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This isn’t for Bitcoiners, this is for new people. I tried to boil down a comprehensive break down of Bitcoin/blockchains (and why they aren’t magic cloud databases) that should be digestable to to relatively technical new comers. Bookmark it to pass around as you need.

Bitcoin (and blockchains in general) are a very counter intuitive concept at the core, even for people otherwise familiar with distributed technical systems. In order to truly grok how these systems work, one thing must be understood above all else: these things are just databases. They are databases with special cryptographic properties, but they are…


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Well, firstly I want to say that as of right now the official BitMEX announcement is effectively “We disagree Mr. Government, and intend to fight your charges. For now we will continue normal operations.

Fucking. Chad.

It’s going to be an epic showdown, and I don’t need to explain to anyone the hypocrisy behind this with the recent FinCEN Files dropping. This very well could wind up being a case of people avoiding US friendly jurisdictions, continuing to run a BTC (which can’t be shut down) only business, and going “What are you going to do about it?” Really the…


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The Lightning Network/Protocol has been a massive gravitational well of development attention over the last 2–3 years. I’d speculate that there is just as much if not more developer mind share concerning themselves with the ins and outs of Lightning Protocol issues as there are concerning themselves with the core Bitcoin Protocol. Most of the “Network” side of Lightning revolves around the use of Hash Time Lock Contracts(HTLCs) to enforce atomicity of outcome in outputs across many individual Lightning channels.

HTLCs have shown to be a massive potential DoS vector in general for nodes participating on the network to route…


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Bitcoin is suffering from an autoimmune disease right now. People have historically referred to active members in this ecosystem as “Bitcoin’s white blood cells.” They are now attacking Bitcoin itself, and no I am not referring to “plebs” calling out “influencers” for doing dumb shit. I am talking about the inability to confront shortcomings with layers of the system. The inability to confront substantial threats or attack surfaces that are not being worked on in terms of creating solutions and defenses.

People act like Bitcoin is invincible, preordained. It is not. And this is not to say Bitcoin will “fail”…


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On the 12th of June this year, I was approached by a Samourai Wallet user who had noticed multiple instances of address reuse in his wallet. According to this user, the behavior occurred automatically multiple times without any manual intervention on their part. These instances displayed a pattern of the same address being reused every time reuse occurred. Upon asking the user a few more questions, it was confirmed that the address in his wallet being reused was specifically the 0 index derivation path for that address type. …


Watershed Moments To Come

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You measure history with a handful of events.

(This is just Part 4 of 4, read the last part here.)

Think back through Bitcoin’s history. I guarantee you a handful of events just popped into your mind first, like landmarks. If you kept thinking your mind probably started filling in from there with those landmark events as anchors.

Don’t take these as hard predictions, ignore the coating of hyperbole I can’t stop myself from adding everywhere, and note these don’t come with dates. …


Bitcoin Banks (To The Old-Timers: Binks)

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Banks are not going away. Sorry.

(This is just Part 3 of 4, read the last part here.)

It’s happening. Guaranteed. Done deal. In the bag. It’s just a question of when? Germany cleared banks to custody and handle Bitcoin and Bitcoin accounts for customer starting 2020. Who will be the first?

This is one thing that people will spaz out about, and I get why, but ultimately I think it’s childishly naive to think this wouldn’t happen. First off, banks don’t exist just to hold your money for you and process payments. They make loans. There is a reason they do this, it’s a useful…


The Next Decade Of Technical Potential

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The future always has potential.

(This is just Part 2 of 4, read the last part here.)

We’re already starting to see the seeds of second layer potential develop from the base layer primitives that have been added or optimized in the first decade. Lightning, while still subject to some pretty big limitations, is really starting to thrive. And that is just the limited first version that is currently specified and deployed. There are now sidechains of various kinds deployed: Liquid, RSK, and even token chains tied to Bitcoin developed by Commerceblock. This is just the start.

Schnorr and Taproot

Just over the horizon, we have the combination…


Ten Years Behind, Ten Years Ahead

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Most of a journey takes place without the beginning or end in sight.

It’s a new year, and with that new year come all the normal social media circle jerking centered around predictions of “what will happen in 2020!” I wanted to extend that out a bit, and look at the next decade. But first, I wanted to spend a minute going over the last (yeah, I know I’m a year late, blah blah) to really drill in how far things have come.

Mining and Network Security

In 2010 the network was secured by hobbyists desktop CPUs, trivially over powered by any large resourceful actor. At the start of 2020 it is secured by billions of dollars…


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It happened a day at a time.

Preamble:

So, for those of you who don’t know, I am Shinobi(@brian_trollz on Twitter). This account/name is a legacy from when I did nothing but troll people, that’s in the past (or so I claim….). I’ll probably be shifting avatars here soon. Publishing this is hopefully the start of something I kind of just did unilaterally without talking to anyone else from Block Digest about, so we’re gonna kind of see how this goes and how they feel about it.

My hope is this can become an aggregation of good written content in this space, and a place I can start…

Shinobi [SHI256]

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