Drivechains securely link the primary Bitcoin blockchain with a sub-chain.

Drivechains is a technology that securely links the primary Bitcoin blockchain with a sub-chain. Two-way pegs (2WP) allow for the transfer of bitcoins from the main bitcoin blockchain to a secondary blockchain, aka sub-chain, and vice versa. This enables developers to create cryptocurrency tokens with new rules and features without the need to create a standalone, alternative currency.

There are many advantages to 2WPs. One benefit is that the sub-chain does not have to have its own monetary network, thereby taking advantage of Bitcoin’s network effect while borrowing Bitcoin’s security. Another benefit is that sub-chains can be viewed as an optional fork (soft or hard), allowing users to choose to participate in the adoption of new features. This type of approach also allows for new features to be tested on a live network (test or production) with minimal risk.

Transferring coins from the main chain to a sub-chain requires coins to be locked on the main chain. The lock means an equivalent quantity will be available on the sub-chain. The locked coins will be unlocked on the sub-chain once the coins on the main chain are verified to be locked.

Drivechain is a 2WP protocol that verifies the locking of coins onto a sub-chain by using a Bitcoin mining voting system.

On occasion, the sub-chain will request the unlocking of coins on the main chain. Miners vote when to unlock bitcoins and where to send them. The coins unlocked and dispersed on the main chain will disappear on the sub-chain. Security measures, such as delays in unlocking main chain coins and a proposed soft fork to force participating miners to stick to valid chains, are proposed to minimize the possibility of miner malfeasance.