Exploring Core Chain and Its Core Competency

Exploring Core Chain and Its Core Competency

May 2024, stella@footprint.network

Data Source: Core Chain Dashboard

As Bitcoin enters a new era of programmability, innovations such as Ordinal Theory and BitVM have sparked significant developments in the ecosystem, leading to what is being referred to as the “Bitcoin L2 Season.” This wave of innovation has highlighted the demand for additional functionality and the feasibility of expressive, trust-minimized solutions across the Bitcoin network.

Amidst this burgeoning scene, Core DAO, already deeply engaged in the Bitcoin ecosystem, is well-positioned to leverage this momentum. Unlike many new layers that are still preparing for mainnet launches, Core Chain offers an immediate platform for Bitcoin programmability.

What’s Core Chain?

Core Chain is a Bitcoin-powered, EVM-compatible Layer 1 blockchain that enables BTC staking, a feature traditionally unavailable to Bitcoin holders. Core Chain uses a hybrid consensus mechanism, leveraging both Bitcoin’s PoW and Ethereum’s PoS. By enabling Non-Custodial BTC Staking, Core Chain decentralizes the consensus mechanism even further. BTC is staked natively on the Bitcoin Network, with a time-lock and a vote for the validators election on Core Chain. BTC stakers are then rewarded in CORE tokens for their contribution to the Core Chain consensus mechanism with staking rewards. It positions itself as a significant extension of Bitcoin’s functionality with features such as BTCfi and Bitcoin staking.

Core Chain

Since launching its mainnet in January 2023, Core Chain has achieved significant milestones. By the end of April 2024, the platform has facilitated 228.8 million successful transactions and has attracted 4.3 million active user addresses, according to Footprint Analytics. Additionally, Core Chain has a robust online presence, with a community of 2.3 million followers on X (formerly Twitter) and 265.0K members on Discord.

The Core DAO Team

The Core DAO team operates as the governing body of Core Chain, tasked with expanding the number of validators, adjusting governance parameters, and determining the burn rates of block rewards and transaction fees.

Emphasizing a shift towards increasing decentralization, the Core DAO governance will evolve and invite greater community involvement as the network matures. Ultimately, all CORE token holders will participate in key governance functions, including the management of the CORE Treasury.

Initially sparked by a debate between two friends, Core DAO remains true to its roots as a community-driven entity, prioritizing broad platform growth and global blockchain adoption while maintaining team anonymity.

Core Competency of Core Chain

  • Satoshi Plus Consensus

The “Satoshi Plus Consensus” mechanism is a central feature of Core Chain, blending the strengths of Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s consensus approaches to enhance both security and scalability. It utilizes Delegated Proof of Work (DPoW) from Bitcoin mining pools for decentralization and security, along with Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) from CORE token holders to achieve scalability and composability. This hybrid model allows both Bitcoin miners and holders to participate directly in the governance and operation of Core Chain by delegating their hash power and staking their Bitcoins through non-custodial means.

Satoshi Plus Consensus

As a result, the Satoshi Plus Consensus enables a unique, dual participation framework that not only maintains Bitcoin’s original consensus within Core Chain but also fosters active community involvement in node elections and block production. This integration exemplifies a harmonious development path for the blockchain ecosystem, promoting stability, diversification, and sustainable growth.

  • Non-Custodial BTC Staking

Traditionally, staking Bitcoin required wrapping the cryptocurrency into a bridged asset and custodial arrangements on other blockchains, which not only complicated the process but also heightened the risk of asset loss from smart contract vulnerabilities.

In contrast, Core Chain’s non-custodial staking allows Bitcoin owners to stake directly on the Bitcoin mainnet. This method eliminates the need for intermediaries or the transfer of Bitcoin out of the holder’s control, significantly enhancing security and simplifying the staking process. Stakers retain complete control over their Bitcoin, staking directly from their addresses with self-custody, ensuring that their principal BTC is not at risk.

This innovation enables Bitcoin to transition from merely being a store of value to also serving as a yield-generating asset, without compromising the security of the staked assets. By engaging in non-custodial staking, Bitcoin holders not only earn rewards but also contribute to the security and decentralization of Core Chain’s Satoshi Plus consensus mechanism, further aligning the network with Bitcoin’s foundational principles.

According to data from Footprint Analytics as of April 30, the Core Chain Bridge has seen substantial activity, with 1.0 million users, termed ‘bridgers,’ and 5.5 million transactions bridged between Core Chain and various other blockchains. The introduction of non-custodial BTC staking and the six-month incentive plan “Core Ignition” notably increased online activity in April.

Source: Daily Bridged Inflows/Outflows

Additionally, throughout April, there has been a notable increase in both the price and trading volume of the $CORE token.

Source: Core Chain Token Price & Trading Volume

  • EVM Compatibility

Core Chain leverages the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as its execution environment, making it the “most Bitcoin-aligned EVM chain” available.

Originally developed for Ethereum, the EVM has become the backbone for several leading blockchain networks, such as BNB Chain, Avalanche, Arbitrum, Optimism, and zkSync, due to its robustness and widespread developer support.

Source: Net Bridged by Pathway

This compatibility allows Core Chain to tap into an established ecosystem replete with developer tools and infrastructure already familiar to those working with Ethereum, Polygon, and other EVM-based platforms. Developers can utilize well-known tools such as Remix, Hardhat, Truffle, and ethers.js, and interface with popular infrastructure like MetaMask, various token standards like ERC-20 and ERC-721, and blockchain explorers.

Looking Forward

As the landscape of Bitcoin layers expands, fueled by a resurgence in interest for Bitcoin programmability, Core Chain is uniquely positioned to drive forward the development and adoption of Bitcoin-centric applications. Core Chain not only secures a pivotal role in scaling and programming solutions for Bitcoin but also sets the stage for an expanded ecosystem enriched with incentives for future growth. As Core Chain advances its governance mechanisms and nurtures ecosystem development, it continues to leverage Bitcoin’s security features, promising a more versatile and secure future for Bitcoin users and developers alike.

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Footprint Analytics is a blockchain data solutions provider. It leverages cutting-edge AI technology to help analysts, builders, and investors turn blockchain data and combine Web2 data into insights with accessible visualization tools and a powerful multi-chain API across 30+ chains for NFTs, GameFi, and DeFi.

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