The BlockStamp blockchain is a hard fork of Bitcoin with capabilities that take Bitcoin towards those of the more modern blockchains like Ethereum and Steller.
We are intending to use BlockStamp in a forthcoming blockchain-based project to be discussed separately. Originally, we would not think of Bitcoin as a good blockchain platform. But, BlockStamp has enhanced Bitcoin to make it a serious alternative.
We were already familiar with Bitcoin from an earlier E-Commerce project where users can pay for products with Bitcoin. That was a Laravel project and for interaction with Bitcoin we used the excellent Bitcoin JSON-RPC Service Provider for Laravel.
We immediately liked the fact that the same library can be used with BlockStamp, being a Bitcoin hard fork.
So here are the steroids we found:
BlockStamp lets you write documents with size up to 1MB to the bitcoin. This yields a document stored on the blockchain in an immutable way together with a timestamp and the address of the author (the address storing the document).
In Ethereum, you would store a document usually in IPFS and store in the smart contract the hash of the document.
Direct storage on the blockchain is superior because it is more transparent and direct. One can see immediately, the timestamp, the author and the content immediately. In contrast to Ethereum, you do not need to scan the transaction logs and the smart contract code.
Stellar has many similarities with Bitcoin as its central core is a graph of transactions similar to Bitcoin.
Transactions in Stellar consist of more than one operation with guaranteed atomic execution. Hence, one can swap assets in Stellar between two or more parties without the need to create an escrow contract as in Ethereum.
BlockStamp has built an atomic execution capability. Albeit for one particular application that of DNS ownership. We believe it is a good start, and foresee this capability can be further extended. We observed the BlockStamp team is of good will to act to provide further enhancements.
BlockStamp with the original intention of catering for gaming and gambling applications has an internal capability of generating a random number in a given range.
A user places a bet in a special kind of transaction and the winner is announced in a future block. This can be used as a source of randomness. But, we believe more work is needed to make it more generally useful.
Blockchains, in general, do not provide a source of randomness and randomness has to be provided by oracles.
We believe providing randomness in Bitcoin makes the non-Turing-complete blockchain a possible basis for more advanced blockchain-based systems that are usually build on Ethereum.
Additional computational primitives such as maximum and minimum would enable trustless execution of many common applications, such as auctions.
Extending the computational primitives does not suffer from the security and scalability problems that a Turing-complete language like Ethereum has.
We see the BlockStamp blockchain as a promising direction for the evolution of Bitcoin towards being Blockchain As A Platform. The decentralized, immutable, and trustless nature of blockchains makes them interesting as a platform in parallel to their original goal to serve as a cryptocurrency.