Bitmain, the biggest crypto miner and Asics manufacturer, has forked Omni Layer into a Wormhole protocol to provide the same functionality for Bitcoin Cash.
Omni Layer allows for the creation of new tokens that run on top of bitcoin, such as Tether, through the use of Op_Return. In their specifications, Omni says:
“Bitcoin has some little-known advanced features (such as scripting) which many people imagine will enable it to perform fancy new tricks someday.
The Omni Protocol uses exactly NONE of those advanced features, because support for them is not guaranteed in the future, and the Omni Protocol doesn’t need them to embed data in the block chain.
The Omni Protocol was originally specified to embed data in the block chain using fake bitcoin addresses (Class A), but we’ve since come up with a more blockchain friendly method which embeds data in a bitcoin multi-signature transaction (Class B).”
They basically include some data in the transaction that says something like this is a token, rather than a normal transaction, with it running on top of bitcoin proper.
Bitmain has now brought this functionality to Bitcoin Cash according to a translated statement. They say:
“We have been exploring ways to implement smart contracts on Bitcoin Cash blockchain without changing the consensus rules.
After tremendous research effort, we have paid attention to the OmniLayer protocol, a scheme to realize token issuance through the OP_RETURN opcode…
Since the Omni Layer protocol uses the MIT license (open source), we forked the Omni Layer protocol and implemented the tech feature on Bitcoin Cash blockchain to achieve token issuance.
We named this technical solution Wormhole protocol, and the original token in the protocol is named Wormhole Cash.”
Interestingly, they hint at a dislike for Op_Group, which they say enables functionality similar to that of ERC20 tokens. Bitmain says:
“Any proposals enabling token issuance that requires certain consensus upgrades will inevitably cause problems, including technical risks, harsh conflicts and huge controversy among community developers. Such controversial proposals often end up into a failure.”
There has been quite some controversy over Op_Group, specifically over the failure to implement it, with BCH descending into a little bit of chaos over it this February.
This statement from Bitmain seems to suggest Op_Group is kind of shelved, although whether that will in fact be the case, remains to be seen.
The Omni Layer is currently hardly used, with just nine tokens running on it compared to hundreds running on Ethereum. And it can’t really be compared to eth tokens, to say little of the smart contract functionalities.
Omni and Op-Group, however, might not be exclusive, but whether BCH can really compete in the tokens market does remain very much an open question.