Ethereum primitives for Bitcoin (or other altcoin)

I believe that the Ethereum team has suggested that while making a Bitcoin sub-currency within Ethereum was possible with the ECL they were planning on making some primitives to expedite cross blockchain action. What further thought has the E-team put into this? What form might it take? Given the impossibility of storing secrets within the public data or code of Ethereum (or Bitcoin) is there some way in which it would be possible for an Ethereum transaction or contract to affect the Bitcoin blockchain, or vice-versa?
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