Announcing the New Elements Project

posted by martindale on Tue Apr 12 2016 12:30:08 GMT-0400

On the heels of the Scaling Bitcoin workshop in Hong Kong, we’re excited to announce the release of the New Elements Project. The Elements Project is a community effort to create and test new extensions to the Bitcoin protocol. Core Developers have already announced several of these new Elements, including Confidential Transactions by Gregory Maxwell and Segregated Witness by Pieter Wuille, which have undergone extensive testing on existing sidechains.

Along with this new release also comes a new community initiative, the Sidechain Developer Community. We’re hoping this community will facilitate discussion around how various Elements are being used, including known efforts by companies like Gem and RootStock.

What are Elements?

Elements are bundles of code that extend Bitcoin functionality, and today’s release includes new developer documentation on how the existing Elements work, in addition to a new community-managed index of available Elements. Everything on the Elements Project website is stored in the ElementsProject.org GitHub repository and can be edited and contributed to by the community. We hope that you will join us.

A Publicly Editable Resource

We’ve made the entire Elements Project website a publicly editable resource, and even added simple buttons to most pages that link directly to graphical editors for quick fixes. We want the Elements Project to be a community resource, including the highlighting of projects that make use of Elements, or are otherwise deployed on a sidechain.

Contributing to the Elements Project website should be very familiar to most developers, but the graphical editor makes it accessible to all. If you’d like to contribute, head over to the Contributing guide.

Sidechain Developer Community

We’ve created a new public Slack chat dedicated to connecting developers working on Elements-related projects. Slack is a convenient medium for communication with a broader community, and does not supplant the in-depth technical discussion that takes place in the #sidechains-dev channel on IRC. In fact, we’ve even opened up IRC access (SSL only) to the Sidechains Developer Slack, for which you can find connection details on the Sidechains Gateway configuration page.

Our public Slack is the fastest way to get connected with other contributors to the Elements Project. We’ll send an invitation to your email address.

Join the Community

Next Steps

Segregated Witness has been deployed on the alpha sidechain for some time, but as the first Element that is likely to make its way into Bitcoin Core, it is important that it undergoes rigorous review. Discussion is ongoing in the Developer Mailing list, but you can use it today by getting connected to the alpha network.

Until then, join the Sidechains chat and get acquainted with your fellow developers!