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Bitcoin Optech #124

- warning about backdoored VM images
- notable improvements to clients and services
- C-Lightning v0.9.2rc1
- changes to popular Bitcoin infrastructure software
OKEx Mining Pool Flatlines After 99.5% Hash Power Drop as Withdrawal Suspensions Spook Clients

> “Pool payouts are the lifeline of mining operations that don’t have large treasuries,” said Vera. “It’s no surprise that even the threat of that being cut off is enough for miners to jump ship to other mining pools.”
Leaked ‘Tai Chi’ Document Reveals Binance’s Elaborate Scheme To Evade Bitcoin Regulators

> Binance Holdings Limited, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange conceived of an elaborate corporate structure designed to intentionally deceive regulators and surreptitiously profit from crypto investors in the United States, according to a document thought to be created by a senior executive
Binance Sues Forbes for Defamation Over ‘Tai Chi’ Document Leak

> The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Forbes and two writers, Michael del Castillo and Jason Brett, harmed Binance by publishing a story that “contains numerous false, misleading and defamatory statements.”
OKEx official announcement: Reopening of withdrawals and other related updates

> Presently, one of OKEx’s private key holders has completed assisting the authorities in a previously referenced investigation. Throughout this investigation, OKEx was confirmed not to have been involved in any wrongdoing or illegal activities, and the private key holder has now returned to his normal business functions.

> OKEx will therefore reopen unrestricted withdrawals on or before Nov. 27, 2020. Prior to withdrawals reopening, our team will conduct strict security checks to resume normal operations of the hot wallet system and ensure the safety of our users’ funds. Because OKEx has insisted on maintaining 100% reserves since its establishment, 100% of user funds can be withdrawn without any restrictions after withdrawals are reopened.
Electrum v4.0.5 released

- Fix: binary hanging on recently released macOS 11 Big Sur
- Fix: during LN channel opening, if the client crashed at the wrong moment, the channel might not get fully persisted to disk, and would need manual console-tinkering to recover
- Lightning now enabled by default. Electrum will not connect to the Lightning Network until the user opens a channel.
- Smarter node recommendation (to open channels with)
Swan adds XPUB support for automatic withdrawals

> We encourage you to use a dedicated account for your Swan savings plan if your wallet supports it.

> A dedicated account will have its own child extended public key, meaning that anyone who has access to this key can only derive a subset of your wallet’s public keys.

> We do not store your extended public key. We only store a relatively short list of addresses that we derive from it — just enough to have a new address for every payout.
ThunderHub v0.10.3 released

- Boltz reverse swaps: Move funds from off-chain to on-chain
- LnMarkets integration to login and see your balances
Librem 5 Mass Production Phone Has Begun Shipping

> Purism, a Social Purpose Company (SPC) focusing on security and privacy with its hardware and software, has begun shipping its mass-produced Librem 5 phone to customers.
Poker Players Are Enhancing Winnings by Cashing Out in Bitcoin

> Winning Poker Network, which operates sites including, has had to buy millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin a day from so-called over-the-counter trading desks in recent weeks to meet demand of exiting players, according to Chief Executive Phil Nagy.

> Before the recent rally, about 60% of customers cashed out in Bitcoin, while now it’s over 90%

> The business does more than 60% of its transaction volume in Bitcoin. That’s about $100 million a month
Lightning Network’s New Liquidity Marketplace Attracts a ‘Surprising’ Mix of Individuals, Enterprises

> Lightning Labs’ new liquidity marketplace, Lightning Pool, has seen more early-stage growth than its creators expected. And what’s more, a fair share of its volume is coming from individual Lightning users – not businesses.
BlueWallet v5.6.6 released

- 12 words mnemonic seeds instead of 24
- ARS local currency
- New Price widget
- Allow image file for importing wallet
- Add "pending" for unconfirmed transactions
Bitcoin Investigation Giant To Raise $100 Million At $1 Billion Valuation

> Chainalysis confirmed exclusively to Forbes it expects to raise $100 million venture capital at a $1 billion valuation as soon as next week. Led by Tiger Global alum Lee Fixel’s newly founded venture capital firm, Addition, the Series C round is expected to be joined by previous investors Accel, Benchmark, and Ribbit.
MicroStrategy execs say the publicly traded firm is exploring new bitcoin data products

> “We don’t have any one thing that we’re sure makes sense to commercialize yet,” Saylor remarked. “But we think there’s an entire exploding universe of intelligence opportunities all wrapped around this unique bitcoin intelligence coming off the blockchain. And we’ll explore it all and look for efficient, artful ways to integrate it into our existing business and deploy it.”
Specter v0.10.0 released

- Add specter file format in wallet import screen
- Sat/vbytes as standard fee unit everywhere
- Bundle Tor with Mac and Windows apps
- Connect to node with QR code
- Wallet PDF backups
- Show bitcoin price
- Offline signing device and coordinator mode
- Replace by fee support
- New device wizard
- Fix ledger integration on recent firmware
- Fix infinite load screen on backup
Bitcoin privacy and tainting: CoinJoins and CoinSwaps meet Statechains

> In the case of Mercury’s swap scheme, we designed a centralized coordination protocol (as opposed to something like JoinMarket’s Maker/Taker model). By building our blinded swap scheme around this centralized coordinator, unlike in an on-chain coinswap, not even the participants learn the linkages between coins (only which coins were in a round). Mercury’s SE is also tightly coupled to the coinswap coordinator, which allows the SE to punish DoS attackers by forcing them to use their backup transaction to recover their funds.
JPMorgan reports 'modest outflows' for gold funds as more than $1 billion poured into Grayscale in Q3

> "The contrasts lends support to the idea that some investors that previously invested in gold ETFs, such as family offices, may be looking at bitcoin as an alternative to gold."
The Intelligent Bitcoin Miner, Part I.

> we illustrate that operating hashpower is akin to managing a portfolio, and the difficulties of reflecting the aspects of portfolio in the pricing of hashpower. We walk through how the popular pricing mechanism works, and the flaws of the current valuation heuristics.
Bisq v1.5.0 released

- Full segwit integration
- Trading limits no longer phase in over time
- New payment methods: Amazon eGift cards, TransferWise, Australian PayID

release notes:
On the Brink

> We’re excited to announce a new independent nonprofit organization to support open source development for Bitcoin and related technologies. Brink will support established developers through a grant program and onboard new contributors through a fellowship program.