A non-technical Guide to Privacy in Bitcoin

I’m writing this non-technical explainer, because many people don’t know:

  1. That regular bitcoin transactions do not have enough privacy.
  2. What measures you can take today as a non-technical user to have more privacy when using Bitcoin.

If you’re already convinced about the need for privacy and want a few actions, check the steps below:

A few practical steps to improve your privacy in Bitcoin:

  1. Don’t tell people how much bitcoin you own.
  2. Don’t publicly post your bitcoin addresses.
  3. Don’t re-use bitcoin addresses, most services will automatically take care of this for you.
  4. Run your own full node and don’t request information about your transactions from anywhere else.
  5. Keep your bitcoin…

I’m writing this non-technical explainer because I believe Erlay is one of the most important performance improvements to Bitcoin yet.

Erlay will help the Bitcoin network to remain decentralised, by reducing unnecessary communication between the participants in the network.

Estimation of how Erlay will impact Bitcoin

Thanks to Gleb Naumenko, Pieter Wuille, Gregory Maxwell, Sasha Fedorova and Ivan Beschastnikh for proposing this awesome improvement.

I first read about it in the (highly recommended) Bitcoin Optech Newsletter (#49). Special thanks to the authors for making it so accessible to a somewhat technical audience. I hope to make it even simpler for others below.

How broadcasting a transaction works today

This is Bob.

When you read about Bitcoin and consensus, the first thing that comes to mind is agreeing on the true version of the Bitcoin blockchain.

This post is not about that, it’s about a Bitcoin bubble. Not a price bubble, but a “technical bubble” that many long-term bitcoiners live in. It is a bubble of assumptions that everyone understands technical explanations.

If you’ve been into Bitcoin for a while, you’ve probably read a lot of these technical posts, because understanding Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchains is hard.

I think there are 3 reasons why.

1. It is complex technology.

Jameson Lopp wrote a great post last year…

I’m writing this while returning from an awesome weekend at the Baltic Honeybadger 2017 Bitcoin conference in Riga, Latvia. For those of you at home wondering whether this event was worthwhile and what some interesting takeaways are, this is a post for you!

In case you’re wondering about the name, the Honeybadger is the animal most frequently associated with Bitcoin, as Honeybadgers “don’t care” by nature and just keep going no matter what happens.

Disclaimer: Nobody asked me to write this post, I just had a great time and wanted to share my thoughts.

Great organisation

Riga-based P2P Bitcoin exchange HodlHodl hosted…

If you ask anyone in the Bitcoin space what the biggest challenge for Bitcoin is, you will likely hear the answer “scalability”.

To explain you what Schnorr signatures are and how they can help solve scalability, I’ll first give you a brief recap of why scalability needs to be solved at all and what is being done about it right now.

The recap

There has been much debate over the past few years on how the Bitcoin network should scale, so that millions (and eventually billions) of people can use it at once, in a frictionless way.

Today, Bitcoin can’t handle this…

The open-source Bitcoin code on Github

A small group of Bitcoin users is convinced that “Blockstreamcore” is the biggest threat to the future of Bitcoin. I’m not talking about trolls, but people with this legitimate concern.

I disagree that developer “centralisation” is the biggest threat to bitcoin, because in my eyes, developers actually have the least power in Bitcoin of all the stakeholders.


Core developers work with an admirable level of transparency. Everything they do gets thoroughly discussed, publicly published and peer-reviewed to the moon.

Even if a developer proposes an idea that is harmful to bitcoin, the network remains largely unaffected because it takes weeks…

If you’ve been into Bitcoin for a while, you will often see the reference of Bitcoin going to “the moon”. In this post, I’ll use this metaphor to help you understand the current scalability debate and how we might effectively get to the moon (Earth has adopted Bitcoin).

From zero to one

For decades, corporations were dominating the global infrastructure and heavily taxed all people who wanted to make use of it. …

2017 is almost here, and with it a horde of predictions and promises about what will happen to Bitcoin & Blockchain next year. Speculation about the bitcoin price, on whether we will see private blockchains move into production and on what other industries may start to use blockchains to their advantage.

I only have one prediction for 2017: A LOT more people are finally going to realise blockchains are here to stay. I don’t expect this to be driven by private blockchains and the association with large financial & tech companies, but by the increasing understanding of the value of…

Most banks are currently investigating or “leveraging blockchain”. Some of them are even testing “use cases” to go beyond the talk and hype.

“We have 13 use cases!” “We have 25 use cases!” “All our business lines are involved” “We traded our first share using blockchain!” “We are conducting our biggest blockchain experiment yet!”

Save a few financial institutions, all of them are working towards the same future scenario: one without the internet of money and the banks in control of a permissioned financial system.

I think this is dangerous and want to share my thoughts on this in my…

Let’s focus on positivity!

Bitcoin is part of the digital disruption process that has been going on for over 2 decades now. Digital disruption works so well because it improves existing systems in innovative ways, to make our lives easier.

To become a digital disruptor, you need to bring something new to the table. Something that is so good that people want to use it and get in on it. For Bitcoin this is the power of decentralisation, but this is also its weakness.

It is the power because this is the first time in history where strangers can trust eachother over a network…

Sam Wouters

#Bitcoin & #Blockchain education • Archiving Bitcoin @ http://bitcoinsnippets.com

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