Episode 39: The Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) Process

Episode 39: The Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) Process

Bitcoin Explained - The Technical Side of Bitcoin

In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost explain what Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) are, and how the BIP process works. They discuss why the BIP process is a useful, yet non-binding convention within Bitcoin’s technical community.

Aaron and Sjors start off by explaining what a BIP is exactly— and what it is not. They also explain that only improvements to Bitcoin software that affects other projects require a BIP. The two go on to dive into the history of the BIP process a little bit, noting that the format was introduced by Libbitcoin developer Amir Taaki and later updated by Bitcoin Knots maintainer Luke-jr.

Finally, Aaron and Sjors explain how the BIP process itself works, that is, how a proposal can be turned into a BIP, and eventually be implemented in software. They also briefly explain how the BIP process could become corrupted, and why that wouldn’t be a very big deal.

This episode was originally scheduled to be aired on Friday the 4th of June, but was delayed due to last week's Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami.


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