto startups and on grants from the Ethereum, Solana, and Urbit Foundations. He graduated from Skidmore College in New York. He currently lives in the Midwest and enjoys NFTs, but no longer participates in them.

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