I’d like to start this update with the reminder that the Omni Layer is an asset issuance and smart contract protocol that runs on top of the Bitcoin network. Some people have asked if Omni is a fork of Bitcoin, or its own network – and I wanted to reiterate that the Omni Layer is a meta-layer on top of Bitcoin. Omni uses the available space in the Bitcoin OP_RETURN mechanism to create an Omni Protocol ledger for tokens and smart contracts as a meta-layer on the Bitcoin ledger. In this way, Omni leverages the on-chain hashing power and security of Bitcoin’s Proof of Work system.
Tether itself is a tenant on top of the Bitcoin network. When Tether was architected, I had in mind not only a token that would hold parity with a dollar, but something that would demonstrate the extra-special capabilities of a decentralized ledger, and what applications on such a technology could achieve.
Using the Omni Layer, tethers are issued as a meta-token on top of the Bitcoin network, using the messages that Bitcoin transactions commit to this decentralized ledger. Instead of just moving a bitcoin, you were also saying “I’m moving a dollar from here to there.” In doing so, users would have a bearer-asset, just like BTC, with the same security and assurances provided to bitcoins on the Bitcoin network.
While tens of billions of dollars of tethers are traded daily on multiple exchanges off-chain, there are hundreds of millions worth of transactions daily on the Omni Layer, on-chain, directly on Bitcoin, moving those funds between wallets and exchanges. This demonstrates an amazing capability that I believe is being overlooked. The Bitcoin network is exceptional for securely passing value, no matter which token, BTC, USD₮, or otherwise.
The community has focused so much upon the bitcoins themselves and not on the fact that what we have is an immortal state machine that no one can turn off and no one can censor. Bitcoin’s built-in messages and capabilities can be extended with technologies like Omni that rely upon the immutability of Bitcoin ledger records kept within.
While Tether has begun issuing USD₮ on other blockchains such as the ERC-20 variant on Ethereum, I wanted to remind everyone that no network has the massive hash-power and security that the Bitcoin network provides, especially with the coming switch to PoS on the Ethereum network. If you care about immutability and security, or are a Bitcoin maximalist, we’ve built the Omni Layer for you!
We are excited to announce that Tether has provided sponsorship for additional developers to bring Omni Core up to par with Bitcoin Core 0.18 and to create further innovations on the protocol. The new release is currently being tested and should be available soon. The new release brings tremendous performance improvements, as well as cost savings due to much better fee estimation for transactions.
Peter Bushnell (https://github.com/Bushstar), the creator of Feathercoin is working with Omni Core maintainer dexX7 (https://github.com/dexX7) and Adam (https://github.com/achamely) to get this release finalized.
Additional functionality will be added to the protocol soon, to support native Segregated Witness transactions and features like send-to-many, enhancements that can lower the cost of individual transactions and keep cost low and integration needs easier for exchanges and integrators. We are also speaking with the Lightning and RGB community developer teams to determine how we can best integrate with them for off-chain asset movement.
Any individuals, exchanges or integrators who would like to submit recommendations and feature requests can do so by submitting a new issue on the Github Spec (https://github.com/OmniLayer/spec/issues), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or join the telegram chat (https://t.me/OmniLayer). We’d like to compile a list of all integrators so that we can timely publish news and keep in communication with updates and recommendations.
Omni Layer Protocol Specification Updates
We are in the process of updating the Omni Layer protocol specification. This should help integrators better understand the data format used in Omni-encoded transactions. In addition, we are looking at ways to improve or optimize the protocol to allow for additional functionality.
We are looking into new ways that developers can encode instructions in OP_RETURN messages, to further enhance the capabilities of the protocol. Beyond decentralized exchange functionality, we are considering a number of options that would allow for different types of conditional sends of assets, in a more generic smart-contract language. We solicit any ideas and recommendations on what functionality is possible.
In the coming weeks, we have updates to share on a number of exciting developments:
Omniwallet-Mobile from LunarX (https://lunarx.co)
Electrum Wallet Plug-in
OmniJ and related work
Omni Layer on Feathercoin
Decentralized Exchange Updates
Invitation to developers
Anyone who has looked into the Omni Layer and realized what it actually can provide on the Bitcoin network gets really excited about the future possibilities. We invite curious developers and innovators to examine the capabilities of meta-layer transactions on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and to contribute ideas to accelerate the development of new features on this time-tested platform.