Blockchain platform Qtum is introducing Bitcoin (BTC) atomic swaps to its mainnet infrastructure, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Jan. 9.

Atomic swaps are a technology that enables the exchange of one cryptocurrency for another without the need for a trusted third party or centralized exchange infrastructure.

The implementation of Qtum-to-BTC atomic swaps has been achieved with the use of the Hash Time-Locked Contracts (HTLCs) technology and is based on the code of the open-source cryptocurrency Decred. HTLC — according to Qtum’s announcement — are the most secure way of implementing the swaps.

The team has also announced plans to release “0 Value UTXOs,” which will allow users that don’t hold Qtum tokens to interact with smart contracts while a third party pays the fee.

As Cointelegraph reported in February, Qtum is a cryptocurrency platform that supports smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). As of press time, Qtum’s own cryptocurrency token is up 2.6% on the day, trading at around $2.39, according to CoinMarketCap data.

One of Qtum’s main differences, when compared to Ethereum (ETH) — arguably the most popular cryptocurrency platform that also supports smart contracts and DApps — is that because the former uses the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO), its blockchain reportedly enables more lightweight smart contract interactions.

As Cointelegraph reported in December, Qtum awarded $400,000 to a Columbia University research team to fund the development of a smart contract programming language. The language, dubbed DeepSEA, is meant to support “reliable, dependable, and ultimately – adoptable” Ethereum-style smart contracts.