I thought that HTLCs were just a kind of a script construct that would allow to unlock funds for a period of time, which can be unlocked to anyone that provides the original string that matches the hash. Does it need new opcodes that are not working in Bitcoin yet?

I ask this because I can see the BIP where this is proposed, linked from here: https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2016-July/012894.html . However, neither the pull request nor the BIP inclusion seem to have had any activity.

Does this BIP need a soft-fork that hasn't been implemented/deployed yet?

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Both hash locks and time locks exist in bitcoin today.

It looks like the BIP in question relates to wallet support and HTLC transaction structure, rather than changes to bitcoin's opcodes.

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