Chain, a blockchain tech startup, is trying to make it easier to write smart contracts on the bitcoin blockchain.
While ethereum's advanced smart contract functionality is a key feature that differentiates it from bitcoin, the latter does allow developers to write smart contracts using Bitcoin Script.
Yet, the limitations of the underlying virtual machine have made the language difficult to write in.
"Bitcoin Script development is considered somewhat esoteric," Chain's blog post reads.
However, it is worth noting that the Ivy language currently is more for educational and research purposes as it is still an untested prototype software.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which owns an equity stake in Chain.