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November 2, 2022
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— Portal CEO
— Engineering & “the Voice of Portal” for this interview
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So Eric, tell us about those first podcasts because I know you’ve been in this space a long time.

I was working in BitPay at the time, and myself and a couple of my coworkers. We started a podcast called Decentralize, kind of latching on to the core heart of the movement of Bitcoin.

I think we did 40 episodes in total, and we got the opportunity to interview all sorts of folks, CEO’s, other engineers, people working on Bitcoin projects and I gotta tell you, it was probably one of the best ways to gain an education is just start a podcast and invite people that are smarter than you to come & speak.

Ohh, now that’s networking right there.

So I’ve seen a couple of your old podcasts. Where do those old Decentralize podcasts Live Today?

That would be Decentralize.FM and yeah we built our own podcasting platform on the precursor to Fabric called Maki and yeah we served all of our content ourselves.

I mean all the old episodes are also on SoundCloud, but one of the most important things to us was the decentralization aspect, right. So we actually built a BitTorrent sort of hosting platform. You would upload your audio or video file and it automatically processes it into a torrent for you and it would provide the tracker and the magnet link for you. So you don’t need to use any of that stuff (soundcloud)

At some point it would be time to go back to that code that I wrote and Polish it up into a proper hosting platform for multimedia. Obviously we integrated some degree of Bitcoin and accepting donations and all that with lightning payment channels, as they call it podcasting 2.0, I think it’s definitely something that should be in our product grab bag… let’s just put it that way.


Interesting. It was. That’s part of our ancestry of fabric.

You were saying you incorporate some of the ideas you learned from that experience.

Yep, exactly right.


The original framework was called Maki which is the Japanese word for hand rolled sushi. As a software engineer, I really dislike using large pre-packaged softwares and I like the idea of handcrafting things in general. I think that I take that approach with my code. So my thinking was I wanted to build my own web framework for that I handcrafted myself and it would take over all of the bits and pieces that I was fairly opinionated about at the time and the rest API you know being able to render and view content without enabling JavaScript, which is a security concern for many.

The original plan was I was going to learn as much as I could about networking, peer-to-peer stuff, and have a bunch of applications pre-built in such a way that when I moved on to the networking code we would already have these applications out there and it would be just a plug in called and we were that that was where fabric began.


Then you could just flip a switch and these applications would be well described in terms of the data sets that they were tracking and the information that they were managing the methods that they provided.

So it would be just a flip of the switch to turn on the decentralized decentralization aspect.

Obviously, I realized like a lot of that code, a lot of that stuff, it’s your first pass, right? Technically it was my second pass at that web framework called Maki.


That it was just an iterative process in learning really deeply what the web stack involved and all the different parts and pieces. Different headers on the server versus web RTC for peer-to-peer stuff.

So it was definitely a learning experience.

Wht years were those when you worked on the code there?

We did episode 20 in 2015, so it would have been 2014 through 2015.


Yeah, I’m very apprehensive to go back and look at the code.

Again, that’s why we call it an iterative process.


I’m surprised actually that many of the things that we built at the time including this podcasting platform are still up and running. I mean this is still code running on I think that’s node version 0.10, I believe. So if that gives you any idea just just how ancient that stuff is. But it’s remained fairly resilient.

It’s a nice little time capsule to the past. I am on Decentralize.FM right now and I see the headlining piece is about Sean’s Outpost.

Do you guys remember Sean’s outpost?

Ohh, that was, as far as I’m concerned, the very first real killer app on Bitcoin.

That was the homeless shelter in Florida, Pensacola, I want to say, that took Bitcoin donations and fed the needy and gave them somewhere to stay.

And they were early.

Now with the take off and Bitcoin, they have quite the facility these days, I hear.

Yeah, that’s a good point. I haven’t talked to Jason in a while. Jason King started Sean’s Outpost because his friend Sean died in some homelessness complication, I believe, and and it might be, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think was actually murdered or something, which is terrible. But he started this homelessness outreach program and it really bloomed and blossomed.

It was one of the first things that I donated to, from one of the things that I gave away free Bitcoin to because I believed it was a valuable mission. I’ve been to Florida a couple times, but I’ve never stopped at Shawn’s Outpost. I can’t imagine they’re not rocking and rolling. I know they were planting trees and building little shelters; all sorts of things for providing homeless support and outreach. So very cool stuff.

You can find Satoshi Forest on Google Maps to this day.

My brother also led an effort for the homeless in San Antonio, Texas called Haven for Hope. I should talk to him about Sean’s Output to see if it’s still going on and see if there’s anything that can glean from that effort.

Now that would be fantastic.

Tech is one of those things that might actually find a solution for this. Homelessness has been in all likelihood a problem in the world perhaps the day after homes were invented.

Yeah, you go really far back there. I mean when we migrated from nomadic and Hunter-Gatherer to having fixed places to live. That’s, yeah, I’m sure it’s been a problem for a long time. I don’t know that it could ever be completely solved. There’s lots of aspects and contributing factors.

It’s very complex.

Yeah but kind of what Bitcoin is about is giving people financial empowerment, right?

One of the biggest issues there is they have no access to banking. So they are usually lucky if they have a phone and if they have a phone, a lot of times they don’t have an ID. So it’s very difficult for them to get bank access to banking services.

Bitcoin just by itself kind of already gives them a degree of financial access. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen somebody on the street, either a homeless person or a busker with a Bitcoin donation address and that’s their money.

That’s just the only thing that they can actually hold on to because cash goes right out the door or gets stolen and they don’t have access, they don’t have a bank account that they can put it into so they can start accumulating a little bit of savings and after all, Bitcoin is a savings technology, so it seems like it’s a good fit.

I imagine security is a big issue of course and making it simple enough for people that may not be technologically savvy but need that security. I mean, it seems like it’s so distant from their problems, but you know, as you put it, Eric, I think it really is missing some real needs there.

People used to say things like banking the unbanked, right?

Banking the unbanked was one of the original types of rhetoric that was used.

But I kind of personally preferred the idea of unbanking people. The whole idea here is to let you be your own bank, so you make it so that you don’t even have to use one of these external third party services to hold your money.

You can do it yourself.

So it’s been a very interesting kind of path as the narrative has shifted and obviously crypto has happened since Bitcoin and the Bitcoin community itself has gotten much, much larger. So now there’s all these different groups who have different opinions about what it’s about, but I personally just like to get back to the basics.

Why did the Cypherpunk movement start the digital currency initiative in the 1st place?

All the way back from the late 80s about having purely digital money as an objective. We are talking about B-money and Digicash. All of these are precursors to Bitcoin. So there is a wide and robust history there. So I just like to go back to the roots and stay as close to the original mission as possible. If you get distracted by the hype and the potential gains on your purchasing power, the number going up, you missed the the whole point which is to secure your own self sovereignty to not have to trust any third parties because as we know the history of central banks is rife with violations of the trust that we have given them.

I like that term you gave us; Unbanking. Because like you said, without that self sovereignty of crypto, you have to rely on the bank acting in good faith which is not necessarily the case

Particularly when you’re vulnerable too. Getting back a little bit to the homeless situation when you’re vulnerable, what do you do if they take advantage of your powerlessness?

So it really is a power equilibrating kind-of-thing.

Exactly. For those on the margins of society, should they even manage to get a bank account, it might be closed the next day.

The bank manager tells them; “you are an undesirable, leave” and then what do you do?

Yeah, as a non-American I always see a lot of people that don’t use banks at all. They just use cash like a huge, huge, huge percentage. They don’t trust them. They won’t go to the banks because they are not treated right; they fear them.

So it’s really good to have some extra outside the system for them also.

And we made a lot of progress. You mentioned Digicash. I worked on a little project back in the late 1990s using Digicash and it was tied with Mark Twain Bank at the time as I remember. it was still tied in with the system. Now we have Bitcoin which is an example of something that gets down to first principles and starts with itself, bootstrapping itself from nothing and I just love that.

Yeah. It’s also important to know that there are two kinds of banks, right?

Well, I guess technically you can say there are three kinds of banks if you include investment banks, but there are central banks which control monetary policy and currency supply and then there are commercial banks.

And a lot of people don’t recognize the distinction between the two.

Bitcoin is kind of squarely solving both commercial banks and central banks in the sense that as a commercial bank is the place that you go to to deposit your money. They hold it in savings, they keep it safe; both of them.I’m pretty sure Satoshi was squarely aiming at central banks.

But the idea of self sovereignty and having the freedom and access to financial services, not only keeping your own money safe but also potentially leveraging it to accumulate more income by having a percentage of gain or yield that’s a commercial bank activity.

While the central bank is perhaps the most evil of all in that it perpetuates inflation, which in and of itself is a form of theft.

But commercial banks also don’t really have that history of trust. I mean I’m sure you guys are all aware of the Wells Fargo scandal.

I don’t know of a single bank, unless you’re talking about a credit union or something like that, that isn’t marred with some kind of scandal, whether it be overdraft fees or pushing new accounts on people to sign up things that they don’t need.

I’m just really glad that we have Bitcoin.

Up until recently due to circumstances outside of my control, I closed all my bank accounts in 2011 and I went all in on Bitcoin. I got rid of all my bank accounts and said; “You know what? To hell with these bastards! I’m absolutely done”.

So I’m just super happy that Bitcoin exists. I try to be the Johnny Appleseed as much as I can to promote that access to freedom to as many people as possible.

So on that topic; how do you live completely on Bitcoin?

How do you handle basic money movements like paying rent or gas?

Do you do it all with cash?

Do you find troubles sometimes with living 100% in Bitcoin?

Yeah, so this is something that I’ve had to come to terms with recently and in the past year I’ve had to go ahead and get access to a bank account again. But historically, yes, it was not too difficult to meet up with people in person, tell them a little bit of Bitcoin for the physical cash that I need and then take that physical cash and, you know, pay my rent or whatever. Similarly nowadays there is the FOLD app.

But it used to be called “Coins For Coffee”. So I could go to buy what equated to gift cards and go spend those gift cards and I would purchase those gift cards in Bitcoin. But all the way back in 2013 and 14, there were many businesses accepting Bitcoin, whether it be directly, which was small or through a service.

Like BitPay, which receives the Bitcoin and then distributes it to the business in a proportional split as they prefer some percent in Bitcoin, some percent in dollars. So that actually gave me access to all sorts of things between booking flights and groceries. Another notable one was Purse.io, I’m still a big fan of purse dot IO because they allow you to purchase anything that’s available off at amazon


They allow you to purchase anything that’s available at Amazon using Bitcoin and then they create a little market internally for bidders to do the actual purchase for you.

You deposit the Bitcoin and they create a multi SIG and they only release the Bitcoin when the order has been delivered.

So while it makes life a little bit more complicated, it honestly has not been so difficult.

Even all the way back in 2013 to 14, I could meet up with people in person. Anywhere I went in the world; there would be someone. There was usually a community of about 5 to 10 Bitcoin folks in different cities around the world that it might take me a day to to get connected with but it was while it was a little bit harder but it wasn’t impossible then and it’s only gotten easier as time goes on.
I think at the time with BitPay, we were lauding the fact that we had something like 200,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin through BitPay. And now I’m sure that number is well over a million. since I’ve spoken with Tony the CEO of Bitpay and he’s told me exactly that. So it’s gotten easier over time. But it wasn’t impossible.

There were even a few documentaries of folks who would travel around the world just exclusively on Bitcoin. Ultimately it comes down to at the end of the day; how much effort are you willing to put into it?

If you can convince someone to accept Bitcoin and front up the cash themselves then that’s kind of the end all be all. It just takes a little bit of effort and a little bit of selling ability; “Hey man like can you accept Bitcoin?”, and then you tell them all about what Bitcoin is and you get them interested and maybe 10–15 minutes later you finally get somebody to agree.

It certainly isn’t that way anymore. But yeah, I’m sure there’s still a few stalwarts out there who are just anti-Bitcoin or anti-crypto and just refuse to do it.

But hey, I guess those will be the businesses that eventually close when the dollar becomes worthless.

That’s right.

Did you remember the reporter Kashmir Hill, who was a journalist with Forbes at the time?

I remember it was around the time of when Bitcoin hit $100. There was actually a party in the Lower Haight in San Francisco, and she actually attended there. And I bumped into her and talked with her and I actually got quoted in that article.

But she spent a week living on Bitcoin, just Bitcoin. And she said the biggest problem was trying to find breakfast. So she finally found this artisanal place, this in Haight-Ashbury and they accepted the coin and she was saved. They had some oatmeal or something but there’s a sort of a fun exploration of living on Bitcoin that she did.

Well, thank you for joining us. So glad you could make it. I’d like to introduce Pablo Artee;

Bitcoiner since 2016. Fellow startup co-founder and head of Design at Global Consultancy.

Now working at Portal.

Hello, hello. Excited to be here. Excited to be designing for Bitcoin. There’s only a few designers working on Bitcoin. There’s a lot of developers. Cool to be one of those, I guess. We need more.

Here here.

Ohh yes, we are always on the lookout for new engineers.

Our team is growing.

And if you’d like to sign up, or if someone who would, please feel free to contact us.

As well, please allow me to introduce Casey.

Casey is an alumni of Princeton and now he works here at Portal.

And I’m a native of San Francisco. I grew up in the city and now I live in South Padre Island, TX.

And of course, I think we all know Eric Martindale.

CEO and founder here at Portal and of the underlying technology Fabric.

And if you were here a little bit early, the early, early technology before Fabric; Maki.

Yeah dude, I bet you could go through my GitHub and find a million different projects that ultimately fit into Fabric, Its been a wild ride but I think we’re here and we’re here to stay now.

I’m excited to get rocking and rolling.

Indeed.Alright. So Eric, could you tell us a little bit about how fabric and Portal came together?

Oh yeah, sure. So very similar to kind of even how I got into Bitcoin, which is by doing development work and someone recognizing that.

I had been doing since about 2017 some exploratory work on replacing the World Wide Web and its client server model with something much more aligned with Bitcoin and the peer-to-peer model. So what it predated was a bunch of work on sort of canonicalizing what I felt were my what I felt were the right ways to to build web applications.

Respecting the HTTP protocol and having a nice Restful API that is intuitive, that doesn’t need too much documentation. It’s just kind of well understood how to interact with different objects and documents.

And I have been doing work on on that peer-to-peer stuff, calling it loosely under the name fabric actually since 2015 is when I kind of came up with the idea and originally I was approached to kind of support and advise on what was at the time sort of a a medical insurance play in the smart contracting space.

One of our co-founders, Chandra Duggirala is a medical doctor and he had joined together with a couple of his former co-founders from a previous startup to do this medical insurance slash, predictive analytics kind of tooling, while I advise them, we found that the market just was a little bit difficult, I mean.

Not saying that what we’re doing is any different, but the regulatory environment for medical and health was pretty difficult and it actually seemed like a fairly large technology build out.

So we worked together for a little while on that and then kind of together the idea came up that what we really should focus on is the fine financial infrastructure first because once we have the financial infrastructure then we can start building things on top of it.

And so that’s that’s ultimately what made what made us decide to merge the efforts we we agreed that we shared the same vision and we decided to to merge and now it’s it’s under the the overall umbrella. We’ve got the open source protocol fabric which you know obviously we’re we’re going to be pushing on quite a bit more.

That’s ultimately what made what made us decide to merge the efforts we we agreed that we shared the same vision and we decided to to merge and now it’s it’s under the the overall umbrella we’ve got the open source protocol fabric which obviously we’re we’re going to be pushing on quite a bit more coming in the next year, but after we implement the exchange and then we’ve got Portal on the exchange side.

I had done some work with them kind of sketching out what I thought a good design would be providing the technical capacity, introduced them to the concept of atomic swaps and the original construct of represented by Tier Nolan and expanded upon that.

And it was, yeah, just basically off chain transactions you would create a signed transaction and then give that to your counterparty and instead of broadcasting it and confirming it on chain, you would just continue to pay it forward until such a point that you wanted to settle back out to the chain. However, we hadn’t thought through all of the, I mean we were using time locks at the time and there’s just a lot of moving parts that I’m we’re very fortunate that you know Ads and Joseph kind of kind of built the initial design and really nailed it down and obviously that’s developed into what we see today which is you know if a fairly robust network of these payment channels.


Payment channels were originally very very lightweight, not much thought had gone into them and they were just one part of the overall solution.

I remember seeing a demo of somebody using a bitcoin payment channel to charge per ounce of gas coming out of a gas pump.

That was one of the first demos that I saw and it just kind of blew my mind. So yeah, I’m just, I’m, I’m stoked that we didn’t actually build a broken implementation and the industry has kind of moved on, but there are a lot of lessons learned as we kind of went through the review process and we got the chance to collaborate with Taj and Joseph as well.

Ohh very cool.

Fantastic, we’ve got a little bit of current events here. What do you think of the New UK Prime Minister?

Is he really Bitcoin friendly or is it crypto friendly?

Because of London and the UK’s financial ties,I mean, not to say that the government matters because I just don’t believe in government in general, but I don’t know. It could be a red herring. I can’t say that he’s supportive of Bitcoin until I see something akin to what’s happening in El Salvador where he states that it’s legal tender but I’ll have my fingers crossed.

My hopes are high that I will be wrong, but I get the sense that it’s a little bit more angled towards just finance and bringing business into the UK etcetera, etcetera.

You bring up a good point.

He might not know. He might not not know the difference between crypto and Bitcoin as we see it. But as long as he’s not aggressive on Bitcoin and just at least ignore it, that’s fine with me.

I would say that’s probably going to be likely, right. Most of the regulations that we see kind of coming across from all the various jurisdictions around the world are focused on crypto, not on Bitcoin, right.

Bitcoin is already at least the leader in regulatory frameworks. The United States by and large, the SEC and various SFTC and numerous, numerous organizations have kind of like bitcoins being corralled towards an actually decentralized network slash commodity.

I’m all in favor of regulations being put in place on the crypto side because that’s a lot of scams. It’s a lot of not only just witting scammers who know that they’re trying to rip people off and steal money but also a lot of unwitting scammers as well.

This is a term I learned during the Financial crisis where bankers generally thought they were doing good things, but in essence they were just depriving populations of their purchasing power.

I do anticipate that the UK will try to since they split off from the EU.

The EU has its own crypto regulatory framework that’s coming down the pipeline. There’s been numerous drafts and different documents that have been passed around, but I’m sure the UK is going to try to make a strong statement given that London has been seen as one of the financial hubs of the world. I can’t imagine that.

They won’t introduce regulation in some capacity, but I’m fairly certain that Bitcoin will escape that. Obviously the big thing that could happen is that they could go after proof of work claiming that Bitcoin is using too much energy, as if it were their place to tell us how we use our energy, the most fundamental currency of the universe but I have my own ideas about what I saw in Bitcoin.

The anniversary of the Bitcoin Whitepaper was recently. Any thoughts?

Yeah, I had to read it two to three times to really fully grok it and I hadn’t the first time through I hadn’t internalized a lot of the concepts.

The second time through, I understood the connection with game theory and economics, slash financial incentives and then the third time through, after a real deep thought, I realized the connection with energy and just what it would mean for the global energy markets.

Given the sort of fundamental basis in physics that proof of work has and that’s what set me ablaze. I just realized this solved so many problems, so many big problems. Number one, obviously the central banking issue.

So how is it OK that a small group of people gets the power to print money at a whim?

It just seems so ridiculous in retrospect. But also the issue of incentivizing humanity at large to produce corral and utilize power or energy, which again, just to repeat it, is the most fundamental currency in the universe. So it’s just kind of a beautiful harmony between things in the way that it works.

I remember just kind of dismissing it initially as another virtual currency attempt. Having come from looking at Second Life Linden dollars and World of Warcraft Gold, I had worked on an augmented reality startup in the past and we had done some work on economics and so on but yeah it’s hard to believe it’s been what was it 12 years or is it 13 at this point?

I’m not certain but yeah it’s really cool to see just how well the Bitcoin community kind of preserves those traditional components and the things that actually opened so many people’s eyes to what this is all about. And yeah, I’m hopeful that that’ll continue.

I mean, there’s a few other holidays in the Bitcoin community between Pizza Day and the day the network actually launched January 3rd. This is another one that definitely should be on everybody’s calendar; White Paper Day.

Go get some apparel too.

I can’t tell you every time I see one of the Bitcoin white paper shirts or some getup that just features it. I just have to compliment folks and appreciate the appreciation for lack of a better phrase.

Yeah, White Paper Day does not seem to get the gravitas that pizza day does.

Everyone celebrates pizza day (May 22nd).

I read the White Paper in 2011 and it instantly hit me. I mean I immediately absorbed it and I was very much in line with the criteria that I was looking for a good money.

I had been giving a lot of thought during and since my grad school days at Sanford. I have been just fascinated with the idea of what makes for good money and what price it will be at those monies and I read a book, the “Denationalization of Money” by Hayek and it sparked these questions that I had.

I have my own ideas about and when Bitcoin hit my radar, I was in New York City and I instantly fit the ideas that I had that I thought would be important and essential. So for me it was just immediate. It was just I I was just so wild.

Ever since I spent a lot of time with the Bitcoin community through meetups and all the rest. Working hard at whatever I was doing. So I really wanted to do some open source work and eventually here I am now at Portal and I’m just so pleased that I’ll be able to do this work on something I’m so passionate about.

Well actually this is something I've kept close to my vest and in fact now that I'm with Portal I probably should like finally write it out and make my ideas a little bit more public. So and I’ve been you know people I people give me grief.

I attended these meetups like the Santa Cruz meetup is when I frequented quite a bit in addition to the San Francisco Bitcoin devs meetup over the years. But I’ve always sort of kept the ideas I’d hoped to do at some point, and probably this is a good point to start doing that. So hopefully I can share those ideas and put them in written form before I really speak about them. But I have my own ideas about it and you know.

We’ll see what other people think about those ideas, but those are the ideas that have guided me in terms of the decisions I’ve made over the last decade.

You mentioned a couple of things there.

Number one, I got to point out, man, Bitcoin is the reason I was already aware of Austrian economics to a degree and the reason that I went on a reading spree from 2011 through 2013.

I read Hayek. I’ve read everything. It was amazing.

But you mentioned the good money. Can you elucidate what makes a good money for everybody?


Payment channels and all the work that we had done for a precursor to the lightning network called impulse and Transmissibility Acceptance as a store of value.

There’s like some traditional 7 to 8 different categories.

I think some people have fewer, some people have less.

But I eagerly await your written thoughts on that.

OK. And it’s in line, a lot of it’s sort of in line with a lot of people weren’t talking about some of these things like the first time I heard about fungibility being really mentioned. I remember distinctly in Wikipedia, finally I saw someone talking about fungibility and just like him about 2000, 2006, 7–8, something like that and so it’s sort of like, you know, some of these aspects people weren’t talking about so much back then and eventually these things came out through one way or another. And I think, you know, a lot of people sort of have this sort of idea that you have to sort of have some sort of faith in the money.

But in fact there’s a reasonable way to analyze the situation in which it’s not like you’re putting faith into it. It’s more there’s a reason why things are money and a reason why there’s a price. There may be some interesting aspects to this that that come out of thinking about a little bit more detailed and why certain things are the way they are. There’s some like it in a lot of economics, some of the wonderful economic stuff is where you see these things that you know, the unintended consequences and things that aren’t sort of obvious, the naïve approach that you might take and I actually with Hayek, I disagreed with his answers.

What I eventually felt was a very naive approach with regard to bundling. Having some sort of a bundle of commodities and stuff like that. That actually was sort of my initial approach but I I realized there was a naivete to that and as you think more and more about it I think you can you can break down the problem in a way at least I have in a way that I think about it.

Completely obvious.

So anyway, it’s a passion of mine to think about these sorts of things and for me, I really wanted it to be hard enough to sort of feel like you had the freedom to even imagine these things. I was in grad school. It was just very taboo and it’s just so wonderful now that, you know, not only can we imagine these things but you know, we have something to work on. You know, it’s so cool and so I’ve been very happy with how you know things have turned out in the world, and it’s great that Bitcoin has been here to let you know that it just exists. I don’t know, it’s just wonderful. So cool. Slightly enthusiastic.

That’s right. Thank goodness for Bitcoin.

Speaking of Bitcoin, let’s look at the layer on top.

So what do you guys think about the recent emergency update on lightning?

Well, this is the second one, right?

Both of these are issues with LND which is the official lightning, but I can’t say officially it is the Lightning Labs implementation of lightning and about I don’t know it was a few weeks ago now there was a transaction on the Bitcoin network that was a 998 of 999.

MultiSIG transaction and there was a bug in LND previously that caused it to hang, crash, etcetera, thus breaking those who were running that implementation. And now this most recent one seems to be another transaction in the Bitcoin network that was not being handled appropriately and or it was a function.

And it was copied out of their node.

The same team BTC produced BTC D. It was a function that came out of BTC C that just didn’t have the error checks or the boundary conditions checked appropriately. And again it caused everyone running LND to have down time on their node.

So yeah, it’s it. It just reminds us of those of us who weren’t around in the early days of lightning.

When after several years of discussion, development effort being put into making it work, finally people decided, hey, it’s time to go put this on the main net now. And at the time, the the meme was #reckless because there wasn’t widespread consensus that lightning was ready, but people felt that in order for something to truly be ready, it needs to be tested at an ad in an adversarial environment and when that, that means when you know there’s actual real money on the line, there’s actual attackers participating in attempting to break the network, that that’s really the that’s really when you start to find these actual real-world issues. So number one, I think we’re lucky that there are multiple implementations of the Lightning protocol.

I can count at least three and i think there may be 4 or 5 in total but only only the the only portions of the network that were experienced downtime in this case we’re running just one of the implementations so meanwhile anybody on the other side of the network if you try to make a payment through the network it would still work because you know the default behavior is if you’re the route ports and gotchas that come along with the protocol because otherwise you can fall out of consensus as we saw BTC D nodes do recently.

Andreas Antonopoulos brought that point at summer school. Bitcoin devs I remember years ago. And yeah, that’s not fun. You don’t have to replicate bugs.

Well, I mean nothing is a ubiquitous solution. Nothing can solve anything completely. There’s always trade-offs and some drawbacks. And when you’re working with a distributed system and dealing with consensus across that distributed system, that’s just the nature of the game.

So I think it’s a case where one is good, two is bad, three or more is best, right?

So if if there were just two implementations of Bitcoin, you could end up in a situation where if it’s not bugged for bug compatible, you end up with a fork, a split where the part portion of the nodes that are running, one version go off on one chain and the version.

Running, running the other goes off in the other direction. So I think having three gives anyone who’s running a node or running a group of nodes the ability to discern which one is actually having the problem. Of course, just like Satoshi said, you know Bitcoin core is the reference implementation, right? It’s meant to be the gold gold standard if it’s implemented in Bitcoin core, if it’s a bug.

It’s a part of the protocol as it exists, at least until there is a software or network upgrade to fix those things. So we’re still in. I I wouldn’t say precarious, but we’re like I was talking about the Lightning network. I still think we’re fairly early in terms of, I mean there’s, I think there’s only about 20,000 public Bitcoin nodes. I think there’s 150,000 estimated.

Well known private nodes behind firewalls, et cetera.

But I, I I think that number is still far too small.

I do think in the future the end goal is that every individual on planet Earth has their own full node running at least one version of Bitcoin Core.

That would be the starting place and then we can start to phase in other implementations and make sure things are.

Compatible, but it’s good that people are getting that work started.

So yeah, I’m generally in agreement. We want a robust network, but I still do look to Bitcoin core as per Satoshi as the reference implementation.

So yeah, the C++ code is kind of the single source of truth for me.

So moving on from Bitcoin core itself, what do you guys think about some of the up and coming Bitcoin adjacent technologies like say VR and AR and a lot of companies have been betting big on these?

There’s been a few attempts even remotely break even.

Bitcoin as a technology obviously makes a lot of sense. Payment channels in general make a lot of sense because you can make these tiny, tiny incremental payments sub penny and even now with the Lightning network, you can even go down to Sub Satoshi. So yes, there’s a huge connection there.

But I don’t necessarily see, I’m a big fan of decentralization, but I don’t necessarily see the necessity of a blockchain, for example, for anything more than the financial aspect. I mean, money is the primary application that proof of work and blockchains enable, right? You can call it smart contracting, you can, you can build all these applications on top of it.

At the base level, at the base layer, layer 0 if you will, is money. And anything that has to do with just about anything is going to have something to do with money. So I like to think that Bitcoin is a virus of sorts and it will not only expand into AR and VR, these virtual worlds which include games and gaming and all of that stuff, but it’ll also infect pretty much.

Everything else, anything that needs access to a trustworthy money, will eventually end up adopting Bitcoin, whether it be for technological capacity like in the case of micro payments, or just simply having a trustworthy monetary supply that is not beholden to an outside party. It seems kind of ridiculous, even again in retrospect, that anybody would build anything with the US dollar or even accept dollars in the first place.

One of the many mantras of business is don’t build your business dependent on someone else’s business, right?

So yeah, I think there’s a huge connection there, but it’s more due to the properties of Bitcoin itself than it is of it being augmented or virtual reality or any of that stuff.

Yeah, I agree a lot with what Eric is saying. I’ve long felt that the important, one important aspect of all this is just the ability to empower software agents that don’t know one another. I mean these are just software agents doing things where there’s some scarcity like say bandwidth or something like this.

It’s one thing to have a virtual world which is centrally controlled and everything is working under all of the software written by one body. But it’s another thing to have software agents that are interacting, that are independent of one another which will inevitably happen in the world.

You need something that can handle payments and payments that you don’t have to sort of do in some centralized fashion with trust and and and so I see you know in the world of software alone the use of micro payments in very small, nano payments, very small payments where you can facilitate a lot of issues that have to do with software where you.

You don’t have one party, it’s really software agents that don’t know one another and I think as a result too, I think in the software world.

Software engineers and developers will behoove them to learn more about basic economics like I’m talking about like microeconomics and and game theory and things like this. These are important things that software developers in the future should know more about and I don’t know with regard to virtual reality.

I don’t know that much about it but I can imagine that this sort of thing would facilitate a more much more decentralized kind of virtual world.

One over over, an all encompassing umbrella to the whole virtual world where you have different worlds that you can enter and there are various scarcities that you deal with on the fly with these software agents. And I don’t know, rambling a bit, but that’s my sense for this.

So my favorite things to hear.

That and PR accepted.

One of the other people who have joined the team in the past several months has been Pablo Artee, and he’s working mostly on the product side, doing the design and fleshing things out as to what the exchange will actually look like.

And Pablo, do you have anything to add?

Nothing special, it’s been really fun to be doing the product, the way the users are going to be interacting with all of these magic that our developers are doing, making it easy to use, making it accessible for everybody.

I’m quite excited to be able to launch this to the people so everybody can just keep us feedback and make it better and better until it’s just another of those apps that you use. Every day, whenever you use it, it’s just as easy as the ones you use the most.

Really exciting, because Bitcoin & crypto is way different than other ways of interacting.

Centralized applications make it super easy to do stuff because they do all the stuff behind the scenes and whatever you’re doing, these kinds of non custodial apps and experiences, you need to do a lot of the user has a lot of responsibility and needs to do a lot of stuff. So we need to make it as simple as possible for them, for all of them to be able to take these stylisms in their hands and it’s going to be a hard thing to solve doing it right.

Doing it really decentralized.

But it seems like we are achieving it and hopefully you get to test it soon enough.

Ohh yes I do hope everyone here makes sure to sign up for our beta.

Coming up, we would love to hear your inputs.

Yeah, all good apps are built on top of all the feedback that users provided regarding the bugs, preferences, usability, and a lot of other stuff leading to hacks and people, unfortunately, much to my chagrin as much as I you know, I’m an old man shouting at clouds sometimes.

But it is super essential that the software we write doesn’t cause anybody else to lose money.

Yeah, money is a delicate thing and there’s been a lot of products that have been dragged to the market them for some money grab from the founders.

Maybe it feels like we’re going at not the usual speed in the crypto world, but it’s way, way better to do that than to just launch something, make some money for the founders, and then some bug or some chaos just ends up losing everybody’s money.

It’s better to do this safely. Security is super important.

And swallow structure may stand if a single big bad wolf can blow it down in a single breath.

Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be.

Yeah, and indeed the products, you don’t always see that.

Like if they have a nice website and a nice flow you don’t really get to see the security.

Nobody audits the code. Even there are some open source stuff that may not be running that open source code. Nobody’s like really checking and auditing that they’re actually doing that.

So yeah, you gotta be really, really careful. That’s what we’re trying to do here.

So hey, fingers crossed. Maybe we’ll have a live demo, but we shall see. We’re looking at the 30th. That’ll be a Wednesday. The next developer Fireside chats. That’s going to be on Discord.

And please make sure to find the link on our Twitter to discord — Sign up & Verify.

I’d like to thank everyone for attending.

Hope to see you again at the end of the month.

Yeah, guys, thanks for having us. And please feel free in the meantime to submit any questions or feedback through our Twitter or through our discord or through our telegram. A lot of us on the team have Twitter and use Twitter on a regular basis. So there’s some interactivity that could take place there. But other than that, yeah, thanks everybody for having us.

So that is one of the main reasons why that I’d say that really you haven’t really seen it manifest at least in the term DEFI. Maybe another thing is the term DEFI is indeed fairly strictly contained within the crypto ecosystem.

Bitcoin comes at it from a strict economic and monetary policy perspective, and by itself that is finance.

Bitcoin is decentralized finance and there are many different applications that are already built on top of Bitcoin. You can look at Lightning, Lightning is already, you can that is a decentralized finance system. One of the other things I’m very excited about in the Bitcoin space are discrete log contracts, DLC’s, that’s another way of doing DEFI stuff. And you know as you know, I mean the very idea of being able to do off chain computations.

And only publish the proof to the main chain of the monetary exchange at the outset or at the at at finality is is indeed kind of the approach that we’re taking. There’s all sorts of things that can be done it’s just making sure taking bitcoins careful conservative slow paced very careful approach to handling other other people’s money I think we’re very much so.

Just moving out of the infancy phase of Bitcoin and into the toddler ship and we’re not the first quote DEFI decentralized finance platform as I mentioned Lightning DLC’s, there’s several others, many others actually but they just don’t get the attention. They don’t get the hype. They don’t get the bravado that some of the other more well publicized systems do.

So I think it’s complex. It’s a number of factors but it’s not to say that they don’t exist. And at the end of the day Bitcoin is decentralized finance. That’s the whole idea of it.

There’s privacy benefits to the model that Bitcoin takes where the only thing that you actually see in the public Ledger is the finality. I mean as strict, I mean it’s strictly superior. It’s a strictly superior model if I have to say it frankly to what what?

I see so many other systems. So yeah, just just keep your head, keep, keep, stay participating, keep your up. I mean I think we originally had on the agenda talking about some of these mailing lists.

I mean the Bitcoin developer mailing list is obviously one of the most important ones but the discrete log contract mailing list is also really incredible looking at the work that they’re doing in kind of bringing some of these mainstream traditional finance applications to Bitcoin.

And obviously the Lightning developer mailing list is another really good one in terms of looking at what’s coming down the pipeline and how much work is actually ongoing and in the Bitcoin space. It’s really incredible to watch.

And we’ll be bringing up that and more, including the Bitcoin core developer mailing list as well.

So, hey, everyone. Thank you again for joining us. We’ll see you again on the 30th.

around the same time as we did

Around the same time as we did today. Take care everyone. And with that, that is a wrap.



Local Crypto Storage & Fast, Non-Custodial Trading

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