Bitcoin is the perfect settlement layer to build apps on top of: Hiro CEO


While the Bitcoin network is not programmable, it serves as an excellent settlement layer to build robust applications on top of, says Hiro CEO Alex Miller.

Hiro provides Bitcoin development tools for developers to build on the Stacks blockchain. Miller said that Stacks inherits the security of the Bitcoin network through a consensus mechanism called proof-of-transfer (although this is a controversial statement for some).

Miller told Cointelegraph that the value proposition behind building apps on Bitcoin is that it’s “a really well-established, well-accepted, very reliable settlement.”

He added that because of this, it is a much simpler blockchain to build on top of compared to most other smart contract platforms that do computation and settlement on the same layer:

“When you have both your compromise and your computation on the same layer, it really complicates things in a lot of ways. […] You don’t want to modify your settlement layer that much.”

That allows developers to “do more innovation faster” on layer two which “has much, much more robust capabilities.”

Miller claimed that we shouldn’t be surprised that developers are making Bitcoin programmable, because that’s what Satoshi Nakomoto envisioned:

“Satoshi himself wrote back like 2010, 2011 that he envisioned more layers. [and] additional chains will be built on top of that to provide all such programmability.”

Miller said that the Stacks developer ecosystem has grown rapidly since the launch of the platform in January 2021, “we have hundreds of developers who work in the ecosystem and thousands of smart contracts and applications that have been deployed on it.”

In the first year of launch, the Stacks blockchain achieved more than 350 million monthly API requests, 40,000 Hiro wallet downloads, and deployed 2,500 Clarity smart contracts, with those figures increasing further in 2022.

Miller also said that we will live in a “multi-chain future” without any particular smart contract platform at all. “Ethereum will be around for at least a little while, but there are many other smart contract platforms that haven’t stood the test of time yet,” he said.

Related: Stacks’ Mitchell Cuevas talks about building integrated DeFi bridges for Bitcoin users

As for where the crypto market is headed, Miller said crypto volatility will decrease as crypto applications become more “accepted, integrated and used in our society,” adding:

“[By] by bringing programmability and smart contracts to Bitcoin, it helps promote the further adoption of Bitcoin as a technical and financial layer in our society, thereby reducing volatility while increasing the price in the long term.”