The Weekly Decrypt No. 1: January 4-8, 2016

The Weekly Decrypt No. 1 | January 4-8, 2016

The Daily Decrypt is an independent member of the Let’s Talk Bitcoin network and offers daily weekday video casts to its listeners on a wide variety of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology topics.

The Daily Decrypt began the week of January 4th, 2016, by providing for us a rundown of alternative reference client Bitcoin Unlimited’s Articles of Federation. As those involved with Bitcoin continue to take issue with Bitcoin Core and the Bitcoin Foundation for its questionable methods of development, governance, and funding, alternative reference clients are becoming more popular.

Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) is an alternative reference client, codebase, and governance model that is striving to adhere as closely as possible to the original vision for Bitcoin outlined in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper. BU believes that Bitcoin should be whatever its users define it to be by the code they run and the hash power they provide to their network and codebase of choice.

In this way, consensus becomes an emergent property of the network as opposed to something that is bestowed upon it by developers and the for-profit corporations that fund them. In a Bitcoin where consensus is truly an emergent property, it becomes a trivial pursuit for any entity to attempt to invalidate transactions, ban a range of IP addresses, modify the inflation schedule, or implement any other centralized policy.

As Edward Snowden recently reminded us in his appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, “Technology is both a tool for oppression and a tool for liberation.” Although it can be difficult at times to follow the complexity of what is going on with the Bitcoin codebase and its variants, it is of the utmost importance that we try our best to keep ourselves abreast so that we may employ the power we have as participants in the network to ensure that Bitcoin continues to evolve into the tool of liberation it was intended to be.

On Tuesday we were brought up to speed on how we can use a new application called ProTip to automate online tipping and subscription services. ProTip is currently available as a Chrome extension which brings its functionality directly to the Chrome browser window. The first step is to fund your ProTip account either by depositing to your unique ProTip address or importing an existing private key. ProTip then automatically highlights Bitcoin tip addresses on websites you visit and will automatically send out tips from your ProTip account to each website you visit according to the settings you’ve selected for each website.

Wednesday’s episode provided us with a summary of a wide variety of cryptocurrency news from this week:

    1. This week’s Bitcoin node summary.
    2. Coinbase recently reported that it has been operating a number of Bitcoin XT nodes and that it plans to run Bitcoin Unlimited nodes.
    3. At the time of publication, BitPay was expected to announce its plans to address Bitcoin scalability this week in a Medium blog post.
    4. Two developers recently associated with Ripple and Stellar, Stefan Thomas and Evan Schwartz, announced this week their new Interledger project and released its whitepaper and a working demo client which detail their efforts to join SuperNET and Blocknet in the race towards cross-blockchain communication solutions.
    5. The International Conference of Free Software is scheduled to take place in Cuba at the end of April 2016 and is seeking sponsors to help fund the attendance of developers who would not otherwise be able to attend.
    6. Brave New Coin reported this week that there have been a grand total of 20 Bitcoin documentaries released to date. Most are available to watch for free online.
    7. The next generation of web login solutions, such as 1Block, will function without usernames and passwords. The smartphone app generates a blockchain-based cryptographically secure key pair that is used to login to websites. 1Block is seeking new partners for integration.
    8. New Hampshire, the Bitcoin capital of America, is the ultimate destination for the Free State Project – an initiative launched 13 years ago which aims to get 20,000 freedom-loving people to pledge to move to New Hampshire. The pledge campaign is currently more than 93% complete. New Hampshire is home to a number of key players within the Bitcoin world, including OpenBazaar and Lamassu.
    9. A fax can now be sent using Bitcoin at https://www.bitcoinfax.net.

Thursday’s episode brought to our attention 15 charts that depict interesting, often overlooked information regarding Bitcoin such as transaction volume, venture capital funding, hashrate distribution, wallet growth, ATM installation, and brick and mortar storefront adoption.

Daily Decrypt finished off the week with a lighthearted episode on Friday featuring a winter walk with Russian beauty, Irina, who described seven reasons she likes cryptocurrency more than fiat.

  1. Predictable Inflation Rates
  2. True Ownership
  3. Certainty of Payment
  4. Always Available
  5. Payments to and from Anyone, Anywhere
  6. Multiple Options
  7. Programmable, Upgradable Money

All episodes of The Daily Decrypt published to date can be found on their YouTube channel and weekly summaries will continue to be made available here at CORE Media.