Atomic swaps have become pretty popular over the past few weeks. The Litecoin and Decred developers made major progress in this regard, and it seems Altcoin Exchange is on the right track as well. According to the latter’s Twitter account, an atomic swap between Ethereum and Bitcoin has been completed successfully. That is a pretty interesting development, considering atomic swaps will remove the need for centralized exchanges altogether.
A Bitcoin-Ethereum Atomic Swap
It is pretty interesting to see how different developers and coders tackle the challenge of cross-chain atomic swaps. Not too long ago, we touched upon the recent exchange of Litecoin for Decred through an on-chain payment. Although this was considered to be a major success in its own right, there may not necessarily be a demand for interchanging either of these currencies.
The new exchange conducted by Altcoin Exchange will receive a lot more attention, to say the very least. Being able to use cross-chain atomic swaps to exchange Bitcoin and Ethereum is pretty significant. Although the exact specifics are still shrouded in mystery for the time being, the team did provide some transaction IDs not long ago to confirm that the swap had taken place.
— Altcoin Exchange (@altcoinexchnge) October 7, 2017
The team also acknowledged that both Decred and Litecoin’s Charlie Lee had shown them the way in regards to atomic swaps. This goes to show there is a genuine interest in the concept of switching between different cryptocurrencies without the use of centralized exchanges. It will be interesting to see whether or not this functionality will be expanded upon moving forward. In the end, it will be up to wallet providers to integrate this functionality.
There are some lingering questions as to how this transaction took place, though. Ethereum and Bitcoin are two very different blockchains which are not necessarily “compatible” as far as cross-chain atomic swaps are concerned. To that end, it is possible there was a hashlock contract involved, or perhaps even the use of BTC Relay.
The Altcoin Exchange team has promised to open source their Bitcoin-Ethereum atomic swap solution, which will be pretty interesting to keep an eye on. Right now, the developers are apparently in the process of documenting their work, which means this may not have necessarily been an easy process to integrate whatsoever. For now, all we can do is speculate as to how this feature works.
In the end, it is good to see more cross-chain atomic swaps taking place. This concept will effectively nullify the use of centralized exchanges, which will also render any cryptocurrency regulation even more mute. Exciting things are happening in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency right now; that much is certain. Fully decentralized cryptocurrency trading is the future we have all been looking forward to.