In recent weeks SideShift AI has been busy understanding the exact value of 1 DOGE. As you can imagine it has been a lengthy endeavour.

After a deep-dive into the MOON technology behind the project our AI has derived the following formula:

D2 -D2 == (D-D)x(D+D). D2 -D2 = ((D-D)x(D+D))*2.

With the number of ways to swap coins on SideShift AI having reached over 500, it’s hard to know that everything is working as expected.

That’s why we built Shifty, a robot that randomly swaps coins around just like a normal user would use SideShift AI. When Shifty is unable to perform a shift, we create a Github issue and start tracking down the bug.

Shifty’s workflow

Shifty is written as a Node.js script (119 cloc) that runs every 5 minutes.

  • Pick a random deposit method, such as Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, Zcash Shielded, USDT, etc.
  • Pick a random settle method that is…

Zcash has two types of addresses/payments. A transparent, t-address, is just like a Bitcoin address and uses the same commands as the Bitcoin Core API I’m used to. A shielded address, often referred to as a z-address conceals the sender, recipient, and amount of transactions. Using z-addresses appears to require a new set of commands prefixed with z_, such as z_getnewaddress.

SideShift AI already has support for shifting to and from t-addresses which uses the exact same code as used for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and more.

Detecting deposits

For detecting incoming deposits, we won’t be able to look through every transaction in every…

Blockstream’s Liquid product is a fork of Bitcoin that replaces the consensus model from proof-of-work to a federated consensus model. Most users are familiar with the federated consensus model from other payment networks such as Ripple.

Bitfinex and BitMEX were announced by Blockstream as partnering exchanges, but I was unable to find deposit/withdrawal of L-BTC on either exchange. Perhaps SideShift AI will be the first to integrate Liquid.

Live demonstration of a Shift of BTC from Bitcoin Lightning to Liquid.

Instance specification

I deploy a Ubuntu 18.04 instance on Amazon AWS with these modest specs:

  • t2.smal (1 vCPU, 2 GB RAM)
  • OS volume: 20 GB SSD
  • Data volume: 250 GB SSD


Operating a Lightning Node is easy, but then again it doesn’t pay much either. What happens when you close down half of the Lightning Network capacity? Andreas finds out.

In the third part of my Lightning Network review I bought goods and services with Lightning, with varying degrees of success. Today, I’ll try to close all of the channels and hopefully recover most of my funds.

Today’s review is more of a demonstration. I hope you enjoy the change in format.

TL;DR: Operating the largest node on the Bitcoin Lightning Network has been educational, frustrating, fun, and at times terrifying…

Lightning Network aims to make micro-payments faster, cheaper, and more secure than zero-confirmation Bitcoin transactions. Is it unfairly easy to pay with Lightning? Andreas goes shopping.

In the second part of my Lightning Network review I became the largest node in the Lightning Network. Today I’ll try to pay for goods and services.

TL;DR: Sending payments using the Lightning Network is cheaper than the regular Bitcoin network, but suffers from routing errors and wallet bugs that make it impractical even for highly technical users.

I have split this review of the Bitcoin Lightning Network into multiple parts for better readability…

Lightning Network payments are routed through nodes to optimize for cost and reliability. Will payments route through super-connected “hubs”? Will they collect and share your information with the government? Andreas finds out.

In the first part of my Lightning Network review I compiled and ran the Lightning Network Daemon, lnd. Today I’ll add more funds to my node and see how many channels I can open. Will payments routed through my node make me money?

TL;DR: Maintaining a Lightning Network payment hub is stressful and makes very little profit. …

Lightning Network is a layer-two scaling solution for Bitcoin. What’s it like being a Lightning Network user nearly 3 years after its whitepaper was released? Andreas finds out.

Today I’ll be reviewing the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a layer-two/off-chain payment system and scaling solution for Bitcoin. This is the first time I’m using any Lightning Network software and look forward to trying the technology for myself.

TL;DR: Installing and configuring lnd is quick and easy. The autopilot feature automatically establishes and funds payment channels to make future payment routing faster and cheaper.

The Lightning Whitepaper was written by Joseph Poon and…

IOTA is a tangle coin that ICO’d on Bitcointalk in JINN, another coin. It promises to bring cryptocurrency to the Internet-of-Things. But did anyone actually try using IOTA? Andreas finds out.

Today I’m reviewing IOTA, a token that uses a tangle instead of a blockchain. IOTA is supposed to be used on small devices in the Internet of Things. I’ll show you how to buy, store, send, and sell.

TL;DR: IOTA cannot be used for Internet-of-Things devices. Or anything.

I last tried IOTA in November 2016. Back then I was researching IOTA for my then coworker Kevin.

I’m glad to report that my Dash budget proposal to promote my review of Dash has been approved!

And received in my wallet:

Andreas Brekken

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store