min read
June 1, 2023

Bringing Bitcoin Back to Earth

Earth Wallet's new Bitcoin Taproot upgrades lay the groundwork for the future of decentralized money, that is more energy efficient, and helps focus Bitcoin on bringing harmony, rather than domination, to create an abundance of wealth for our collective future on Earth.

Earth Wallet
Earth Wallet

Nature, as a master architect, demonstrates a clear preference for diverse cultures over stagnant monocultures. Symbiotic relationships between different species always contribute to resilience and stability of ecosystems, for example, within diverse cultures, the amalgamation of various ideas and ideologies fosters innovation, adaptability, and social harmony. Dual-party governance systems benefit greatly from this principle. By embodying contrasting ideologies and representing a wider range of societal interests, such systems encourage the exploration of diverse solutions, robust debate, and checks and balances.

At Earth Wallet, we are building the tools for a new decentralized economy, and believe a dual party Bitcoin & Ethereum financial system, although contentious, creates a healthy balance of ideas. As one of the first builders on Bitcoin Taproot, we thought it would be important to share some of our findings over the past few months developing infrastructure and gathering feedback from the early builder community.

Bitcoin Ordinals

Bitcoin, is the pioneer of cryptocurrency, and embodies the principles of decentralization, censorship resistance, and digital scarcity. Primarily focused on being a secure store of value, Bitcoin's Proof-of-Work, backed by 100P/H of miners acts as an anchor for the entire blockchain industry. In recent months, a combination of better developer protocols (Bitcoin Ordinals), and better user onboarding experience (Earth Wallet, Unisat, and XVerse), has resulted in an unprecedented increase of development activity on the Bitcoin network, from NFT marketplaces to DeFi primitives.

Ordinals Inscription Growth of 2023

After two months of helping onboard new teams and users into the Ordinals community, the biggest pain point still remains user onboarding and education. When you mint an NFT on Bitcoin, the media data is linked to a specific satoshi (the smallest individual unit of a Bitcoin), and because the vast majority of Bitcoin wallets have no ability to detect which satoshis contain content, if users send a Bitcoin NFT to a non-ordinal compatible wallet (all non-taproot enabled wallets, and some taproot enabled ones), they risk losing their NFTs entirely.

Simplifying User Onboarding

In order to drive real user adoption, Earth Wallet is happy to lead the Ordinals industry with a new mobile wallet standard for Bitcoin, using battle tested Wallet Connect v2.

Bitcoin Taproot Support

We welcome the early wallet ecosystem to help us streamline the next generation of decentralized Bitcoin app development, by making it easier for developers to integrate every wallet with <10 lines of code. This will help the industry move forward, by allowing front-end and UX focused development teams create amazing products, without needing to recruit expensive cybersecurity engineers, or spend weeks connecting an exponentially growing list of wallets.

To get started, please check out our sample React application provided on our Github repository here, and you can the full Wallet Connect v2 docs here. The namespace used to enable Earth Wallet signatures on any dapp that supports Wallet Connect v2 is as follows:

bip122: { methods: ["btc_send","btc_signMessage", "btc_signPsbt"], chains: ["bip122:000000000019d6689c085ae165831e93"], events: [] }

Moving forward, all Earth Wallet Bitcoin accounts are now Bitcoin Taproot by default. Legacy Bitcoin wallets will have a *(legacy)* tag next to the name, and still be accessible wallets if you have existing funds in them, but we recommend moving them to a newly created wallet to enjoy the benefits of Taproot technology.

This change will help simplify the new user experience to the Bitcoin and Bitcoin NFT space. We found this change significantly reduces the complexity of managing multiple Bitcoin account formats, lowers the risk of users losing their Bitcoin Ordinals, and simplifies the developer experience of building on Bitcoin.

Bringing Bitcoin back to Earth

As for the energy consumption, Bitcoin mining is a very energy-intensive process due to the high computational intensity and the competitive nature of mining. Miners around the world must compete to solve equations, meaning that their high-powered computers must remain operational 24/7. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance estimated that Bitcoin mining consumed ~120 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year, placing Bitcoin's energy consumption above several smaller nation states. It is worth noting that the centralized Fractional Reserve Banking system energy requirements are unknown, and likely more than this number to operate at the same scale as Bitcoin.

Earth Wallet aims to create a sustainable future for Bitcoin mining by helping keep track of renewable mining initiatives. By doing so, we hope to reduce the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and help bootstrap an off-grid renewable energy economy. Through social media, forums, webinars, and meet-ups, we are currently researching all off-grid mining initiatives on Earth, and collectively helping grow clean energy mining initiatives. The most notable being Methane mining initiatives, which use Methane producing landfills to mine Bitcoin.

Additionally, Earth Wallet's new Bitcoin Taproot upgrades lay the groundwork for the future of decentralized money, on Bitcoin layer 2 networks which use 99.9% less energy consumption. We see tremendous opportunity in using the 120TWh of energy on the Bitcoin network for reducing the energy demands of cryptocurrencies, and making the technology an obvious benefit to all life on Earth. By focusing on using the technology to bring harmony, rather than domination, we hope to shift the narrative back to what really matters and create an abundance of wealth for our collective future on Earth.

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