Last week marked a pivotal moment for the Fedimint open-source protocol with the launch of Fedimint v 0.2.1. Over two-and-a-half years ago, bitcoin developer Eric Sirion released a prototype for a Chaumian Mint built on top of bitcoin.
Last week marked a pivotal moment for the Fedimint open-source protocol with the launch of Fedimint v 0.2.1. Over two-and-a-half years ago, bitcoin developer Eric Sirion released a prototype for a Chaumian Mint built on top of bitcoin. This prototype quickly morphed into the Fedimint open source protocol and since the end of Summer 2021 a globally distributed team of developers has been working on getting the protocol to the point where it can be stably released to the market.
Well, freaks, that day arrived last week. With Fedimint v 0.2.1 there is officially a stable Fedimint protocol release in the wild that stands as a foundation from which people can feel comfortable building on. In the release notes Eric Sirion states, "This is the first version that will stay compatible for a long time and provide an upgrade path into the indefinite future." From what I can tell the protocol will only be looking to make backwards-compatible releases moving forward. Similar to how the bitcoin protocol upgrades today.
This release has been long awaited and I, for one, am very excited to see people begin building on Fedimint in the wild. The privacy, efficiency gains, costs savings and extensibility capabilities that are enabled by Chaumian Mints on bitcoin are extremely exciting. Ideas like Stability Pool, which enables mint members to lock in a stable USD value via a two-sided market of liquidity providers and those looking to lock in a stable value without having to rely on centralized stablecoin issuers could be extremely disruptive. Out of the gate, it looks like a team of developers has launched a prediction market module that will enable people to bet on certain outcomes. The native privacy benefits and the interoperability Fedimint has with the lightning network alone would be massive user experience upgrades.
Obviously, all of this comes with a custody tradeoff. You are trusting the federation of mint operators not to collude to steal you bitcoin. But when you consider the need for scaling beyond the base layer and accept that tradeoffs will need to be made in certain areas, I think the federated model is an acceptable tradeoff for certain use cases. Users will just have to be very particular with the mints they decide to join and how they distribute risk among multiple mints.
With mempools being consistently full these days the launch of a stable Fedimint release couldn't come at a better time. We'll be keeping track of the development of the Fedimint protocol, the different projects that get built with it, and how people interact with them in the coming months.
As we said yesterday, don't let people fool you into thinking that bitcoin needs to be incorporated into the incumbent financial system. Bitcoin provides us with the ability to build a whole new system from scratch and it's happening right in front of Wall Street's face whether they realize it or not.
50 hours into the fast and my wife decides to reheat the best beef bourguignon she's ever made. This is the test I needed.