On this episode of the Bitcoin Magazine Podcast, host Christian Keroles and Zach Herbert, the CEO and co-founder of Foundation Devices, sit down to discuss the company’s launch and its first product, the Passport hardware wallet.
During the conversation, Keroles and Herbert dive into the design editions for the Passport as well as Herbert’s ideas about multisig, hardware wallets in general, Bitcoin mass adoption, user safety and more.
The guest for this episode of Bitcoin In Asia is Alejandro De La Torre, vice president at Poolin. De La Torre and Poolin have launched taprootactivation.com to improve on the communication and transparency of the Taproot activation process. Bitcoin Magazine’s Aaron van Wirdum covered the initiative here, and in this Interview, De La Torre and host John Riggins explored additional context around it.
De La Torre has been in the Bitcoin data and mining space since 2014 when he founded SendChat, later acquired by wallet and data service Blocktrail, where he led business development until the company was acquired by Bitmain. Inside of Bitmain, De La Torre co-founded BTC.com and led its European office during the SegWit upgrade process. Now, back with former BTC.com colleagues at Poolin, De La Torre leads its global business development initiatives.
Poolin operates out of Beijing and is currently the second-largest pool in terms of Bitcoin hash power. Their services have expanded over the past year to include facilitating additional financial services products for their miner customers, and they have partnered with BlockFi and Three Arrows Capital, among others, for those expanded services.
In addition to discussing taprootactivation.com, De La Torre talked about lessons learned during the SegWit and blocksize debates, Bitcoin upgrade activations and the changing competitive landscape in the Bitcoin mining pool business.
In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, Aaron and Sjors discuss the Erebus Attacks. The episode is a follow-up from last week’s episode on Eclipse Attacks, a type of attack that isolates a Bitcoin node by occupying all of its connection slots to block the node from receiving any transactions. Erebus Attacks are Eclipse Attacks in which an attacker essentially spoofs a whole part of the internet.
The internet is made up of Autonomous Systems, basically clusters of IP-addresses owned by the same entity, like an ISP. Last week, the hosts explained how Bitcoin Core nodes can counter Eclipse Attacks by ensuring that they are connected to a variety of IP addresses from different Autonomous Systems. As it turns out, however, some Autonomous Systems can effectively act as bottlenecks when trying to reach other Autonomous Systems.
This allows an attacker controlling such a bottleneck to launch a successful Eclipse Attack even against nodes that connect with multiple Autonomous Systems.
Since its most recent release, Bitcoin Core includes an optional feature — ASMAP — to counter these types of Eclipse Attacks. The hosts explain how mapping of the internet has allowed Bitcoin Core contributors to create a tool which ensures that Bitcoin nodes not only connect to various Autonomous Systems, but also ensures that they avoid being trapped behind said bottlenecks.
In this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s Bitcoin In Asia, some of the godfathers of Bitcoin — Nick Szabo, Adam Back and David Chaum — discuss the history of the technology with host John Riggins. This episode was recorded during a live panel from Seoul at Korea Blockchain Week and is laid out as a history of the ideas and events that led to Bitcoin from their first-person accounts. It also features their current thoughts on the latest experiments in Bitcoin and what excites them about its future.
Szabo is a computer scientist, cryptographer, the designer of BitGold and a smart contracts pioneer. Back is an applied cryptographer with a computer science PhD in distributed systems, the inventor of Hashcash and cofounder and CEO of Blockstream. Chaum is best known for his fundamental innovations in cryptography, including privacy technology and secure election systems, as well as digital cash, and is currently leading Elixxir and Praxxis. Both Back and Chaum are cited in the Bitcoin white paper, while Szabo’s influence has been mentioned by Satoshi on Bitcointalk.org.
From the cryptography and cypherpunk movements to David’s DigiCash, Adam’s Hashcash proof-of-work, Nick’s BitGold and more, their contributions were foundational to the development of Bitcoin, and it was fascinating to have them together and playing off of each other in a discussion of that history.
This episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s Fed Watch is a cosmic ride though the broad topics of money, central banks, and bitcoin.
My co-host Christian Keroles and I started by extending the analogy of a financial hurricane, which I spoke about in another recent podcast. Many people point to certain asset price rises as a sign of inflation, however, I argued that it is a natural evolution of prices due to the malfunctioning financial system. This malfunctioning financial system acts similarly to a physical natural disaster by distorting supply and demand for goods.
During a decade-long financial hurricane, changes occur not only to asset allocations of investors but the system itself can evolve, as well. It affects the pipes and infrastructure of the financial system, favoring relatively “safer” global assets like U.S. Treasuries and U.S. stocks. The economic behavior, products and relationships that form during a financial hurricane will favor hedging against deflation rather than risk-taking or behavior aimed at expansion.
Next, we turned to central banks and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). We listened to comments by Fed Chairman Powell and ECB President Lagarde on CBDCs and cash from a recent ECB Forum. Of note in Powell’s remarks was his insistence on patience and his emphasis that CBDCs “must be done in a way where they do not affect [physical] cash or other private digital currencies.”
Keroles made a great observation about Powell’s position being analogous to the innovator’s dilemma. Lagarde follows Powell’s lead and reiterates a commitment to cash, but in a less convincing manner, and then gives a general timeline for a digital euro of two to four years. She sounded significantly more bullish on the idea of CBDCs than Powell did, but the offered timeline seems too slow.
By the time a digital euro is ready to launch, bitcoin will be a multi-trillion-dollar network and eating the world. The central banks will find themselves in the uncomfortable predicament that they inadvertently marketed bitcoin with all of their hype about CBDCs.
Lastly, Keroles and I get cosmic about the recent bitcoin rally, what we can expect from the bitcoin price in the short- to medium-term and about the long-term societal implications of bitcoin.
This is a guest post by Ansel Lindner. Opinions expressed are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.