OP_CAT Upgrade Could Elevate Bitcoin Beyond a Mere Store of Value, Adding New Features

By Ben Knight June 03, 2024 In Bitcoin, DeFi
  • A radical new Bitcoin Improvement Proposal could shake up the network’s functionality and roadmap for good.
  • Dormant code included and then removed from Bitcoin in 2010 would operate as a pseudo smart contract within the protocol.
  • This could open the door for DeFi capabilities such as AMMs and hash rate escrows.
  • The community will likely split on the matter, however for now the response has been rather positive.

Bitcoin’s future has been a topic of mass debate among the community. The discourse heated up late 2022 upon the advent of Ordinals, where blockchain users could inscribe data into Satoshis (the smallest denomination of one Bitcoin). 

This added a whole new world of utility to the sector, but also introduced vulnerabilities and concepts BTC maximalists weren’t particularly happy about.

Things could be taken to the next level with OP_CAT – but like always, the Bitcoin world is divided on whether it’d be a good thing for the legacy blockchain.

Related: Overlooked Indicator Hinting at ‘Stealth’ Bitcoin (BTC) Rallies to Fresh New All-Time Highs: Jason Pizzino


AMM, DeFi Ecosystems and Reversible Transactions – Will Bitcoin Follow Ethereum?

OP_CAT is a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (official title pending) that could have major ramifications for the cryptocurrency’s roadmap. As we know, BTC veered off course around 2017, shifting from its original intentions as a medium of exchange into a store of value more like digital gold.

Although the financial world has embraced this transition, many Bitcoin lovers are still quite resistant to change. 

OP_CAT would be the most radical change the network would’ve seen in its fifteen-year existence. The proposal is based on a code written by Satoshi in 2010 that was removed from the Bitcoin stack before it went live.

The mechanism of the code is a little complex. It kind of allows transactions to prioritise certain data points when executing – making it somewhat of a proxy for smart contracts. 

This could lead to several significant DeFi use cases, including anti-double spending measures on Bitcoin L2 scaling protocols, implementation of automated market makers (AMM) and escrows based on hash rate.

The vote for OP_CAT is still a little ways away, and there’s a very good chance that the proposal is rejected. However, if passed, OP_CAT could open the floodgates for a range of new BTC use cases, and change its trajectory forever. 

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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