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Let’s Talk Bitcoin

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Podcast Episodes


Let's Talk Bitcoin! #394 Functional Trumps Theoretical

On Todays Episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin...

Join Caitlin Long, Jonathan Mohan, Stephanie Murphy and Adam B. Levine for a discussion on the Supernegotiability alternative to the Bitlicense and other recent progress out of Wyoming

Links referenced in the episode:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/caitlinlong/2019/03/25/seismic-news-about-state-virtual-currency-laws-ulc-urges-states-to-withdraw-model-act/#6598f4775fda

https://www.forbes.com/sites/caitlinlong/2019/03/04/what-do-wyomings-new-blockchain-laws-mean/#3349362d5fde

https://www.bitcoin.kn/2018/08/caitlin-long-financialization/


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Thanks for listening to this episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin, content for today's show was provided by Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, Adam B. Levine, and Andreas Antonopoulos.

This episode was edited by Adam B.

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Let's Talk Bitcoin! #393 Open, Neutral, Decentralized & Borderless

On Todays Episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin...

Join Adam B. Levine, Andreas Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy and Jonathan Mohan for a full episode of listener questions.

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Thanks for listening to this episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin, content for today's show was provided by Stephanie Murphy, Jonathan Mohan, Adam B. Levine, and Andreas Antonopoulos.

This episode was edited by Adam B. Levine and featured music by Jared Rubens and General Fuzz.

Send questions or comments to adam@letstalkbitcoin.com



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Let's Talk Bitcoin! #392 'That's Not a Blockchain, that's a Sequence of Poor Engineering Decisions!'

On Todays Episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin...

Join Adam B. Levine, Andreas Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy and Jonathan Mohan for a look at the latest Coinbase privacy kerfluffle, JPM's tepid jump into the Stablecoin market, and the still unannounced but inevitably coming "Facebook Coin" and what it means to... Banks?


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Curated & Transcribed Highlights from Let's Talk Bitcoin #392: "That's Not a Blockchain, that's a Sequence of Poor Engineering Decisions!" provided by Professor Meow

Coinbase Acquiring Neutrino

Adam B. Levine: The core of what's happened here is that Coinbase was representing that they were not selling or sharing data about people who use Coinbase, except under very specific circumstances. And it came out somewhat recently that it actually was not true and one of their service providers had been actually selling that data (as many of these service providers do). Coinbase opted to acquire a company called Neutrino. Neutrino basically allowed Coinbase to do the same type of thing through a third party, but there's some baggage that came along with Neutrino name.

Andreas Antonopoulos: This :give-and-get data" is the Devil's deal with all of the analytics firms. Basically, if you want to get a transaction scored in terms of its AML, counterterrorism and KYC score for how tainted it is by bad-y coins, you have to give these services every transaction to review and they will return a score. You give them every transaction with all the identifiers, so they can score it, so they build a surveillance database with this. I don't know why anyone is surprised that these companies whose primary business is to collect surveillance data, also sell this surveillance data to third parties.

That's the least of the problems right. Yes, they sell it to third parties. Yes, they feed it to intelligence agencies directly. Yes, they're also vulnerable to being hacked themselves, which leaks all of that data to everyone. That data is effectively public. It is a public surveillance mechanism that collects all of the information. All exchanges do this. All exchanges have to do this. And so the initial rationale of Coinbase is: if we buy a company that can do analytics for us, we won't have to give this to third parties. That's not an outlandish claim, that's a rational choice. Where things fall apart is that the team that they bought (Neutrino acquisition) is the team that has been criticized in multiple investigations of assisting horrible dictators who puts back doors into software, been involved in State-level hacking that targets dissidents in places like Saudi Arabia, all the way up to being linked to the slaughter of Jamal Khashoggi.

Privacy and Banks

Jonathan Mohan: I remember one of the prosecutors from the Southern District of New York was saying that he couldn't be more excited by Bitcoin. He saw it as email for money. The way they can crack down on criminal enterprises is because it's almost impossible to engage in a crime with a couple dozen people without an email record. And he saw Bitcoin as that future, and actors like Coinbase are very much willing to feed into that narrative.

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Let's Talk Bitcoin! #391Exploring California's Crypto-Legislation

On Todays Episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin...

Adam B. Levine explores AB1489 or "The California Bitlicense" and AB953, or what we're calling "The California Stablecoin Cannabis Taxation Bill" through a series of short interviews on various sides of the issues.

First, we speak to Colin Gallagher, a longtime community member in California who shares his concerns about the process and substance of both the bills we're discussing today.

Next, Peter Van Valkenburgh joins us from Coincenter.org for his perspective on why the California Bitlicense is a de-regulating bill, why they help craft good legislation for those states who want it, and more.

We close today's show with Alexandra Medina, Mayor of Emeryville, California, executive director of BlockAdvocacy.org and a relative newcomer to Bitcoin.

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Let's Talk BItcoin! #390 Revisiting Lightning (Part 2)

On Todays Episode of Let's Talk Bitcoin...

Stephanie Murphy, Andreas Antonopoulos, and Adam B. Levine sit down for part two of our fresh look at the nascent but rapidly improving Lightning Network.


Excerpted Selections from Episode 390 Curated and Transcribed provided by https://twitter.com/Sesame4Bitcoins

Lightning Network Capacity

Adam B. Levine: Right now in the Lightning Network, you can only make transactions and hold value up to a certain size. Andreas, why is that?

Andreas Antonopolous: It's to discourage people from putting too much money into something that was experimental, and also trying to do payments that are too big for most routes. The limit per payment is 4 million Satoshis (0.04 Bitcoin). The channel capacity maximum is 16.7 million Satoshis. You can create a channel for 16 million Satoshis and you can transmit payments of about 1/4 its total capacity at a time in each direction. That just prevents people from trying to use Lightning today for the types of payments that are probably best kept on-chain.

Adam B. Levine: Do you see the Lightning Network being used for larger transactions like the traditional Bitcoin network?

Andreas Antonopolous: Eventually yes. Eventually there's no reason why you wouldn't have your entire hot wallet in Lightning channels, and the only funds that are not in Lightning channels are cold storage funds. I see it eventually having much bigger transactions - it can span the entire range from tiny to very big.

Lightning Network Development

Adam B. Levine: How do you determine at what rate [channel capacity] should increase and who gets to decide if that should increase?

Andreas Antonopolous: The way lightning collaboration and interoperability happens is through a series of standards called BOLT (Basics of Lightning Technology). These are constantly under negotiation. The first iteration of BOLT standards is what created today's production Lightning Network, and allows three or four different software clients to interoperate very successfully.

Stephanie Murphy: Can we draw any parallels to the way that changes happen [on the Lightning Network], and in Bitcoin [base protocol layer]?

Andreas Antonopolous: This isn't a consensus rule. The difficulty with Bitcoin [base layer] is that everyone has to agree, because if one party doesn't agree, they can no longer maintain synchronization with the network. In Lightning, the scripts are part of the consensus because you need to be able to secure the transactions - everything else is up for negotiation. If some clients don't do big payments and other clients do big payments, it's OK, they can both coexist on the network quite happily. You don't need this rigid lockstep coordination on layer 2 as you do in layer 1. It's one of the reasons why layer 2 can move much faster in terms of innovation, because you don't need everybody to agree on all of the changes.

Next week is the second semi-annual meeting of the various teams that are working on Lightning development, so that they can continue the discussion on developing the BOLT standard and creating new interoperable standards.

All of the things we are talking about: Wumbology, Eltoo, AMP, Sphinx-routing, Rendezvous-routing, etc; all of these were decided and standardized in terms of roadmap in the last semi-annual meeting of the Lightning developers. The next one is next week in Argentina. There's a lot more happening on the mailing list, and there's a lot more things in discussion that we didn't even touch on. We scratched the surface - we talked about the things that were agreed on 6 months ago, that now have names, and are proceeding towards production with specific standards. Next week in their meeting in Argentina, they're probably going to create a whole bunch of new things that we haven't even talked about. Once again this is a space that moves incredibly fast. Lightning is moving at 3 or 4 times the speed of Bitcoin's base blockchain development, because innovation can move a lot faster at higher layers. You don't need as much coordination and conservatism because you get the security from the base layer. This is really interesting.

Find the full shownotes here.

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