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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain what new features are included in the upcoming Bitcoin Core 27.0 release. === === This episode’s sponsor: ⁠⁠⁠⁠CoinKite⁠⁠⁠⁠, maker of the ColdCard Aaron's Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠@AaronvanW⁠⁠⁠⁠ Aaron’s Nostr: npub1art8cs66ffvnqns5zs5qa9fwlctmusj5lj38j94lv0ulw0j54wjqhpm0w5 Sjors’ Twitter: ⁠⁠⁠⁠@provo…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors are once more joined by Breez developer Jesse de Wit, this time to explain splicing. Splicing allows users of the Lightning Network to effectively add or remove funds from an active channel, allowing for continuous payment and routing activity. Aaron, Sjors and Jesse discuss what challenges thi…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors are joined by Breez developer Jesse de Wit to discuss asynchronous lightning payments. They explain why such payments would be useful, how they would work, and what building blocks are required to realize it. In the process, Aaron, Sjors and Jesse also cover the basics of PTLCs and Trampoline P…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss two more electronic cash projects that predate Bitcoin: Wei Dai’s b-money and Hal Finney’s RPOW. As detailed in Aaron’s new book, The Genesis Book, these systems introduced design elements that were later utilized by Satoshi Nakamoto. Aaron and Sjors explain what these elements are, and…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss two electronic cash projects that predate Bitcoin: Adam Back’s Hashcash and Nick Szabo’s Bit Gold. As detailed in Aaron’s new book, The Genesis Book, these systems introduced design element that were later utilized by Satoshi Nakamoto. Aaron and Sjors explain what these elements are, an…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss the so-called “block 1,983,702 problem”. They explain how a bug in early Bitcoin implementations could in rare cases cause a loss of funds, or in a worst-case scenario even lead to consensus failures, while they also explain how BIP 30 and BIP 34 solved this problem. As it turns out, ho…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain what features are offered by Ocean, the relaunched and rebranded Eligius mining pool. They discuss how payouts from this pool are (partially) non-custodial, how the block template creation is fully transparent, and how payout distribution is determined. Aaron and Sjors also briefly touc…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain what new features are included in the upcoming Bitcoin Core 0.26 release. They also briefly discuss recent developments concerning the transaction inclusion policy of mining pool F2Pool, which appears to have been compliant with the OFAC sanctions list. Link to testing guide: https://gi…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss an invalid block mined by Marathon Pool. They explain why the block was invalid, what caused it (and what didn’t), and why that didn’t affect the Bitcoin network. Aaron and Sjors also provide some updates about the show, and what that means moving forward. Finally, Sjors briefly mention…
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In this episode, Aaron (@AaronvanW) and Sjors (@provoost) discuss a vulnerability in Libbitcoin dubbed “Milk Sad”, which allowed people to generate private key seeds with such weak entropy that their private keys could be brute forced and their coins stolen. Aaron and Sjors examine how this vulnerability (could have) ended up in Libbitcoin as well …
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In this episode, Aaron (@AaronvanW) and Sjors (@provoost) discuss a recent blog post by Bitcoin Core developer Anthony Towns (@ajtowns), “Putting the B in BTC”, in which he outlines a vision for scaling Bitcoin to facilitate billions of users. As Aaron and Sjors walk through the article, they explain what some of Towns’ proposed solutions are, and …
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In this episode, Aaron (@AaronvanW) and Sjors (@provoost) discuss Bitcoin Core 25.0, the latest major release of the Bitcoin Core software. They highlight four of the most notable changes: performance improvements concerning huge transaction loads, further Miniscript integration, a faster wallet re-scan, and the decreased 65-byte transaction limit …
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron (@AaronvanW) and Sjors (@provoost) are joined by Braiins co-founder Jan Čapek (@janbraiins), who has been leading the initiative to upgrade pooled mining to the Stratum V2 protocol. Aaron, Sjors and Jan discuss what pooled mining is, how the Stratum protocol helps with that, and in what ways Stratum V2 i…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron (@AaronvanW) and Sjors (@provoost) explain why the witness discount was included in the Segregated Witness protocol upgrade from 2017, why this discount is 75%, and why this discount still makes sense in today’s world where Inscriptions benefit from it.Episode Sponsor: https://voltage.cloud/Sjors New Boo…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron (@AaronvanW) and Sjors (@provoost) explain Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBTs), discussing what problems they solve, how they work, and some of the ways they are used. In the last part of the episode, the hosts zoom in on one particular PSBT use case called Dutch Auctions, which Bitcoin Magazin…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss BIP 324, the proposal by Dhruv, Pieter Wuille and Tim Ruffing to add peer-to-peer (P2P) encryption to the Bitcoin protocol. They explain why this is needed, how it would work, and which problems it would, and wouldn’t solve. Episode Sponsor: https://voltage.cloud/ Sjors New Book: https:…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain Stamps, a new(?) protocol to upload images onto the Bitcoin blockchain, which end up in the UTXO set.To learn more about some of the concepts mentioned in this episode, also check out episode 15 (Utreexo), episode 61 (OP_RETURN), episode 72 (Inscriptions) and episode 75 (Multisig).Episo…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss multi-signature (multisig), and the various ways that Bitcoin enables multisig; from bare multisig, to P2SH, SegWit, Taproot, and finally Musig, as well as some potential future solutions. Episode Sponsor: https://voltage.cloud/ Sjors New Book: https://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Technical-i…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain pay-to-script-hash (P2SH), which allows bitcoin to be sent to and from the hash of a script. Besides (the current implementation of) P2SH itself, Aaron and Sjors also discuss some alternatives that were proposed around the time that P2SH was adopted in 2012. For further reading on the h…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain OP_VAULT, a proposed op code that would enable an elegant type of vaults through Bitcoin’s scripting language. For more information, also see: https://jameso.be/vaults.pdf https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/c589490f98ba1b0c606d0e2030463f1fde54b786/bip-vaults.mediawiki === Episode Spon…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors explain Inscriptions, a new method to upload arbitrary data onto the Bitcoin blockchain. Episode Sponsor: https://voltage.cloud/ Sjors New Book: https://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Technical-innovations-Sjors-Provoost/dp/9090360425 Don't miss out on the biggest Bitcoin event of the year! B23 in Miam…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, Aaron and Sjors discuss the different types of timelocks available on Bitcoin (and what can go wrong when used incorrectly). Episode Sponsor: https://voltage.cloud/ Sjors New Book: https://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Technical-innovations-Sjors-Provoost/dp/9090360425 Lower your time preference and lock-in your Bitc…
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Aaron and Sjors explain how a wallet bug crept into the Bitcoin Core 24.0 release, and why there is now a Bitcoin Core version 24.0.1 available. Episode Sponsor: https://voltage.cloud/ Sjors New Book: https://www.amazon.com/Bitcoin-Technical-innovations-Sjors-Provoost/dp/9090360425 Lower your time preference and lock-in your Bitcoin 2023 conference…
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Aaron and Sjors explain what happened in the pro forma hearing concerning the trial against Alexy Pertsev, one of the developers behind the Ethereum-based Tornado Cash mixer. While this means that this episode dives more into the domain of Ethereum smart contracts and Dutch law, Aaron and Sjors do discuss the ongoing case from a Bitcoin perspective…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost revisit replace-by-fee (RBF). As they mentioned in Bitcoin, Explained episode 65, the upcoming Bitcoin Core release — Bitcoin Core 24.0 — includes the option to switch on “full RBF”, but this has caused some commotion in the Bitcoin community since the recording of tha…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost speak with Sam Wouters, a research analyst at River Financial. River operates the fourth largest node on the Lightning network, and Sam recently published a report detailing unique insights from this Lightning node. At the start of the episode, Sjors first gives a brie…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss a recent bug in the btcd Bitcoin implementation that affected a large part of the Lightning network, as it disconnected lnd Lightning nodes from the Bitcoin blockchain. In the episode, Aaron and Sjors explain that a developer going by the name Burak on Twitter …
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss the upcoming Bitcoin Core major release, Bitcoin Core 24.0. The Bitcoin Core project produces a new major release of its software roughly every six months. The 24th major release is currently in its release candidate phase, which means that it is being tested a…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) Wallets, mnemonic codes, and — especially — the new SeedQR format which allows users to store their mnemonic codes as QR codes. Aaron and Sjors start the episode by recapping what HD Wallets (also known as private key seeds) are,…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss the Bitcoin Core development process, and more specifically, the different roles that are involved in this process. At the start of the episode, Aaron and Sjors explain what Bitcoin Core is, both in a practical sense as well as in a more definitional sense, and…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost go back to basics. They explain one of the most fundamental building blocks in all of Bitcoin: hash functions. To start the episode off, Aaron and Sjors explain that hash functions are a type of mathematical one-way functions. That means that they can easily convert on…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss OP_RETURN and what some have called the “OP_RETURN wars”. More specifically, they discuss a blog post by BitMEX research titled: “The OP_Return Wars of 2014 – Dapps Vs Bitcoin Transactions”. Aaron and Sjors start off by explaining that OP_RETURN is an op code (…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss reusing Bitcoin addresses. More specifically, they explain why reusing Bitcoin addresses is a bad idea. Reusing Bitcoin addresses is a bad idea for roughly three reasons. The first two of these are that it harms privacy and impedes on the censorship resistance …
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss a recent blog post by James Lopp titled, “Has Bitcoin Ever Hard Forked”? Hard forks are generally defined as Bitcoin protocol upgrades that remove or loosen rules, making these types of upgrades backwards-incompatible. Aaron and Sjors explain, however, that Lop…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost welcome Ruben Somsen back on the show to talk about a recent proposal of his called “Silent Payments”. Silent Payments resemble earlier ideas like Stealth Addresses and Reusable Payment Codes, in that they allow users to publish a static “address”, while this is not th…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss URSFs, which stands for either User Rejected Soft Forks or User Resisted Soft Forks, depending on who you ask. URSFs are a recently introduced tool in Bitcoin’s upgrade mechanism toolkit. In the first part of the episode, Aaron and Sjors explain that URSFs are …
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss Bitcoin Core 23.0, the upcoming major release of Bitcoin's de facto reference implementation. The duo highlights some of the most notable changes in this new software client, and they offer a bit of extra context about the release as well. At the time of record…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss research done by CasaHODL co-founder and CTO Jameson Lopp as well as Sjors himself on syncing old Bitcoin nodes. Whenever a new Bitcoin node comes online, it must first sync with the rest of the Bitcoin network: it needs to download and verify the entire blockc…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost revisit the Taproot activation saga, this time to discuss burying of soft forks. Taproot, the last soft fork to have been deployed on the Bitcoin network, activated in late 2021. Now, Bitcoin Core developers are considering to “bury” the soft fork, which means that fut…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost are joined by resident sidechain and Layer Two expert Ruben Somsen again, this time to discuss Discreet Log Contracts (DLCs). Discreet Log Contracts are a type of smart contracts for Bitcoin, first proposed by Lightning Network white paper coauthor Tadge Dryja. In esse…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost are once again joined by resident sidechain and Layer Two expert Ruben Somsen, this time to discuss Federated Ecash, a project that has since October 2021 been sponsored by Bitcoin infrastructure company Blockstream. In the episode, Aaron, Sjors and Ruben discuss the h…
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Hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost are back from their travel break for a brand new episode of Bitcoin, Explained! In this episode, they explain how Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network is made more efficient and fast with Compact Blocks. Compact blocks are — as the name suggests — compact versions of Bitcoin blocks, that have been used by Bitcoin…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss a recent thread on the Bitcoin development mailing list, titled “Death to the Mempool, Long Live the Mempool”. In the thread, Blockstream engineer Lisa “niftynei” Neigut proposes to get rid of the memory pool (mempool): the collection of unconfirmed transaction…
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Bitcoin was under attack! It’s the story the mainstream media won’t tell you! Hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost finally met in Utrecht again to record Bitcoin, Explained. In this episode, they discuss a recent attack on the Bitcoin network, where some nodes were flooding peers with fake IP-addresses. As previously discussed in episode 13, B…
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In this episode of “Bitcoin Explained,” host Sjors Provoost and guest Christian Decker discussed SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT, a proposed new sighash flag that would enable a cleaner version of the Lightning Network and other Layer 2 protocols. Sighash flags are included in Bitcoin transactions to indicate which part of the transaction is signed by the requi…
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In this episode of Bitcoin Explained, (formerly known as The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado) host Sjors Provoost is joined by Rene Pickhardt to discuss Rene’s paper “Optimally Reliable & Cheap Payment Flows on the Lightning Network”. Rene has spent the last two years researching the reliability of the lightning network, and the reliability of the payment pro…
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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained (formerly known as The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado) hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss the Chivo application, the Bitcoin wallet, and payment terminal provided by the government of El Salvador. This episode is a little bit different from other episodes of Bitcoin, Explained, because the Chivo app is clo…
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The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado has rebranded, and is now called Bitcoin, Explained! In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss Bitcoin Core 22.0, the latest major release of the Bitcoin Core software client, currently the de facto reference implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. Aaron and Sjors highlight sev…
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Sjors is back! In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss BOLT 12 (Basis of Lightning Technology 12), a newly proposed Lightning Network specification for “offers”, a type of “meta invoices” designed by c-lightning developer Rusty Russell. Where coins on Bitcoin’s base layer are sent to addresses,…
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In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, Aaron van Wirdum hosts one more interview without his regular cohost Sjors Provoost. Instead, he is joined by Blockstream’s Lawrence Nahum, one of the developers behind the Jade wallet, and Ben Kaufman, one of the developers of the Spectre wallet, which is specifically designed to work with hardware wall…
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