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Blockstream developers release Miniscript to make coding Bitcoin easier

Robert Stevens


Developers at Blockstream Research think they’ve found a way to make coding Bitcoin easier. 

Miniscript, a smart contract language designed by Peter Wuille, Andrew Poelstra and Sanket Sanjalkar of Blockstream Research is a new scripting language that helps to code smart contracts (yes Bitcoin has them too) while keeping them safe from accidental bugs.

Wuille announced the project in a Bitcoin developer mailing list on Monday after working on the project for a year. 

Miniscript makes it easier for developers to specify conditions for spending Bitcoin. It’s already possible to do this in the current languages for developing on Bitcoin, but the team behind Miniscript say the whole process is currently too complicated.

Miniscript makes it a whole lot simpler, and safer. You can write a “policy” in Miniscript—some conditions about how you want bitcoins to be spent—then translate the code over to the more complicated Bitcoin script. This should make it less likely for developers to make mistakes which could cause bugs. 

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The best part is that Miniscript doesn’t require any consensus changes to Bitcoin. While Wuille writes that Miniscript is still very much a work in progress, two implementations—one in C++ and another in Rust—are available today.

Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Poelestra said that it’s not yet an official product of Blockstream, but that the company is using it in the development of its bitcoin-sidechain ecosystem, Liquid. If you’re feeling technical, why not try your hand?