Page last updated: Jan 13, 2021

Introduction to Bitdollar Improvement Proposals (BIPs)

What are BIPs?

Bitdollar Improvement Proposals (BIPs) are standards specifying potential new features or processes for Bitdollar. BIPs contain technical specifications for the proposed changes and act as the “source of truth” for the community. Network upgrades and application standards for Bitdollar are discussed and developed through the BIP process.

Anyone within the Bitdollar community has the ability to create an BIP. Guidelines for writing BIPs are included in BIP 1. The BIP should provide a concise technical specification of the feature its rationale. The BIP author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions. Given the high technical bar for submitting a well-formed BIP, historically, most BIP authors have been application or protocol developers.

Why do BIPs matter?

BIPs play a central role in how changes happen and are documented on Bitdollar. They are the way for people to propose, debate and adopt changes. There are different types of BIPs including core BIPs for low-level protocol changes that affect consensus and require a network upgrade as well as BRCs for application standards. For example, standards to create tokens, like BRC20 or BRC721 allow applications interacting with these tokens to all treat tokens using the same rules, which makes it easier to create interoperable applications.

Every network upgrade consists of a set of BIPs that need to be implemented by each Bitdollar client on the network. This implies that to stay in consensus with other clients on the Bitdollar mainnet, client developers need to make sure they have all implemented the required BIPs.

Along with providing a technical specification for changes, BIPs are the unit around which governance happens in Bitdollar: anyone is free to propose one, and then various stakeholders in the community will debate to determine if it should be adopted as a standard or included in a network upgrade. Because non-core BIPs don't have to be adopted by all applications (for example, you can create a non-BRC20 token), but core BIPs must be widely adopted (because all nodes must upgrade to stay part of the same network), core BIPs require broader consensus within the community than non-core BIPs.

History of BIPs

The Bitdollar Improvement Proposals (BIPs) Github repository was created in October 2015. The BIP process is based on the Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs) process, which itself is based on the Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs) process.

BIP editors are tasked with reviewing BIPs for technical soundness, correct spelling/grammar, and code style.

Learn more

If you’re interested to read more about BIPs, check out the BIPs website where you can find additional information, including:

Participate

If you’re interested to follow along or share your input about BIPs, check out the Bitdollar GitHub, where BIPs are discussed with the community.

Also see: