Satoshi Scoop Weekly, 14 Jun 2024

Satoshi Scoop Weekly, 14 Jun 2024

Take a byte out of the latest weekly updates in the Bitcoin ecosystem. All things #POW and #UTXO.


6 min read

Crypto Insights

New BIP Draft | Soft Fork Against Quantum Attacks

  • The BIP draft introduces a new signature algorithm P2QRH (Pay to Quantum Resistant Hash) to add quantum resistance to Bitcoin. This draft is the beginning of a series of BIPs focused on the hypothetical "QuBit" soft fork to safeguard Bitcoin against quantum vulnerabilities. For details, visit the BIP draft.

New BIP Draft | Generating Mnemonics with Playing Cards, Chess Boards, and Napkins Improves Security?

  • This BIP draft introduces a backward-compatible, non-breaking change with existing BIP-39, by fully integrating PBKDF2() to expand mnemonic options without altering the core mechanism of BIP-39 seed derivation. It leverages everyday items such as playing cards, chess boards, and napkins to generate mnemonics, enhancing steganographic capabilities and attack resistance.

  • For the specification and reference implementation, visit: Free seed mnemonics for steganography and attack-resistance

Lightning Network Daemon 0.18 Beta Release

Enhancements include:

  • Improved UTXO Sweeping: A smarter sweeping process that adapts to fluctuating on-chain fees, giving users more control over transaction urgency and fee expenditure.

  • SQL Schema for Invoices: The introduction of a SQL schema store for invoices, allowing for better scalability and performance as nodes handle more invoice data.

  • Inbound Fees: A new feature that enables node operators to set fees for incoming channels, potentially offering discounts to balance liquidity and improve routing efficiency.

  • Route Blinding: The addition of a privacy feature that obscures the payment path for the receiver, enhancing privacy by using blinded routes.

Private Collaborative Custody with FROST

  • FROST, which stands for Flexible Round-Optimized Schnorr Threshold Signatures, is a threshold signature scheme. It enables the division of a Schnorr signature key into "n" segments, where a minimum of "t" segments are required to collaboratively create a valid signature. This signature, once produced, is identical in form to a standard Schnorr signature and can be authenticated using the same verification process.

  • A key feature is that the signature's origin from a threshold scheme remains undetectable to those verifying its authenticity.

  • FROST Workshop on GitHub. Workshop Presentation:


BitReXe Builds Parallel Virtual Machines on Bitcoin's Layer 2

  • Parallel EVM Layer on Bitcoin: BitReXe introduces a layer 2 architecture supporting the scalable execution of smart contracts by running multiple EVMs in parallel on the Bitcoin network.

  • Innovative Programming Model: The platform uses an innovative programming model called PREDA (Parallel Relay-Execution Distributed Architecture), designed to take full advantage of the parallel architecture, similar to how NVIDIA's CUDA operates on GPUs.

  • Security and Economic Integration: BitReXe aligns with Bitcoin's security model and integrates a trustless asset settlement mechanism using BTC for transaction fees. It provides a seamless economic framework between Bitcoin and its layer 2 network, with rewards for miners issued as rxBTC, anchored 1:1 with Bitcoin on the BitReXe network.

Starkware Plans to Scale Bitcoin With Zero-Knowledge

As a company historically active in Ethereum, Starkware recently announced its commitment to developing Bitcoin scaling solutions. They claim to use OP_CAT operation to bring their zero-knowledge STARK technology to Bitcoin, enabling native verification of zero-knowledge proofs.

Spiderchain Combines Multisig and PoS

  • Spiderchain refers to itself as the “first EVM L2 on Bitcoin”. Willem Schroé, the founder of Spiderchain and a former PoW maximalist, now advocates for the combination of PoW and PoS. He believes that this integration can solve security concerns related to randomization and finality, allowing Spiderchain to inherit Bitcoin's finality and further strengthen its security model.

  • One of the standout features of Spiderchain is its forward security, which means that even if a key is compromised, it cannot be used to decrypt previous transactions.

Human Rights Foundation Bitcoin Development Fund Awards 10 BTC to 13 Bitcoin Projects

The Human Rights Foundation has recently granted 10 BTC from its Bitcoin Development Fund to 13 Bitcoin projects. The themes include providing education, privacy, and lightning network development for people living under authoritarian regimes, decentralized communication, and easier financial freedom tools for non-profit and human rights organizations.

Financial Freedom Track at Oslo Freedom Forum 2024

  • The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) hosted the Financial Freedom Track at this forum, aiming to reveal how authoritarian regimes around the world deploy financial repression against dissidents, and show how citizens worldwide fight back using open-source software. Speakers include former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, macroeconomic researcher Lyn Alden, Bitcoin Core contributor Abubakar Nur Khalil (full list of speakers).

  • Livestream on Youtube:


Top Reads on Blockchain and Beyond

Open Source Projects are Not Democratic

DHH, founder of Ruby on Rails and Instiki, argues that open source is a meritocracy rather than a democracy, driven by core contributors who shape its direction and development.

  • Open Source Misconception: The term "community" in open source can falsely imply a democratic decision-making process, which typically does not exist. The software and the license's freedom of use are the gifts; beyond that, there is no inherent right to influence the project's direction.

  • Elitism in Open Source Projects: Most open source projects are led by a small group of core contributors, not the broader community. This natural hierarchy is beneficial as it allows those who contribute the most to lead the project's development.

  • Ecosystem, Not Community: The author suggests using "ecosystem" instead of "community" to more accurately describe the varying roles and relationships within open source projects, akin to the dynamic and non-egalitarian relationships within a natural ecosystem.

Report on Bitcoin's Empty Blocks

  • Definition and Causes: A Bitcoin block is considered empty if it contains only a coinbase transaction. The reason why transaction pools send empty block templates is that these templates are smaller, allowing for faster transmission to miners, who can then execute valid work more quickly.

  • Frequency and Scale: Since the inception of Bitcoin, 10.6% of blocks have been empty. The frequency has decreased as Bitcoin’s usage has increased. However, nearly 300 empty blocks were still recorded in the past two years.

  • Pool-Level Analysis: Pools like FoundryUSA and Marapool have not produced any empty blocks in the past two years; whereas Spiderpool and Ocean have an empty block ratio exceeding 5%. This could be due to operational issues causing delays in sending / receiving full block templates or a slow switch in a significant portion of ASIC firmware. The article concludes that while mining empty blocks can slightly increase a pool's chances of discovering a block, it also reduces the opportunity to earn block reward. The profitability of this strategy depends on the speed of template switching and current rate market conditions.

Cryptographers Discover a New Foundation for Quantum Secrecy

  • Quantum Encryption Without Hard Problems: Researchers have demonstrated that secure quantum encryption can be achieved even in a hypothetical scenario where all computational problems are easily solvable. The security is based on a specific quantum computational problem related to quantum theory itself, rather than the hardness of classical computational problems.

  • Rethinking Quantum Cryptography: The traditional belief that computational hardness is essential for cryptographic security has been challenged. This new perspective suggests that the assumptions needed for quantum cryptography can be significantly weaker, offering new insights into the nature of computational hardness.

  • Quantum State Discrimination as a Foundation: The security of many quantum cryptography techniques now rests on the difficulty of distinguishing between two quantum states that appear similar. This problem, once thought to be approachable with quantum algorithms, has proven to be unexpectedly hard, even for quantum computers with access to an oracle that can solve any NP problem instantaneously.

LVMH Digital Luxury Collectibles Case Study

  • The article explores LVMH's various web3 projects, from developing digital product passports on the Aura blockchain for luxury goods to 3D "digital twins" and "cultural DAO" co-creation communities, among others.

Image: Bulgari 2022 NFT Jewelry Collection. Source:Stanford Blockchain Review