BR009 - Sparrow, Echo, LND Bug, LN on Cash app, Hodlnaut court win & MORE ft. Nifty, Livera & Odell

I’m joined by guests Nifty, Stephan Livera and Matt Odell to go through the list. To send Bitcoin related questions, just go to bitcoin.review and click submit story at the top right.

Listen to the Episodes

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Housekeeping

Software Releases & Project Updates

  • 00:04:38 Specter DIY 1.8.0 - Oct 16, 2022
    • Build process is now reproducible
    • Now supports taproot-specific PSBT fields. (Only internal key wallets currently supported, support for tap scripts and taproot miniscript in development.)
  • 00:05:49 Nunchuk 1.9.15 - Oct 23, 2022
    • Primary Key accounts (use Bitcoin private key to log in) now available on all platforms
    • Multi-party multisig architecture published
    • Health-check
    • @COLDCARDwallet over NFC
    • Custom BIP32 paths
    • Jade HW support
    • Brand new logo
  • 00:11:34 Wasabi Wallet v2.0.2
    • Tor latency optimization for more frequent coinjoins
    • New privacy progress indicator
    • Improvements on anonymity scoring
    • Minor UI improvements
    • Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements
  • 00:16:32 Sparrow 1.7.0
    • Sparrow Terminal for servers (without displays)
    • Linux aarch64 (Raspi 64-bit OS) support
    • Server aliases & switching servers via Tools menu
    • Cancel unconfirmed transactions via RBF
  • 00:28:33 lnd v0.15.3-beta - Oct 17, 2022 (Minor release)
    • Fixes a series of bugs related to fee estimation with taproot outputs/inputs
    • Bug fix to ensure new channels are always properly announced
    • Fixes an edge case related to zero conf channels
    • Second Critical LND Bug in Less Than a Month Causes LND Nodes to Fall Out of Sync with Chain Again
      • Only impacts LND nodes, other lightning implementations are still in sync.
      • Nodes can still make and route payments, but are not aware of current chain state until updated.
      • Nodes that do not update will be vulnerable to malicious channel closes by peers they have channels with once their channel timelocks expire.
      • The default timelock is two weeks.
      • Bug was triggered by same dev that triggered the last sync issue.
      • Message in transaction said: “you’ll run cln. and you’ll be happy.”
      • Anthony Towns claims he disclosed this bug to LND devs two weeks ago.
  • 00:56:33 Echo v0.0.1 Released: Open Source Podcasting 2.0 Web Player That Uses Your Own Node - Oct 17, 2022
    • Uses newly released Lightning Node Connect (LNC) protocol to easily connect to your LND node
    • Search and play PodcastIndex.org’s 4 million+ podcasts, 9700+ of which can receive Value4Value Bitcoin payments in real-time over the Lightning Network
    • Manage your subscriptions
    • Send boosts and boostagram messages to your favorite producers
  • 01:01:55 Impervious Browser 0.1.2 Alpha (Public Alpha Release for Linux and Mac)
    • A Suite of Peer-to-Peer Tools for Communications, Data Transport, and Payments, Built Directly Into the Web Browser
    • Secure Messaging, Group Calls, Live Docs, Decentralized Identifiers, Bitcoin Lightning Support
  • 01:03:20 Alby v1.18.0 - Oct 21, 2022
    • This release integrates Nostr, a simple and open protocol that aims to create censorship-resistant social networks and works with cryptographic keys.
    • Allows users to generate keys to use with Nostr. Keys are stored in the extension itself.
  • 01:10:13 Fully Noded v0.4.0 - The NOSTR update:
    • Lightning fast communication to your Bitcoin Core node over Nostr!
    • No longer need to store rpc credentials or sensitive onion addresses on your iPhone.
    • New server/client architecture where FN desktop is used as a proxy for issuing rpc commands to your node via a nostr relay.
    • For best speed you should be using Bitcoin Core on your Mac! It will work with remote connections too but the speed advantage will be lost.
    • Ideal use case is a dedicated Mac mini running only bitcoin core and FN (lightning and Join market will also be upgraded to nostr in the near future).
    • Tor is NOT used with nostr at this time, a future update will include the option.
    • All nostr events are encrypted by FN before being sent to a relay.
    • The ephemeral nostr event type is used which means the relay should NOT store your events, the only way to know is to run your own relay.
    • Connect to any relay you want, onion relays coming soon. Refresh your private/pubkey with a tap.
  • 01:10:53 Keet now supports Bitcoin (I don’t know what this actually means though, need more info on this - J)
  • 01:11:53 You can now receive bitcoin instantly via the Lightning Network in @CashApp

Noteworthy

  • 01:15:58 Coinkite Branded Cards
    • Branded SATSCARD (Mempool.space, Spiral)
    • Branded TASPSIGNER (PubKey, Nunchuk)
  • 01:16:23 Bitcoin Ekasi Launches Financial Education Center in Mossel Bay, South Africa, inspired by Bitcoin Beach
    • Aims to use a well established community platform (The Surfer Kids NPO) to create a Bitcoin economy in the township already serviced by that non-profit organization.
    • The Surfer Kids’ existing program operates 5 days a week, all year round, and is run by coaches from the same township community.
    • Bitcoin Ekasi pays these coaches’ salaries with Bitcoin, while simultaneously on-boarding township vendors to accept Bitcoin as payment. This allows the coaches to spend their sats buying groceries in the township, thereby introducing Bitcoin into the township economy.
    • All of this happens over the Lightning Network. Bitcoin’s layer-two scaling solution, designed to expand the transaction throughput of the Bitcoin network to a truly global scale.
    • Circular bitcoin economy initiative located in South Africa, has opened the Bitcoin Ekasi Center to provide financial literacy and bitcoin for local youths, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
    • Ekasi has already onboarded 10 local businesses to bitcoin in the area.
  • 01:17:08 Research: Validity Rollups on Bitcoin
    • “We conclude that validity rollups have the potential to improve the scalability, privacy, and programmability of bitcoin without sacrificing bitcoin’s core values or functionality as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.”
  • 01:20:33 Base58.info Bitcoin protocol school
    • Run by @niftynei and @stakamoto21
    • Teaches people about how bitcoin transactions work, all with the bitcoin-cli
  • 01:21:04 Cashu: Bitcoin Lightning Chaumian Ecash wallet and mint
    • Cashu is an Ecash implementation based on David Wagner’s variant of Chaumian blinding.
    • Token logic based on minicash (description) which implements a Blind Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange scheme written down by Ruben Somsen.
    • The database mechanics and the Lightning backend uses parts from LNbits.
    • $ pip install cashu
  • 01:23:45 Synonym
    • Cultivating a Bitcoin future by designing, developing, and bootstrapping an ecosystem of software and services that enable a new peer-to-peer economy and society.
    • Products
      • Bitkit Bitcoin Toolkit. Hands you the keys to your money, profile, contacts, and web accounts.
      • Slashtags gives developers tools to build secure and scalable peer-to-peer applications.
      • Blocktank Full-service Lightning Service Provider (LSP).
  • 01:29:56 Coinbase-Backed Anti-Money Laundering Group Expands Into Europe
    • The Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST) has grown its membership to 67 firms.
    • TRUST, which was originally kick-started in the U.S. by the Coinbase (COIN) crypto exchange with help from BitGo, Gemini, Kraken and Fidelity, said earlier this year it had established a footing in Canada and Singapore. As part of its European advancement, the TRUST membership has grown to 67 firms, according to a press release.
    • Back in mid-2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ordered crypto service providers to meet its AML guidance, which meant exchanges, trading desks and custodians had to transfer personally identifiable information about their customers along with crypto transactions over a certain threshold.
  • 01:32:33 Popular Lightning Analytics Company ‘Amboss’ Launches Controversial Data Sharing Feature That Threatens Lightning Privacy
    • Node operators can now share live onchain, remote, and local balances with Amboss.
    • This feature hurts the privacy of channel partners of nodes that participate and can degrade privacy of payments routed through those nodes.
    • Channel probing could already allow a malicious entity to determine channel balances of other nodes but critics of this feature are concerned that the data is now much easier to access and concentrated in a centralized honeypot.
  • 01:36:42 Kollider Raises $2.35M: Launches Lightning-Native Exchange, Synthetic Stablecoins, and Wallet
    • Instant deposits and withdrawals directly to and from your lightning wallets.
    • Can use Kollider to peg all or part of your bitcoin balance to fiat currencies. Exposure is hedged using derivatives on the back end. Users get fiat-denominated balances.
    • Seed funding round was led by Lemniscap, with participation from Castle Island Ventures, Polychain Capital, Alameda Ventures, Pfeffer Capital, Okex and other investors.
  • 01:38:23 Chinese Spies Used Wasabi Wallet Mixer to Pay Bitcoin Bribes to FBI Double Agent
    • Documents released today by the US Department of Justice allege that People’s Republic of China (PRC) intelligence officers paid bribes in Bitcoin to a US government employee, in order to steal documents from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
    • The documents related to an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution of a China-based telecommunications company believed to be Huawei. Unknown to the Chinese agents, however, the employee was an FBI double agent.
    • PRC spies Guochun He and Zheng Wang are charged with attempting to obstruct the criminal prosecution of the telecommunications company, and money laundering related to the payment of a total of $61,000 in Bitcoin bribes. $41,000 in BTC was paid to the US government employee in November 2021, and a further $20,000 in Bitcoin was paid in October 2022.
    • Elliptic’s analysis of the Bitcoin payments described in the criminal complaint provides insights into the use of BTC by Chinese intelligence officers. In particular, blockchain analytics reveals that China’s spies are using Wasabi Wallet to conceal their transaction trail. All of the bribe payments can be traced back to Wasabi.
  • 01:40:43 Coin Center is Suing OFAC Over Its Tornado Cash Sanction
    • Coin Center, along with a group of normal privacy-seeking workers, donors, activists, and public figures, filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department to keep privacy normal, to delist Tornado Cash privacy tools from sanctions, and to enjoin Treasury from enforcing against ordinary Americans exercising their self-evident and basic rights to privacy.
  • 01:41:01 Liquid federation affected by LND bug (LIVE!)
  • 01:43:14 Public miners’ share of Bitcoin hashrate skyrocketing
    • Many public miners went public during the bull market in 2021, giving them plenty of capital to use for expanding operations. They poured this money into mining rigs they would receive from the manufacturer throughout 2022 and early 2023.
    • Private miners didn’t have access to this expansion funding and have seen a considerably slower growth rate than the public miners over the past year. As a result, public miners have taken over an increasingly larger share of the Bitcoin mining network.
    • In one year, the public miners’ capacity has increased by 295% compared to 58% growth of the private hashrate. The public hashrate is now 58 EH/s, while the private hashrate is 177 EH/s.
    • Ben Gagnon, Chief Mining Officer of Bitfarms stated, “YoY, Bitcoin security increased by 73% and mining efficiency increased by 23%. The bitcoin network has never been stronger.”
  • 01:44:37 World’s Largest Bitcoin Mining Firm ‘Core Scientific’ Says It May Run Out of Cash: Halts Debt Payments Amid Solvency Risk
    • The world’s largest bitcoin miner, Core Scientific (CORZ), warned that it may have to explore bankruptcy if it fails to improve its financial condition. The warning sent its shares down 77% to as low as 23 U.S. cents.
    • The miner said it anticipates existing cash resources will be depleted by the end of the year, possibly sooner.
  • 01:44:53 Margin Squeeze - Bitcoin Mining Revenues Evaporated over the Past Months
    • Even though we are in the middle of a bear market, bitcoin miners continue ramping up hashrate financed by massive equity raises. This hashrate ramp-up has led the Bitcoin network to increase its mining difficulty on several occasions lately, and it currently sits at an all-time high.
    • Meanwhile, the bitcoin price keeps hovering around the 2017 high of $20k, 71% below its $69k all-time high. Due to this combination of rising difficulty and the falling bitcoin price, miners dig out fewer and less valuable bitcoin than before.
    • 1 EH/s now produces 3.5 bitcoin per day, compared to 6.7 bitcoin one year ago. Only the miners who have more than doubled their hashrate over the past year earn the same amount of bitcoin as they did in October last year.
  • 01:45:13 Hodlonaut Defeats Craig Wright In Norwegian Court Case
    • Wright must pay for court costs, and the court determined there is sufficient evidence for Hodlonaut to debate whether or not Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.
    • “Against this background, the court believes that (Hodlonaut) had sufficient factual grounds to claim that Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto in March 2019,” reads the transcript. “Wright has come out with a controversial claim, and must withstand criticism from dissenters.”
  • 01:47:21 Biden Administration Wants To Make It Easier To Seize Bitcoin Without Criminal Charges
    • Buried in a 61-page report by the U.S. Attorney General, the Biden Administration called for a dramatic expansion in the federal government’s ability to seize cryptocurrency.
    • If enacted, the proposed changes would bolster both criminal forfeiture, which requires a conviction to permanently confiscate property, as well as civil forfeiture, which doesn’t require a conviction or even criminal charges to be filed.
    • The report’s release was coupled with the announcement of a new Digital Asset Coordinator Network, staffed with more than 150 federal prosecutors who will be trained on “drafting civil and criminal forfeiture actions.”
  • 01:48:56 Bitcoin Mining Council, a voluntary global forum of Bitcoin mining companies and other companies in the Bitcoin industry, announced the findings of its third quarter 2022 (“Q3”) survey focused on three metrics: electricity consumption, technological efficiency and sustainable power mix.
  • 01:52:18 Block: How we design our hardware
    • Block Bitcoin Hardware Wallet Team Releases Update on Design Process
    • “Designing and prototyping the hardware is an exciting phase of building. We get to put all of our feature and functionality decisions into a real design that we can start validating and fine-tuning.”
    • The BMC membership hashrate increased from 35 EH at its inception, to 105 EH in Q3 2022.
    • BMC now represents 45.4% of the global Bitcoin Mining Network with members spread across 5 continents.
    • Members of the BMC and participants in the survey are currently utilizing electricity with a 67.8% sustainable power mix.
    • Based on this data it is estimated that the global bitcoin mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix is now 59.4% or has increased approximately 3% year-on-year, from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022, making it one of the most sustainable industries globally.
    • Year-on-year it is estimated that the global Bitcoin Network’s technological efficiency grew by 23%, from 17.7 EH per gigawatt (GW) in Q3 2021 to 21.7 EH per GW in Q3 2022. This efficiency gain reaffirms the fact that as the Bitcoin Network continues to grow, it will become even more efficient over time.
    • “With a hashrate approaching 267 EH, Bitcoin represents 99% of all crypto power, offering 100 times the security of all the other crypto networks combined.”, said Mr. Saylor.

Bitcoin Optech Newsletter

  • #222
    • 01:51:37 Transaction replacement option
      • Bitcoin Core merged support for a mempoolfullrbf configuration option which defaults to the existing Bitcoin Core behavior of only allowing RBF replacement of transactions containing the BIP125 signal. However, if a user sets the new option to true, their node will accept and relay replacements for transactions that don’t contain the BIP125 signal, provided the replacement transactions follow all of Bitcoin Core’s other rules for replacements.
    • 01:51:52 Validity rollups research
      • John Light posted to the Bitcoin-Dev mailing list a link to a detailed research report he prepared about validity rollups—a type of sidechain where the current sidechain state is compactly stored on the mainchain.
      • A user of the sidechain can use the state stored on the mainchain to prove how many sidechain bitcoins they control. By submitting a mainchain transaction with a validity proof, they can withdraw bitcoins they own from the sidechain even if the operators or miners of the sidechain try to prevent the withdrawal.
      • Light’s research describes validity rollups in depth, looks at how support for them could be added to Bitcoin, and examines various concerns with their implementation.
    • 01:51:57 NBD – A new open source initiative from ZEBEDEE for writing code and giving it to the world
      • Open Bitcoin Wallet (OBW) – An advanced non-custodial Bitcoin Lightning wallet with support for hosted channels. This is basically an app anyone can use.
      • Poncho – CoreLightning (CLN) plugin that allows a node operator to run and serve hosted channels for wallets like OBW (or any other). Levels up one of the most popular Lightning node implementations with hosted-channel capability.
      • Cliché – A daemon that lets you spin up a Lightning node with built-in support for hosted channels. Yes, we built a brand new Lightning client. Yes, you can fork it and sell it for profit, but good luck with that.
      • Immortan – A Lightning Network Library (akin to LDK) that allows wallet builders to add Lightning Network capabilities to their wallets in a plug-and-play way. Basically, makes your tools speak Lightning and hosted channels.
    • 01:52:03 Cashu launches with Lightning support
      • E-cash software Cashu launches as a proof-of-concept wallet with Lightning receive support.
    • 01:52:08 Address explorer Spiral launches
      • Spiral is an open source public address explorer that uses cryptography to provide privacy to users querying information about an address.
    • 01:52:13 ZeroSync project launches
      • The ZeroSync project is using Utreexo and STARK proofs to sync a Bitcoin node, as occurs in Initial Block Download (IBD).

Competitions

  • 01:54:07 Legends of Lightning [11 Oct - 7 Dec]
    • Online global tournament for makers to learn, connect, collaborate, and build innovative applications and tools with bitcoin and lightning. Makers can accelerate their bitcoin projects through mentorship in design, development, and lightning integration.
    • Forming teams to hack on new or existing projects, makers can show off their progress, activity, and updates as they #BuildInPublic - competing for up to ~$60,000 (3 BTC) in prizes.

Events

CD63: building nostr, a censorship resistant alternative to twitter with @fiatjaf, @jb55, and @MrKukks.

Get in touch with the pod

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  • NVK Twitter: https://twitter.com/nvk
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  • Email: bitcoinreview@coinkite.com

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