Blockstream news

A blockchain technology company co-founded by Adam Back, Gregory Maxwell, Pieter Wuille and others, and led by Adam Back. Blockstream is one of a number of institutions that provide funding for the development of Bitcoin Core, the predominant network client software.

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Blockstream Releases New c-lightning Software Update to Help Scale Bitcoin’s Lightning Network

Bitcoin developers and engineers are continually making improvements to solve critical issues such as scalability and transaction costs. As a result of that, innovations such as SegWit, Lightning Network, and Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning are already in place. However, even these have to go through multiple iterations to keep up with the everchanging world […]
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Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo joins Square Crypto

In an ongoing race to ensure sustainability, crypto businesses are hiring the best brains in the crypto market. In this light, Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo recently joined Square Crypto, the crypto arm of payments company Square. The information was made public through an official tweet from Square Crypto, which read, “BIG NEWS: Please welcome @TheBlueMatt […] The post Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo joins Square Crypto appeared first on AMBCrypto.

Miniscript: How Blockstream Engineers Are Making Bitcoin Programming Easy(er)

Bitcoin offered the first smart contract programming language the world had ever seen. Script, as this language is called, lets users encode different conditions under which coins can be spent. But while this was a revolutionary concept, it’s not easy to use, especially for more complex spending conditions. Both writing a complex contract as well as verifying that the contract does what it is supposed to do are prone to human error. Yet, especially with money at stake, correct interpretation of the conditions is of the utmost importance. Over the past year, three blockchain engineers have set out to improve this. By stripping down Script to its bare essentials, their “new” programming language — “Miniscript” — abstracts away the complexity and should make programming on Bitcoin easier and safer for everyone involved. “Miniscript is, in a theoretical sense, more limiting than script,” Blockstream director of research and Miniscript co-designer Andrew Poelstra told Bitcoin Magazine. “But it can do everything that people actually use script for.” SCRIPT Let’s start from the beginning. Every Bitcoin transaction consists of two main parts: inputs and outputs, both of which consist of pieces of code. The inputs “unlock” coins and the outputs “lock them up” again, specifying under which conditions they can be unlocked in a subsequent transaction input. Such requirements usually include a valid cryptographic signature, but there are more possibilities; for example, perhaps a certain amount of time must have passed before a coin can be spent or a specific secret number must be included. This code in transactions is created with Script, a programming language specifically designed for Bitcoin. Script was inspired by Forth, a programming language invented in the 1960s that was originally designed to operate radio telescopes. Script is adjusted, however, to make it more suited for Bitcoin. For example, Script doesn’t have an opcode (an instruction) that makes “loops”: the language doesn’t support performing the same computation an unbounded number times. In Bitcoin, there is no need to perform the same computation an unbounded number of times because Bitcoin nodes don’t actually compute transactions — they validate transactions. (For a more technical explanation of why this is the case, see this post by Blockstream engineer Russell O’Connor.) Script is also “untyped.” This means that outcomes of computations can be interpreted and used in different ways. For example, the outcome of a valid signature can be “true,” but “true” can, in turn, be interpreted and used as a number “1” and subsequently used in math equations: “true” plus “true” would add up to “2,” which could, for example, mean that enough signatures were provided if a minimum of two valid signatures is required. This brings us to the most important property of Script in the context of this article: it is hard to “reason about.” This essentially means that the results of computations can be interpreted in many ways. Even if a signature is invalid, for example, the Script can be written such that the transaction is still valid for some other reason. “There are opcodes in Bitcoin Script which do really absurd things,” Poelstra explained. “Like, interpret a signature as a true/false value, branch on that; convert that boolean to a number and then index into the stack, and rearrange the stack based on that number. And the specific rules for how it does this are super nuts.” This can make Script tricky to work with. Especially if requirements to spend (“unlock”) coins become more complex, the author of a transaction may unintentionally include something in the code that allows the coins to be spent under different conditions than intended. Conversely, the recipient of a transaction may fail to notice such a quirk and lose his coins to an attacker who does notice. A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF A PROBLEM Here is a concrete example of how these problems limit Script’s usefulness. The Blockstream Green wallet has a standard “cosigning” setup. The wallet user controls one of two keys, and Blockstream controls the other. The funds can be spent in two ways. First, whenever the user wants to spend a coin, they sign the transaction and request that Blockstream signs it as well. Blockstream would usually do this, though this might require that the user confirms they really want to make the transaction through a secondary means, like an email confirmation. But something might go wrong on Blockstream’s end — perhaps the company disappears or loses its key, or it cannot sign for some other reason. In that case, the user still has a fallback solution to spend their bitcoin: After a timelock has expired, they can create a valid transaction after some predetermined time has passed. Perhaps a month. This works fine, but it’s also limited. The user cannot use any more of Bitcoin’s smart contract potential, even though they may want to add more flexibility on their end of the setup. “Right now Green has a fixed script that it uses for all customers, which is basically just a simple multi-signature,” Poelstra said. “But really, we shouldn’t care what the Script says. What we care about is: before some timeout, is it impossible for the coins to be spent without our signature? If the user wants to use some crazy policy with us, we should be able to support it, as long as that one condition we care about is met.” The user may, for example, want to allow their loved ones to spend the coin after a year has passed, in case they pass away. Or maybe the user is actually a company, and it wants to create a multisig setup where any two out of three board members can together spend the coins (in combination with Blockstream). Currently, this could technically be possible with Bitcoin Script. However, it would require that the user designs a custom setup, and Blockstream would need to partake in this custom setup. “But if the user gives us an arbitrary script, it’s impossible for us to tell whether that one condition we care about it [is] met, because the total set of all script behaviors is really complicated,” Poelstra explained. “For example, if a script seems to take a signature, we need to think about what happens if the user gives a non-signature. Can it be tricked into letting the coins be spent?” MINISCRIPT Over the past year, Miniscript was designed by Poelstra, Blockstream Core tech engineer Pieter Wuille and Blockstream intern Sanket Kanjalkar. (Miniscript is not officially a Blockstream product, however.) In short, Miniscript is a “stripped down” version of Script: a selection of “tools” from the “Script toolkit” that makes it easier to use and easier to verify by humans. The tools are carefully selected to enable practically anything that can be done with Script — there are only some fringe exceptions that no one actually makes use of anyway. So while a line of Miniscript is still a valid line of Script, it essentially avoids human error by preventing unexpected, perhaps unintended, outcomes of the code. Taking the example of a problem above, with Miniscript, a user can easily design a setup in such a way that Blockstream can trivially check that its one condition is met. Specifically, Blockstream can see that the funds can only ever be spent if it signs or if a month has passed — no matter which other conditions are included on the user’s end of the setup, be it extra timelocks or multisigs or anything else. With Miniscript, there can be no unexpected quirks that would override Blockstream’s end. Miniscript is so straightforward and predictable, in fact, that the setup can be turned into a decision tree: a visualization (“pictural encoding”) of the setup, which is very easy to reason about. The visualization below, for example, shows a setup where the user’s end includes the company board members, in which two out of three need to sign. Blockstream’s end is the same as always: It either needs to sign or wait for some length of time to pass. Visualization of Miniscript “With Miniscript it is easy for Blockstream to participate in more complex setups — we decode the script into a tree, then we check every leaf of the tree, asking (a) does this leaf have a timeout condition on it?; or (b) does this leaf require one of our signatures?” Poelstra said. If the answer is yes to both questions, Blockstream can participate. MINISCRIPT IN USE While Miniscript is a work in progress, early versions of it have been released and are ready to be used. To make the process of writing Miniscript even easier, Wuille also designed a “policy language.” The policy language is really like a programming language of its own. After programming the conditions under which a coin can be spent in this policy language, it can be compiled (“translated”) into Miniscript, and therefore into valid Script, to be included in a Bitcoin transaction output. A big added benefit of this policy language is that it automatically compiles into the best, most efficient version of Miniscript possible, depending on what the Script actually encodes. “The thing about Miniscript is that it’s basically Script … you have a ton of different ways to write ‘or,’ a ton of ways to write ‘and’ and some are more efficient than others,” Poelstra said. “The policy language only has one ‘or,’ one ‘and’ and so forth, and Pieter [Wuille] has written this super optimized compiler which will convert that to Miniscript for you, and do it in the optimal way.” This isn’t just a theoretical concept. Even though the current version of Miniscript and the compiler are not final versions, Blockstream is using it internally for the development branch of its Liquid sidechain functionary software. (Poelstra pointed out that use of Wuille’s optimizing compiler saved Blockstream 22 bytes versus its original, “hand-rolled” Script.) Wuille hosts a demo version of a policy language to the Miniscript compiler for anyone to use on

Square Crypto Hires Bitcoin Core Developer and Blockstream Co-Founder Matt Corallo

The crypto division of Square, Square Crypto, has recently hired Matt Corallo. The announcement was made on Twitter. He was one of the co-founders of Blockstream and a prominent Bitcoin dev. He previously worked on Chaincode Labs, too, where he passed almost three years. Corallo commented on the news affirming that he was very excited […]
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Square Crypto hires Blockstream co-founder and Bitcoin Core contributor Matt Corallo

Square Crypto, the crypto initiative of payments company Square, has announced its second hire. The company has brought on Matt Corallo, a Bitcoin Core contributor and Blockstream co-founder. Corallo will work on open-source Bitcoin projects for Square Crypto. Prior to joining Square Crypto, Corallo was an engineer at Chaincode Labs, a Bitcoin technologies company. The Square Crypto initiative was first announced in March. The firm will work towards building out the inchoate bitcoin and crypto ecosystem, separately from Square's own business interests in the market.
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Mimblewimble is an extremely lightweight blockchain protocol that can implemented as both an upgrade to Bitcoin or an independent chain. By taking elliptic-curve cryptography several steps further than Bitcoin, Mimblewimble builds upon a number of techniques such as Confidential Transactions, CoinJoin, and One-way Aggregate Signatures and strips down blockchains of all unnecessary data to bring unprecedented scalability and absolute anonymity

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Bitcoin Struggles As BAT And ETC Lead The Charge

The cryptocurrency market has somewhat stabilized, presenting a predominantly green landscape as Bitcoin struggles to stay above the psychological $10,000 marker.   Cryptocurrency Market Situation. Source: Coin360   Sentiment for Bitcoin has seen a moderate improvement towards a strongly neutral outlook.   Bitcoin Sentiment Chart by   Despite this overall lukewarm performance, proponents of Bitcoin’s store of value potential have reason to rejoice today. According to a report by Digital Asset Data, BTC is increasingly gaining correlation with the broader asset markets – positively with gold, and negatively with the stock market. With a recession looming on the global economy, Bitcoin could fulfill the role of a “safe haven asset,” to which investors flock during uncertain economic times. Altcoins see recovery with ETC and BAT leading The rest of the cryptocurrency market is seeing strong corrections from yesterday’s fall, with two strong outliers making significant gains. Basic Attention Token is strongly reacting to its new listing on Kraken, a popular exchange part of Weiss Ratings’ Real 10 index of platforms reporting true volume. BAT has gained more than 15% on yesterday’s price, while curiously its partner-in-listing WAVES has registered a much more modest 4%. The stark difference can be explained by the contribution of other fundamental drivers, with BAT recently launching the much-anticipated online tipping feature in its browser.   BAT Recent Price Trend. Source: CoinMarketCap   The other outlier is none other than Ethereum Classic, which after an against-the-grain rally on Tuesday has continued today with a 14.6% gain. The total 7-day performance is a solid +21%, by far the highest in the top-50. As before, it’s difficult to give a meaningful explanation of the rally. The upcoming ETC Atlantis hard fork is scheduled in about 22 days, too far ahead to justify any price action, though the final confirmation was released on Monday. The run is likely to be due to a combination of factors, including possible whales entering ETC positions. The rest of the altcoin market is seeing moderate recoveries, with IOTA, TRON and Cardano gaining 8%, 6.32% and 6.42% respectively as the rest average on 3-4%.   The post Bitcoin Struggles As BAT And ETC Lead The Charge appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

Casa Unveiled Node Monitor Service to Leapfrog Bitcoin Network Health

Coinspeaker Casa Unveiled Node Monitor Service to Leapfrog Bitcoin Network HealthA famous crypto startup firm recognized as Casa that offers primary management service, and Bitcoin node machine has launched a node monitor as well as accompanying reward program to develop Bitcoin network health.The firm revealed the latest innovation in an official website article on Aug. 21. Per the announcement, the node monitor known as Node Heartbeats depends on creating a brief relationship between the server of Casa plus, an internet synced and Tor-activated node owned by a user. The rewards program enables Casa node subscribers to earn 10,000 SatsBack weekly in exchange for operating 5 Node Heartbeat checks weekly, on separate days.SetBack can reportedly be converted for Bitcoin (BTC) just once per day on Keymaster app for Casa, as long as a consumer has garnered a minimum of 50,000 SatBack points. According to the report, Casa is firmly convinced that it`s hectic for consumers to keep up with the trend on their node`s uptime as well as security. By offering an inducement program to leapfrog node health, the firm reportedly expects to enhance the overall health of the Bitcoin network.How the Node Heartbeat OperatesTo verify that node is online, the company makes a concise link from their server to the users Casa Node. For this to be manageable, the user`s node must be synced, online, and with Tor activated. But with Tor, that indicates the node Heartbeat secures user`s privacy.Speaking of privacy, the Node Heartbeat only utilises the connection code of the consumer-the same code that is already existing in explorers and that which the consumer release to others who are willing to launch a channel with them. Sats App automatically submits the code for the users when they send a Heatbeat to saves them from the agony of looking it up.Guess Who Is The Latest Casa Investor?Charlie Lee, Litecoin (LTC) founder revealed just three days ago that he has heavily invested in Casa. He went ahead to praise Casa for spearheading BTC acceptance, indicating:“I have the same feeling about Casa today as I had about Coinbase when I joined in 2013 as the 3rd hire. Casa is making Bitcoin easy to use, and that is extremely important for this space. Looking forward to great things!”New Node Monitor by Lightning LabsAs initially reported by Cointelegraph that the designer of the high-speed transaction protocol Lightning Network, Lightning Labs recently unveiled an alpha version of a node monitor. The invented device, called Indmon, allegedly enables nodes operators to supervise node functions in real-time. Network cases this year reportedly influenced the developers to design a tool for preemptively detecting network and node issues.Casa Unveiled Node Monitor Service to Leapfrog Bitcoin Network Health

Gemini Exchange Launches In Australia in Effort to Expand its ‘Crypto Needs Rules’ Brand

One of the most prominent exchanges, Gemini which is owned by Winklevoss Twins is now available for Australian crypto users. “Cryptocurrency is the future of money, and we're committed to building a bridge to that future in Australia.” – @tylerwinklevoss We are thrilled to announce that starting today, we are operational in Australia 🇦🇺 Read […]
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Tether to Launch RMB Stablecoin "CNHT"? CryptoNews

Tether is rumored to launch RMB Stablecoin. Such a move could land crypto in serious trouble in China as the RMB is tightly controlled and regulated. Binance Venus is also on its tails. Ukranian miners accidentally leak sensitive Nuclear Powerplant data. #Cryptocurrency #crypto #Tether RMB Stable Coin 👍🏻Subscribe to Boxmining for Cryptocurrency Insight and News: 🔒Hardware Wallet: 👍🏻Brave Browser: 📲Enjin Wallet: 👍🏻Unstoppable Domain: 📲Binance Exchange : #Bitcoin #Ethereum #Cryptocurrency ●▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬● Telegram groups (Discuss Crypto with us!) Telegram Discussion Group: Telegram Announcements: ●▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬● ♨️Social (Add me on Social Media!) Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: Steemit: ●▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬● I'm not a professional financial adviser and you should always do your own research. I may hold the cryptocurrencies talked about in the video. ●▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬●

Kraken To List Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Waves

Kraken has announced they will be listing BAT and WAVES, with pairs denominated in USD, EUR, BTC, and ETH. Trading commences at 13:30 UTC on August 22, 2019, and deposits will take 30 and 10 confirmations before being credited to users Kraken balances for BAT and WAVES, respectively, August 21, 2019. Kraken Expands Altcoin OfferingsRead MoreRead More. The post by Ashwath Balakrishnan appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News\
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