S3ND’s mission is to provide a forum for Bitcoin Software and Hardware Wallet developers to interact to develop standards and best practices to improve Bitcoin Wallets.
The Bitcoin ecosystem is very diverse with many different points of view and use cases. Standards must reflect the nature of the ecosystem, encouraging decentralization and diversity wherever possible.
Bitcoin must be usable and consistent. Developing common language and best-practices for wallet design, without preventing competition and freedom of wallet designers to innovate, is critical to its users.
Bitcoin must be interoperable. Users must be able to chose the wallet software and hardware they want, with the freedom to migrate when they see fit.
Standards are recommendations. While most wallets will hopefully follow common standards, standards should not needlessly break compatibility with existing, deployed software, or the remainder of the Bitcoin ecosystem.
The BIP process provides for ad hoc standards development—due to its largely unfiltered nature, many BIPs reach draft state without clarity or buy-in, let alone review from appropriate parties. This issue is most prominent for standards related to Bitcoin Wallet behavior, where many of the parties which later implement them do not take part in the process. By creating a forum and standards body expressly for wallet developers, a more efficient and applicable standards process can be developed.
While the primary participants will be developers of Bitcoin Wallet technologies, anyone with a significant interest in Bitcoin Wallet interoperability and Bitcoin usability is invited to attend. In particular, miners and consensus-layer developers are invited to participate and to provide input where applicable.
S3ND will organize roundtable meetings where attendees will discuss the standards-building process, then break into working groups to discuss various topics of interest, such as standards for interoperability as wallets adopt Segwit, export/import compatibility, common development efforts, etc.
As the organization matures, working groups will continue to develop standards independently, which will be discussed and ratified at annual meetings.
Some initial goals for the organization include
- Improved standards for user migration between wallets, especially via import/export formats.
- Standards for adoption of SegWit, including address formats, import/export formats, branding, etc.
- Broader adoption of privacy standards including common transaction formats, more private transaction relay, etc
- Common development efforts around hardware wallet libraries/standards
- Common development efforts around shared wallet libraries
The first annual meeting of S3ND will occur on April 1st - 2nd 2017 in Berlin, Germany.