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What is Simplicity? What does it mean for Bitcoin?

By December 23, 2020March 29th, 20224 minute read

The present programming languages used to code Blockchain are incapable of programming sophisticated smart contracts. There is always a trade-off between reliability and expressiveness, forcing programmers to go in for either a complex but unreliable or a basic but reliable smart contract. 

Why does the crypto world feel the need for a language simpler than the existing Blockchain Script?

Blockchain technology in itself is a disruption that does not abide by the traditional programming codes. There are several unique assertions posed by blockchains:

  • For every specific environment, all the users must agree on the conclusion of a computation. This blockchain consensus applies to all possible results for every possible input to a program upfront. 
  • All the users must be careful about service attacks consuming excessive energy and must be able to understand the costs involved in the program execution for all possible inputs. 

Other existing challenges, such as:

  • Programming languages designed explicitly for Blockchain, such as EVM, still face these challenges. Events such as an EVM upgrade failure during testing, unrecoverable or stolen funds due to contract logic errors prove the incapabilities of current languages.  
  • Bitcoin’s Script language isn’t expressive enough for smart contracts that are more complex and is limited to combinations of timelocks, hashlocks, and digital signature checks.   

What is Simplicity?

“Only once in my life have I encountered a programming language that was too simple to use. That was Lispkit Lisp.  I can now add a second system to the list of those that are too simple, the appropriately-titled Simplicity, developed by Russell O’Connor of Blockstream.”

~(Philip Wadler, A Review of Simplicity

What if we tell you there is an answer to the problem and you could get the best of both worlds with it? Simplicity, a typed combinator-based functional language with no loops or recursion, has been explicitly designed for cryptocurrencies and Blockchain applications. Developers can code sophisticated smart contracts such as side chains or independent blockchains using Simplicity’s features. 

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It is a low-level programming language and machine model for smart contracts based on Blockchain. It consists of simple semantics that lend themselves to static analysis and reasoning by formal methods. The core of the language is so simple that it can fit on a T-shirt though this doesn’t mean simplicity of development. The language is defined by its implementation in the Coq proof assistant. 

What implications does it hold for Bitcoin and Blockchain?

Simplicity was proposed by Russell O’Connor in a paper for a possible replacement of Bitcoin Script called Simplicity. Here’s what he had got to say:  

“[Simplicity] aims to improve upon existing crypto-currency languages, such as Bitcoin Script and Ethereum’s EVM, while avoiding some of the problems they face. Simplicity comes with formal denotational semantics defined in Coq, a popular, general-purpose software proof assistant.”

Simplicity can prove to be a turning point for Bitcoin and Blockchain in the distant future. Experts call it a ‘major step in the right direction for smart contracting languages.’  

  • A Blockchain programming model is fundamentally different from an ordinary programming model. In Blockchain, computations are verified rather than performed. As such, there is no requirement for Turing-completeness as even arbitrary codes can be verified using Simplicity. This can have powerful implications for Blockchain. Russell says, ‘Owing to its Turing incompleteness, Simplicity is amenable to static analysis that can be used to derive upper bounds on the computational resources needed, prior to execution. While Turing incomplete, Simplicity can express any finitary function, which we believe is enough to build useful “smart contracts” for blockchain applications.’ 
  • After a smart contract has been deployed, there is no room for correcting mistakes. The language has addressed this problem. Simplicity empowers its users to create formal proofs of correctness for their smart contracts. 
  • Being an extremely low-level language to be used for direct execution, it can be expected that the users might write their contracts in high-level language/s to be compiled later to Simplicity. 
  • Simplicity can be a valuable approach to serve more than just a replacement for bitcoin script. Simplicity could also be used as a means to implement and prove runtime bounds over new modular consensus code. It could also be used for signing oracles or other such applications.
  • Simplicity can assure higher security guarantees valuable for crypto trading platforms like WazirX (that show Bitcoin price in INR) as users can give proofs about their contracts to avoid logical errors in the program. It can also let the users reason about the correctness along with the performance of their contracts.
  • Simplicity can open interesting applications such as vaults, trust-minimized escrow, and other complex smart contracts that can be valuable for any cryptocurrency and Bitcoin exchange in India and worldwide. 
  • It can help maintain the self-contained Bitcoin transactions of Bitcoin, which would help secure the nodes as programs will not have any access to information outside the transaction.

In many ways, Simplicity is best characterized by what features it leaves out rather than what features it contains. There can be innumerable fronts for Simplicity development in the future that could transform Blockchain coding. Simplicity, as a programming language, can provide the required flexibility and expressiveness for any kind of computations while simultaneously allowing the verification of safety, security, and cost of the smart contracts.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Chances Of Bitcoin Crashing?

Two Yale University economists (Yukun Liu and Aleh Tsyvinski) produced research titled "Risks and Returns of Cryptocurrency" in 2018. They looked at the possibility of Bitcoin crashing to zero in a single day. The authors discovered that the chances of an undefined tragedy crashing Bitcoin to zero ranged from 0 percent to 1.3 percent and was around 0.4 percent at the time of publishing, using Bitcoin's history returns to determine its risk-neutral disaster probability. Others claim that because Bitcoin has no intrinsic value, it will inevitably crash to zero. On the other hand, Bitcoin advocates argue that the currency is backed by customer confidence and mathematics.

How Can I Get Bitcoin?

To begin, go to the WazirX website and register. After that, you will receive a verification email. The link received by verification mail will only be available for a few seconds, so make sure you click it as quickly as possible. This will successfully verify your email address. The following step is to set up security, so choose the best solution for you. After you've set up the security, you'll be given the option of continuing with or without completing the KYC process. Following that, you'll be sent to the Funds & Transfers section, where you can begin depositing Bitcoins into your wallet. You may also use INR to fund your WazirX Bitcoin wallet and then use it to purchase Bitcoin.

How Bitcoin Mining Works?

Bitcoin mining is a crucial element of the blockchain ledger's upkeep and development and the act of bringing new Bitcoins into circulation. It's done with the help of cutting-edge computers that solve exceedingly challenging computational arithmetic problems. Auditor miners are rewarded for their work. They're in charge of ensuring that Bitcoin transactions go through smoothly and legitimately. This standard was established by Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin, to keep Bitcoin users ethical. By confirming transactions, miners assist in avoiding the "double-spending issue."

How Does Bitcoin Work?

The blockchain, a distributed digital ledger, is what Bitcoin is based on. As the name suggests, blockchain is a linked database made up of blocks that store information about each transaction, such as the date and time, total amount, buyer and seller, and a unique identifier for each exchange. Entries are linked in chronological order to form a digital blockchain. Entries are linked in chronological order to form a digital blockchain. Blockchain is decentralized, which means any central authority does not control it.

What Is Bitcoin Used For?

Bitcoin was created as a means of sending money over the internet. The digital currency was designed to be a non-centralized alternative payment system that could be used in the same way as traditional currencies. Bitcoin is being used by an increasing number of businesses and individuals. This includes establishments such as restaurants, apartments, and law firms.

How To Create Bitcoin Account?

Firstly, Go to the WazirX website and sign up. Then, a verification mail will be sent to you. The link sent via verification mail would be available only for a few seconds so make sure you click on the link sent to you as soon as possible, and it will verify your email address successfully. The next step is to set up security, so select the most suitable option for you. After you have set up the security, you will get a choice to either proceed further with or without completing the KYC procedure. After that, you will be directed to the Funds and Transfer page, where you could start depositing Bitcoins to your wallet. You can also deposit INR and then use it to buy Bitcoin for your WazirX Bitcoin wallet.

Is Bitcoin Mining Free?

Bitcoin mining isn't free, but it can be tried on a budget. Bitcoin mining is an essential part of the blockchain ledger's upkeep and development and the act of issuing new Bitcoins. It is accomplished by the use of cutting-edge computers that tackle complicated computational arithmetic problems. The effort of auditor miners is rewarded. They're in charge of ensuring that Bitcoin transactions go off without a fuss and that they're legal.

How To Invest In Bitcoin?

Bitcoin may be invested in two ways: through mining or exchanges. Bitcoin mining is carried out by high-powered computers that solve challenging computational arithmetic problems that are too difficult to complete by hand and complex enough to tax even the most powerful computers. WazirX, a Bitcoin exchange, is another alternative.

Can Bitcoin Be Converted To Real Money?

Crypto exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin Debit Cards, and Peer Peer Transactions are all options for converting Bitcoin to cash. This can be accomplished by using Bitcoin exchanges such as WazirX. A Bitcoin ATM is a real place where you may purchase and sell Bitcoins with cash, unlike standard ATMs that allow you to withdraw money from your bank account. Many websites provide the option of purchasing Bitcoin in return for a prepaid debit card that works similarly to a standard debit card. Through a peer-to-peer marketplace, you may sell Bitcoin for cash faster and more privately.

What Type Of Currency Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency or cryptocurrency. In January 2009, Bitcoin was established. It's based on Satoshi Nakamoto's ideas, which he laid out in a whitepaper. The name of the individual or people who invented the technology remains unknown.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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