Unwriter reveals BOB, the Bitcoin OP_RETURN bytecode

Unwriter’s recent update to Datapay helped prepare for the “WRITE” side of the OP_RETURN equation, a necessary step as Bitcoin SV (BSV) continues its progress towards the Genesis protocol upgrade scheduled for February 2020. On August 7, he revealed how he solves the “READ” side: BOB.

In his Medium article announcing the latest release, “Hello, BOB,” he explains:

BOB (Bitcoin OP_RETURN Bytecode) is a new transaction serialization format for dealing with Bitcoin transactions, especially OP_RETURNs.

Essentially, what he’s done is to create a system that can use OP_RETURN data as procedural code, converting the field from a simple data feed into a potential engine. “It treats OP_RETURN scripts like procedure calls, making it dead simple for you to build your OWN protocol Operating System on Bitcoin,” he exclaims.

The blog goes on to show how to apply this idea, and then a working example, with a link to try it out yourself. 

To further expand on how this could be used to build powerful new applications, Unwriter later tweeted out an example of how, through creating a transaction and applying the magic of BOB, a program could be created to control a music player through OP_RETURNs:

We should have come to expect that Unwriter wouldn’t just merely update an application after Steve Shadders’ call to action. That’s not Unwriter’s style; he always goes the extra mile to introduce something new and exciting to the BSV community.

And the community has reacted just as you’d expect. Several developer reacted quickly to BOB’s release, noting that this fits in perfectly with what they are trying to build, and how much easier it will make their work going forward.

This is the type of innovation that can only really be possible on the BSV blockchain. Thanks to massive scaling, OP_RETURN’s payload limit had room to expand, making innovations like this possible. And thanks to the guaranteed stability of the BSV protocol, developers like Unwriter had the confidence to build incredible new infrastructure like BOB.

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