An Update to the Elements Project

An Update to the Elements Project

Gregory Sanders

Over a year ago we released our first Elements sidechain called Alpha, which included a number of elements such as Confidential Transactions, Segregated Witness, and CheckSequenceVerify (CSV). We are excited to see that a number of elements contained in Alpha such as Segregated Witness and CSV have been proposed or accepted by the Bitcoin community and are included in current Bitcoin Core releases; proof of the positive power of open source software.

Since our release of Elements Alpha, we have been hard at work turning the codebase into something that is easier to extend and suitable for production use in federated-sidechains such as the Liquid network. The improvements include:

  • Performance: Confidential Transaction processing has been greatly improved via rangeproof and balance check caching.
  • Stability: Validation of the sidechain is much more robust to exceptional behavior
  • UX: Fewer steps to starting your Elements node, pegging in testnet coins as well as creating your own sidechain
  • Consensus Fixes: A number of consensus issues have been identified and fixed, including reports from the community
  • Core codebase: This release is based on a recent version of Bitcoin Core, 0.13.1, bringing all the performance enhancements and updates with it.

Please check out the Pull Request here which shows all the changes on top of Bitcoin Core v0.13.1 and feel free to ask questions.

We intend for users and developers to continue work with the refreshed code while we move to a faster, more transparent development mode: not only releasing code, but doing more of our development in the open, and keeping up to date by rebasing on the most recent versions of Bitcoin Core. We welcome all contributions, from the smallest comment fixes, performance fixes, user docs, pull request reviews, to user-facing features

We look forward to demoing the Elements platform update at Construct Jan. 30th - 31st. We will have both presentations explaining the advances and a workshop on setting up your own test chain.

Finally, while this release does not contain additional elements, we are looking forward to sharing with others a number of in-development advancements soon. We look forward to working together in continuing to make the Elements platform the standard for decentralized, distributed ledgers for real value.

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