Feb. 10, 2023

CD90: Spiral Initiatives with Steve Lee

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Citadel Dispatch

support dispatch: https://geyser.fund/project/citadel

BLOCK: 775897
PRICE: 4626 sats per dollar
TOPICS: spiral year in review, funding open source projects, building secure mobile wallets, design improvements, reducing friction, lightning improvements, bolt12

Bitcoin Product Community Discord: https://discord.gg/MrFDP4Hu

I. Approaches to Open Source Funding [7:53]
II. Stratum v2 [23:59]
III. Fedimint [40:03]
IV. WalletScrutiny [47:12]
V. Separating the Core Out of Bitcoin Core [59:19]
VI. LDK/LDK Node [1:02:43]
VII. Rapid Gossip Sync [1:10:28]
VIII. VLS [1:28:18]
IX. Unified QR Codes/BIP21 [1:35:45]
X. Preparing Lightning For Mainstream Adoption [1:40:36]
XI. BOLT12 [1:47:22]

Full Transcript:

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stream sats to the show: https://www.fountain.fm/

join the chat: https://matrix.to/#/#citadeldispatch:bitcoin.kyoto


07:53 - II. Stratum v2

23:59 - III. Fedimint

40:03 - IV. WalletScrutiny

47:12 - V. Separating the Core Out of Bitcoin Core

59:19 - VI. LDKLDK Node

01:02:43 - VII. Rapid Gossip Sync

01:10:28 - VIII. VLS

01:28:18 - IX. Unified QR CodesBIP21

01:35:45 - X. Preparing Lightning For Mainstream Adoption

01:40:36 - XI. BOLT12

01:47:22 - Full Transcript


Happy Bitcoin Friday, freaks. It's your host, Odell, here for another serial dispatch.

The show focused on actionable Bitcoin and Freedom Tech discussion.

Thank you for joining me for a whirlwind week

at Bitcoin Park, open source week here. I know I've been dump dumping a lot of rips on you guys, a lot of a lot of content.

I hope you get through it at your leisure. I hope you find it very helpful,

and enjoyable.

We're not done for the week yet. I have a great show.

We're about to have a great conversation with Steve Lee. But before I get to that, we also have a show with,

Casey Rodamore to talk about all this ordinal inscription

situation on Sunday right before, the Super Bowl.


consider joining us for that. That will be fun. There might be another dispatch in between that.

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Okay. Thank you, Steve, for

standing by there for my 4 minute intro. Thank you, Freaks. We have Steve Lee,

in the studio.

I recorded with Steve,

last year, pretty much almost exactly a year. I think it's, been 14 months.

Steve obviously leads

spiral at Block, formerly Square,

and we will be talking about a variety of things, including,

building secure mobile wallets, but also the various spiral initiatives. How's it going, Steve? Good morning.


It's going great. Great to be back. Nice to do it in person as well. It's always better in person. Better in person. Also, Nashville. It's my first time to Nashville.

Ever. Ever.

Welcome. So first time to Bitcoin Park.


I think I mean, the whole spiral team is here, and all but one of us, first time in Nashville. We've had a great week. It's an honor and privilege to host you. Yeah. Every I mean, the hype was real about, Bitcoin Park, but but it's exceeded, even that hype. We try not to hype it too much. We just love when people come and visit us. I definitely recommend Bitcoiners come visit Nashville in in Bitcoin Park. And it's ideal setup for an off-site. Right?


I was talking about that with our team. The spiral team try tries to get together,

around 3 times a year in person since we're distributed all over the place.

And we've in the past, we have piggybacked off of conferences,

which worked well. We met in Atlanta for TabConf. TabConf also is a great conference. It's amazing. Really, really good conference.

But it's also, pretty energy draining to both do a a, you know, pretty intense 3 day conference

and a 3 day team off-site.

So this week,

we had a couple nice events, you know, with the Nashville bid does, and there are a couple night events,

which gave good community feel, met new people.

But it's not not as intense as, like, a a 3 day full on conference. So it's been a really good week. And I didn't know that Nashville was renowned for curling. Yeah. You guys all went curling last night. Right? We all went curling.


all but one of us, it was our first time. There were, like, 5 or 6 of us who had never even seen curling before. So they those folks were,

definitely in for a surprise for what a, you know, unusual That's amazing. Sport it is, but it's it was a ton of fun.

One person,

is actually Canadian and plays twice a week. Wow.


Thunder biscuit. Did did he tell you that before or after you started playing? We we we got hints before the the a ringer.



I highly recommend it as a team team event because, like, it's it's approachable for everyone,

and it was a lot of fun. Well, I love to hear it, and,


I would love to I love these physical spaces. I wanna see them,

you know, pop up all around the world.

And, you know, for me, Rod, and Josh at Bitcoin Park,

like I said, honored and privileged to host you guys. You guys are doing great work, and to me, it's the least we can do. So, it's it's it's been just a great week.

So, obviously,

I've had the BDK team on this week. I've had, Val and Jeff,

from LDK,

and now we're capping you off with a spiral trifecta,

of the week. So where do you wanna start, Steve?


How about we start you know? So so a year ago when we did this, I sort of gave an update of, like, the past two, two and a half years of spiral, the first two and a half years of spiral. How about we just start with, like, you know, what's spiral's done in the the past year? That's great. So what has Spiral done in the last year?

One thing yeah. The our

So we're really excited about what we've done there. And every single I I believe every single one of those

grantees, it was their first time being funded

for open source Bitcoin work. That's amazing.


definitely proud of bringing, like, really talented people into open source Bitcoin.

What we've observed the past year, though, now that we're, like, 3 years into it,

we have,

a couple successful outcomes.

1 are projects that are on their way to be sustainable, and we can go through those in a minute. But the second one,

is that we we now have an alumni base of of spiral grantees, and they're going on to do even bigger and better things.

We have a couple folks that have joined block full time.

We have someone who joined Voltage full time.

We you know, Steven Delorme just joined Voltage.

I love Steven. He's amazing. He's been here this week too. He's been been great.

And then we have, you know, Justin Moon, is a alum, and he's gone on to cofound,


FETI. One of the hottest startups in the space. Yeah. So,


and and there's you know? And and, like,

you know, John's

has done really awesome stuff at bull dot fund. And yeah. So it's really great to see people who, went to the program

aren't part of the program anymore, but they're they're doing even better things in You get They're staying in people are staying in Bitcoin. Do you guys Bolt Up Fund is amazing. Do you guys do any funding for do you fund Bolt Up Fund as well or no? We we haven't yet. Alright. Yeah. But we're definitely,


you know Yeah. I've dropped and cheerleaders. You know, with open stats, I've dropped the ball a little bit on bolt up front. I need to I promised him that I was gonna help support that, and I Yeah. So, John, if you're listening


Yeah. And I think priority. I mean, last fall, I thought what they did there was phenomenal.

It it it's hard to,

we can talk about some of the, you know, challenges of development in in Bitcoin, but it it's hard to get a lot of,

groups of of developers doing an extended hackathon. Right. And he he did a great job. Lot of great projects. It was deliberate, and and he pulled it off. Yep. So, yeah. So we're we're happy with


the sort of new revelation that our, you know, folks that went to the grant program are doing great things. Which is what you want. You want a pipeline, basically. Yep. You don't wanna be you you don't want people you wanna teach a man how to fish, not not feed them fish every day. Yeah. Exactly.


But there's also folks that we've, that are doing great work, and we're they wanna continue working on their their projects, so we're renewing them.


that that's sort of, like,

is a good segue into we we Spiral had a post,

it's almost a year maybe 9 months ago


our view on creating sustainable

like, a framework for sustainable open source

projects. Because we've funded now on the order of 8 to 10 different projects.

Sometimes we're funding the project directly. Sometimes we're funding individuals to start projects.

But, you know, a common problem or challenge in open source

is that maybe a developer starts a project, great idea, makes good headway,

and then it just doesn't see adoption.

Right. And it could be due to just, you know, that developer

doesn't doesn't spend their time marketing it,


maybe that developer

isn't going out sort of doing the PM work of, like, understanding customer requirements to to really get a good fit.

Or maybe they move on to something else. And it just and and then it just sort of, you know, dies and doesn't go anywhere.

You know, we think every project we're funding is gonna be valuable to Bitcoin. We'd we'd like to see it succeed. So we wrote this post. It's not that long, but it just walks through, like, 4 different phases.

First phase,

sort of the seed stage. It's often 1 developer, maybe 2. They have a great idea.

Fund them to to start coding and seed that project, get it going. Get it to, like, a prototype stage or a proof of concept stage.

Then the next the next the next phase would be getting additional contributors. You know? To turn this from, like, a one person show to Right. To, a community project,

attracting other developers. And that, you know, that the that's not shows a sign of a maturity for that project too. Usually, you have to

make it a little more approachable for other developers to understand the code, build tools, etcetera. Documentation.


And then


the next phase It's a big leap from 1 developer to like actually many contributors, right? Yeah.


And again, some developers


write a bunch of tests and docs and others often don't. So

that's a that's a big milestone.

Then going to the next stage would be,

if, in the, you know, in in the case that Spiral is funding it, trying to find other other funders as well. We're the Spiral team's

highly attentive to, we don't wanna be, like, the only one funding these projects. That's not a sustainable approach. That's not a healthy approach for Bitcoin.

You know, I think, you know, we we think we're good actors in the space and doing good things, but, it's just not healthy to to depend on one one source or one point of view. Everything in Bitcoin, we want to be distributed, including funding. Yeah. Absolutely.

And then the the the,

I guess what we described as the last stage would be

the the project is, so sustainable that Spiral could just back off or or whoever the original, like Right. Or disappear completely. Disappear completely. Yeah. And it it it doesn't, you know, skip a beat. Right.

Yeah. I mean, one thing we talked about this week, Matt, is, like, I mean, maybe there's another level beyond that. Like, some some kind of,

new type of funding mechanism. Business model, some kind of open source New business model. Or something. I think exploring all of those as experiments is super

It's the it's what we're following at Spiral.

If others like it too, they can copy it.

And then if you look at the projects we funded, you'll find them at all all the different stages. So,

BTT pay

is the first project it was the first grant we we did. That was, September 2019.

So we renewed them in 2020, 22.

Yeah. So 4 years. Huge supporters of BDCPA.

Love the project, the

mission, the people.

So that's a that was an easy decision then, and it continues to be easy decision to support them. But what's great about, Spiral is the first funder of the project,

but they also set up an entity, a foundation so that others could fund the project. And they have a governance model of, like, who who gets to decide how those funds are dispersed.

We support them through OpenStats now too. Oh, that's great. Yeah. And it and it and it works well. I think they've attracted 10 or so funders over time. So it's great that it's not just spiral. It's, like, 10 different funders.

Now they've also you know, it's not been perfect either. Like, not all 10 of those funders renew every year.

But still achieving 10 10 funders is really massive, really, really great.

And some do renew.

And so that is what I think most projects would want to,

aspire to. And, you know, unless they figure out a business model or a Right. BDC is kind of the gold standard Yep. Of a non Bitcoin core open source project in the space, I would say. Yeah. And another thing I I've observed is in the space is that

a lot of other funders,

who are


doing great things by funding

open source Bitcoin,

they often are only comfortable supporting

Bitcoin Core

because other projects, especially if they're nascent or brand new,

if they don't have someone

full time or a technical Bitcoin person who has sort of somewhat of a vision for where things should go or can go or Right.

It feels a little risky funding

a new project or funding,

like, an unknown per like, I said earlier, spirals funded new people, bringing new talent to the space.

It's definitely harder. You have to spend more time evaluating Especially if you're a large company, you're putting yourself out there. Putting yourself up. Yeah. And,

and we can I mean, we'll walk through some of the folks we've funded in projects, and and and one actually has been controversial, so we can talk about that that one?

And so

because other other companies,

might only be comfortable at least starting to fund Bitcoin Core,

that's also influenced how,

like, Spiral has definitely funded develop we funded 5, 6 developers on core,

but we don't sort of overweight there for a couple of reasons. One, the reason I just said,

that a lot of funding. Secondly, if if we don't want spiral funding like the majority of Bitcoin core, that's also an unhealthy balance.


Like, it's a bit of a threat to the network. It's like the idea.



I mean, in the past, like, other organizations,

you know, there

Chaincode, Blockstream, there's been,


Even if there's no influence, you don't wanna give the appearance of influence to Bitcoin Core. Right? Exactly. Yeah. Yep.


And even even our organization,

individuals who are, like,

100% good ethos and good intentions, there's always there's always bias. Right. Like, one thing about

people people have applied for granted spiral that we've said no to who are, like,

phenomenal people and and do great things. And and some of them come back to me and rib me because they've gone on and done great things. And it's like, why didn't you give it exactly difficult saying no. And and it well, I mean, we're also like, we're not perfect at Right. No one is. We're not perfect at picking folks. I mean, I'm pretty like, pretty much everyone we have selected, we're pretty good track. We're really we're really happy with, but there's definitely been really good people who have applied Right. That we that we we we didn't say yes to. And,

so it's that's another reason it's great to have other organizations,


who have other views on what's important to fund in in Bitcoin. So we have Sadamoto in the live chat. He's wondering, does spiral only fund open source projects?


Yeah. Only open source. And and to



do you does it do you think about the license as well? Does, does the license matter? We do.


It's never really been an issue. The the there's only one project that

we had, like, a discussion about licenses, but other Before you funded?


Just because we I mean, we tend to like MIT Apache. Like, most rust rust,

A lot of the we don't exclusively fund Rust projects, but most are Rust, and the Rust

sort of default is to do dual license, both MIT


Got it. In a in a patch Which is extremely permissive license. You can do anything you want with the code. Yep. Which is aligned with our philosophy. Right.

But I know specifically you have funded some GPL licenses, right, which are a little bit more restricted.


Which one?

Mempool. Mempool. Yeah. That that's the one we have to have. The only one? Yeah. And I I think one reason it's a little different is it's

almost everything we fund is is, like, protocol development,


dev tools. Be as least restrictive as possible. Yep. And we you know? And mempool


more application. There's is there is, like, an API, but so it's a little outside of what we usually fund.

Yeah. So


so I think because of that, they have a little bit different considerations for license. We have mem so, you know, mempool streams during all my I didn't know that. Mempool.space

streams during all the dispatches. So it's literally on the screen right now, but, yeah, it's an awesome project. And then, I mean, our also with our thinking on funding,


we we we just feel so fortunate that Block gives Spiral a really healthy budget for doing Right. What we think is, you know, amazing stuff for the space.

Specifically, no strings attached. No strings attached. Yeah. And I so we really don't want to, $50,000,000,000


company or something like that. Right? It's impressive. Yep.



there's a lot of really impactful

projects that don't have a natural business model. Right. And that's where we wanna direct our dollars. So

some people have

applied or spoken to us about, you know, they have a a for profit business.

We're absolutely

supportive of people creating startups for profit. You know, we'd we'd like to see that grow too. It's just like that's not where spiral dollars go. You know? There's



several VCs that are targeting lightning development. And including us at 1031. Yeah. Exactly. So,

we just feel like the, you know, the entrepreneurship

and venture capital model can is proven to satisfy that. Right.

So our our ours goes towards free open source. That's great. Yep.


and I guess sort of underlying all this, a point I wanted to make is that we that there's more than just Bitcoin Core as a project in the space. Bitcoin Core, extremely important project. Right.

It it is the

core of Bitcoin, especially the parts of Bitcoin core that are consensus peer to peer.

It's it's,

it's the foundation for everything else.

So it is the most important project, but it's not the only project. And I think a lot of

developers who are new to base or interested in contributing

are maybe only aware of the coin core. Right.

So I'd love to spread the word that there's a lot of other important projects.

There's a lot of layer 2 protocols,

lightning and,

Fedimint and others that you can contribute to. There's multiple Lightning implementations.

There's also other Lightning infrastructure projects that we funded that are important, like, a watchtower project

and the, VLS project, validating lightning center project, which is a way to,

isolate signing lightning transactions

to its own separate computer and process. And the watchtower is Eye of Satoshi. Right? Eye of Satoshi. Yeah. Yeah. And and so those are,

those projects are are agnostic to which implementation they work with,

but they're critical infrastructure projects for building robust

trust minimized




So And on that front too, I mean, I got to

I I won't gender the person. I got to meet the person behind the Twitter account and the blog post, and you guys do a really, really good job of just,

covering the open source ecosystem around Bitcoin and and getting more exposure to not only the projects that you support, but also the tangential projects.


Only gender, but, we don't even know if it's human because Might not be human. Or black cats. There you go.

But what what whoever or whatever it is, they might be in Nashville, and

you met them.

That was that was fantastic. But yes. It's also we talked about the LDK film last podcast, and that person was also Papa Jack. That person was also I actually revealed that person's name in that podcast, but Uh-oh. For someone who wants to go sleuth.

But yeah. So there are

a lot

of projects that at least we believe are valuable, and I think a lot of developers in the space that have been been contributing for a while

appreciate that there's more than just Bitcoin Core. So anyone out there looking to get involved with open source

as an engineer or even as a non engineer, designer, PM,

biz dev type person,

Bitcoin Core is not the only game in town in terms of contributing, and also funding.

Strongly encourage funding entities to to look at other projects that are that are important to Bitcoin.




Yeah. So let's, let's get back to sort of what's happened in the past year, with the spiral, spiral funded projects. Let's talk about Stratum V2. Let's talk about it. Yeah.

So Stratum V2,

people might have been, you know, hearing about it for years.

Matt Corallo

proposed better hash Right.

4, 5 years ago.



Then that morphed into stratum v 2. Yeah. The Jan and Pavel at brains


were working on a a protocol proposal for Stratum v 2.

For folks that don't know what this is, there's a strat a protocol called Stratum, which is between miner miners and mining pools. It's been around, like, 10 years. It's pretty much how mining it's it's a core protocol for how mining works today.

And as you might guess with a protocol that's 10 years old, there's areas of improvement,

ways to ways to make it better.

That's what stratum b 2 is. Matt's primary focus with BetterHASH was around


mine mining. And and, you know, specifically,

today, the only entities that can do transaction selection are pools. Right. Miners actually don't do transactions. Transactions go in the block? Yep. Yep.

So if we wanna talk I mean, a core

property of Bitcoin is censorship resistance,

arguably the most important property. Right.


today, it rests

I mean, there's many

layers of censorship resistance, but a very important one is rests with a few


It's not super brittle because if pools did start censoring,

it's it's very low switching cost for miners. Right. You have, like, a you have a soft,


like, a soft check on them there. If if they start acting malicious, they start not including transactions, and you'll even go to a different pool. Yep. But It's still essentially


point. Stronger it's a stronger network, a healthier network if we have

better decentralization


of transactions. And you're giving regulate you're essentially giving regulators a

you know, there there's a person. There's a entity that they can go pressure and say, you know, don't include these transactions in a block. Especially


as, you know, the the the long time concern was concentration in China, which is a valid concern.

Now we don't have that anymore, but now we have a new concern, which is arguably a lesser concern, but it's still a concern, which is too much in In the United States. North America,

public companies,

you know, more entity there's more hash rate that's closer

to US Treasury than before. And if that grows too much, that that gets to be a little stronger. To be distributed What? As much as possible. So,

BetterHash, which has now been bundled into stratum b 2.

Though Matt and Janapavil did a great job working together,

to to merge their ideas and their proposals into one proposal, which is stratum b 2. That happened in September 2019,

in Prague. And so now we're in 2023. So what's happened since then? A little over 2 years ago

or so brains has gone ahead and they've implemented

Everything except the job negotiations.

So they've so Stratum v 2 has several

sub protocols.

Brains has implemented

all but the job negotiation, which is the part that allows miners to do The individual miners to construct the transaction


the blocks Which transactions.


All of the improvements are important, but, I mean, arguably that I mean, it's definitely the most important for decentralization. Right. They have not done that yet, but they've done the other stuff. So they've actually deployed that. And as long, you know The other improvements are good for efficiency, and they're good for security. Security. Yeah. Yeah. They, Stratum v 2 adds,



and encryption. Right. We're just plain text communicating with the Yeah. Stratum servers. I think Matt demonstrated Matt Carollo demonstrated before,

hijacking hash rate. He's just man in the middle of the

testing it, make sure it's high quality. And arguably, the job negotiation part is the most difficult part. Yep. It it is. Both to build and to deploy. Yeah. Because individual miners have to actually run their own nodes now Yeah. If they wanna participate.


So what's so brains has done some of the work. It's, you know, there's some miners that are using brains firm firmware,

and brains pool, formerly known as Slush Pool,

does support Stratum v 2. So part of it's live,

but all of us, including brains, wants to see much broader adoption. I mean, we we, you know, we wanna see the network go to a 100%. And she's doing it. And we wanna see job negotiation


not job negotiation being adopted. And if I'm correct with with Brains' current implementation, like, you need to essentially be run there's 2 main manufacturers.

One is Bitmain. The other is MicroBT that makes the WhatsMiners.

You need to run BRAIN's custom firmware to do Stratum b 2 because,

those two manufacturers don't ship it in their stock firmware yet.

And that only is available on Antminers on


yeah. That's my understanding too. Yeah. I think at least as of last fall, that was true. So not only do you have to be using brains pool, but you also need to be running an Antminer that has brains OS on it. So it's good that it's not 0. There's Right. Some of it's out there, real world usage. That's always a good proof point, but it's we're we're still very early phases. So, a little over 2 years ago,


funded a developer who goes by FI 3

to work on a, an independent implementation

of Stratum v 2. Cool.

Because there's a little bit of concern

with you know, both from, I think, the folks at brains and from, like, Matt Carlo, me and others at

that the industry perceived brains implementation is being, like you know, they're they're a for profit company. So so not And the mining pools. Not being and the mining pools and, you know, not not you know, they have their own vested vested interest. Those those guys, I think, have, like, super strong Right. Bitcoin Ethos. But, you know, they are Still. They're still. Right? So we funded Fi 3 to work on an independent implementation,

and he's been working on that for over 2 years.


along the way, like, a year and a half ago,

Rachel joined

the the that that project. I don't know if folks know Rachel, but she's at Galaxy, and,

she started contributing and did a lot of great work for the project. Awesome. And now now now the project has, like, more than half a dozen people contributing. So it's so, again, that that sort of Growth foundries gotten involved, which is the one that's US. Foundries got yeah. Foundries got involved. They funded

another developer to work on job negotiator. Right.


there's several companies that a lot of developers involved. So we're about to fund I don't know. I've through Open SaaS, we're about to fund Stratovid too as well. Oh, that's great. Yeah. Yeah. So, that's another 6 I mean, it's still not all the way there, but it's a success story in terms of attracting

multiple developers, multiple funders,

and the project has good momentum. Like, also,

a lot of people probably know in the space.

Spiral funds him,

and he's an he's a nondeveloper. So

he he's a I mean, another thing I'd give a shout out for is, like, if you're not a developer, you can absolutely contribute and do really positive things for open source. I mean, he's one of the reasons


BTPay was so successful, and now he's taking Stratum v 2 under his wing. And in between, he Bitcoin design community got involved. So And he's launching a Bitcoin park in Croatia,


his version of Bitcoin park in Croatia, which is great. Yeah. So anyone who's not a coder but wants to help out and is kind of it's nebulous or you can't really figure out how to do, just, you know, he's a good example to

model after, and you don't have to do exactly what he's done, but


he's found ways to add a lot of value. Let him inspire you, and, also, he's always happy to give feedback and and help you along your way too. Yep. In fact, I mean, quick tangent there.


He he actually helped or he started a new Discord and a new community, the Bitcoin product community,

doing exactly what you just said. He wanted to He's amazing. He wanted to help other folks.

Connor and Haley from my team have joined. I've joined. I I you know, Adam Jonas from Chaincode and Mike Schmidt. A bunch of people who have done a lot of great things in the space. None none of us either we're not engineers or we're not actively


coding, but we find other ways to help. Yeah. I already knew Connor, absolute legend, but Haley is amazing. Yep. She's really amazing. First time meeting her. Yeah. So


that anyone interested

in contributing

in a noncoding way but kind of has no idea how to start, join that Discord.

How do how do you go on the Discord?

That's a good question. Do are you just I I mean, you can now I mean, people can DM me on Twitter. I'm Moneyball.

I'll I'll I'll send out a It's called Bitcoin product community.

Yeah. Is that what it is? We should I mean, do you have show notes or something? Yeah. I can put it in the show notes. I we can give you a invite link. Perfect.



Pablo next is involved in Stratum B 2, and, yeah, he's helping

steer the ship like a good a good PM does. And a good PM

is not the authority of a project. Right. Good PM respects all the contributors in the project, knows that they're not the boss, but they,

they just help they find ways to help organize. They find gaps, holes, weaknesses,

plug them, find

other talented people to to to fill in, and that's exactly what he does really well. And,

yeah, people people love Pavlinx.

So Stratum v 2, where is where is it at now? So it it's

now the matured tremendously

in terms of the code, the quality.

It's at a point now

where people can start using it.

I wouldn't recommend a miner or pool put a lot of machines on it yet, but it's absolutely ready for,

you know, running on a machine, getting familiar with it.

And I think, you know, with a period of time to do that testing, work out remaining kinks for production,

you know, it's conceivable that later this year, you could actually move some some material hash rate onto it. Now you mentioned earlier

that, they're the only firmware that exists for Stratum v 2 is brains, and it only works on certain machines.

But one thing that this open source project has done, and and and it's called,

SRI, Stratum reference implementation is the name of the open source project.

SRI has created

a a a proxy. So

machine mining machines that are running stratum v 1 firmware, which is pretty much every machine, can still do stratumv2

by running this proxy at the mining site. Got it. So it can talk to a stratumv2


pool, and you get the benefits of Oh, so you don't have to run the firmware or anything.


It's it's All all existing equipment.

That's huge. Can get all the benefits of Stratum v 2. That's huge. Get the security benefits.

You can also do your own transaction selection.

Also interesting is that,

the way that

architecture works for for transaction selection, a third party

can run Bitcoin Core and do transaction selection. So it doesn't even have to be the pool or


the miner. They could just all they do is do transaction selection.

Offered as a service, maybe. Yep. So just


I don't know what the future holds, but I just know that the with strata v 1, it architecturally, the only option is the pool. And now anyone can do transaction selection. So, hopefully, that is good for decentralization.

It's not a,


it's not a silver bullet. We but, but, I mean, at least provides options. It's also one of those things that even the way I kind of think about it in my head is even if it's not fully rolled out,

if there's a situation where censorship starts, the fact that it exists will mean that people can quickly move to it if they need to. Yeah.


Also, you mentioned earlier, it means the miner would have to run a full node Right.

Or connect to a third party that is. But I think,

that, you know, that's gonna be an operational hurdle, but I also think there'll be products coming out of the market that make it easier for,


miners to do that. I mean, we have doteths are running full nodes now so that they can scribe NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. Like, I think miners can figure it out if they need to. Yeah. And I I think that,


I I know, like, Block itself has a new mining initiative where they're,

you know, they're designing their own custom ASIC. Yes. They're designing Very excited. Rigs. It's all gonna be open.

Super excited about that. There's tremendous progress on that. That's separate from spiral. But Separate from spiral. That that's a that's a commercial effort at the company.

Yeah. But the great thing about the commercial efforts at Block is strong Bitcoin Ethos. And, generally,

to the extent the company can make it open,


All the way from the top. Like, Dorsey really believes in in Bitcoin.

Jack definitely Jack definitely does. I have to call him I have to call him Dorsey because we have mallers too. Otherwise, it gets very confusing.


Yeah. And, I mean I mean, jumping to that really quickly, what I've I've been at the company now, going on 4 years,

and I've seen,

a lot of Bitcoin Ethos grow within the company too.

I mean, the the way Jack runs the company, just because he's

a big believer in Bitcoin doesn't mean the entire thousands of people at the company all are Of course not. As strong as Bitcoiners as YuMi or or him or, like, the folks on Spiral.

But when I joined, there's an internal Bitcoin Slack channel, and there were, like, 30 people on it when I joined. And now there's, like, you know, 1500 or 2,000 people on it. It's grown

the interest is very high. And I think we've also seen a shift

not only in inter I mean, because there's there's,

the interest is not all, like,

positive. Right. There there's Of course. There's curious and there's skeptics, which I think you're gonna find at any big tech company. It's healthy. And it's healthy. Yeah.

It's healthy. But we've seen a shift from,

you know, there's curious people who have turned into, like,

Bitcoin advocates. And, also, there's more and more commercial prod prod projects and products within the company now.

And there's, like, those teams generally have a good balance of hiring some external people with Bitcoin development experience, but also others that are new. And I think that's a really healthy mix as well. It it creates really good, you know, good questions during the development of products.


the Bitcoin,


initiative at Block, they certainly have Stratum v 2 in mind. They're gonna support Stratum v 2.

And, you know, I I think it's certainly

in their interest to,

make it easy for miners to run a full node and


and and improve the user experience for miners when they're when they're getting rigs buying buying Right. Rigs.

Yeah. So Stratum v 2, I get I'm I'm super bullish on it. Like, 3 years ago, I loved the proposal and the tech side of it and the promise, but I was worried about adoption. Right. I'm less worried about adoption now. It's still gonna it's still a challenge.

Miners have to run a full node. That's a challenge. Yeah.


Why why Whenever there's friction added And and, like, what is the incentive?


You know, for, I guess, a new insight for pools,

I was always wondering, like, why would pools the only incentive I thought would be, like, if miners demand it, pools will emerge to support Competition. Competition.

But I think even existing

pools will have an incentive,


especially if that their their compliance team might actually want them. I mean, you see that with Foundry. Like, they wanna reduce that regulatory risk. Right? Yep. Because if they are forced to censor, then all of a sudden their business model dies because everyone will well, a lot of people will move to a different pool. Right. So if you're a US


pool, like them, you you you might have a interest in not selecting transactions. Right. So I think there'll be natural,

incentives to to distribute that more. Which is important. Yep.


talk about well, Fed Fediment I mean, in terms of last year, Fediment's really come onto the scene,

and it's been you know, it's a new project. It's an exciting project. I'm a huge supporter of it. Spiral has fund 3

developers now.

I guess 2 have been announced. 1 will be announced soon Awesome.

For that. And, again, there it's important met one of them. I'm not gonna say who. But Oh, great. Yeah. They're Thank you for funding it. They're well, the 3 we funded are all have, like,

fantastic backgrounds. They're all super enthusiastic about Fedimint. I mean,

at least a couple of them left, like, high paying Very high paying jobs. Yes. You know, big tech company jobs,

because they're so mission driven. So it it's just, yeah,

all these folks are amazing.

But it's important for everyone to keep in mind Fediment is an open source protocol. Right. And the 3 developers that,

that we're funding

and, like, Eric who started the project,

they are

focused on

open source Fediment. Right. Right. And, hopefully, there's a lot lots of applications built on that, lots of clients, lots of companies built. Separately, there's a company, FETI, which,

Obi and Justin Moon cofounded.

With Eric. And with Eric. Yeah.

But I think, like, Justin and I mean, Justin's definitely involved with the the open source work, but I think, you know, Justin and Robie, they're trying to build build a business.

So it's important to keep those 2

separate in people's minds, but, you know, I I think it's great that they're. Right. Eric's the cofounder, but he's he's mostly right now, he's mostly focused on the on the open source protocol work. Yep. And, I'm super excited for what FETI will do. I'm I'm an I'm an investor as well, and I I really believe Same. Yeah. I I'm a believer in that. I I also hope there's many

competitors to FETI. Right? Like, for a healthy protocol, it's not gonna be just one one company. Otherwise, it's not really an open protocol. Just to be clear, the way the audience can,


conceptualize, like, where FETI comes into the FETI Open Source Protocol is FETI is essentially a front end app to the open protocol. So,

ideally, we would see many front end apps for that protocol.


Yep. And hope, hopefully, this year yeah. I mean, they're I think they're gonna launch sooner than later and, like, get some proof points, get some adoption,

show some real success,

and that will attract that'll attract competitors.


And I'm Yeah. I already know of at least I know of at least 2 teams that are working on front another front end. So Oh, that's great. Yeah. And and,


yeah, I guess the reason I'm excited about Fedimint,


number 1 is privacy and just e ecash,

the concept. I I love that it's finally being applied to Bitcoin. Right.

So it's it's a way for people to have

really, really strong privacy,

you know, in it with with a good user experience. Right.

And the second thing is scaling. Because as much of a proponent of lightning as I am and and spiralism, we invest a lot of resources on it, and we're gonna talk about it on this on this show.


it it's still we still don't have a long term

scaling plan for billions of people, machine to machine payments,

with lightning. So

maybe we've, hopefully, we figured that out over time, but we might not. And and the great thing about Fedimint, it it can scale to everyone on the on the planet. It also interoperates really nicely with lightning. It's not it doesn't compete with lightning. It actually enhances lightning. Right. And lightning enhances it. So I see a lot of synergies between those. It's very complementary.

But it's not perfect. Everything has trade offs. It is custodial. Right. So you it's it you know, there's

I think we're both huge proponents of noncustodial


Trust minimize self sovereign usage of Bitcoin.

That's where most of,

Spiral's resources and budget goes goes towards.

And so it's a trade off with Fedimint. Well, Fedimint's like


one of the reasons that Fedimint's a cool project to me is that it's it's very pragmatic. Right?

First of all, it doesn't need any changes to Bitcoin.

Second of all,

it is,

right, it it it is custodial, but it is reduced custodial risk from the purely custodial. Like, right now, we see a lot of people using wallet at Hitoshi. We see a lot of people using Binance, these fully custodial,


But with Fedimint, you have this idea of essentially, like, a multisig custodian where you would need multiple people, multiple entities to come together to essentially exit scam and take your money. Right? Yep.



the types of people who would be those custodians or guardians,

can be very different. So, yeah, so if you're, you know, f FTX, if you're, like, in the Bahamas and your coins are with someone you have no relationship to and don't know at all,

like, it's you obviously, you can see the risks that happened in the past year and actually throughout the history of Bitcoin. Lot to explain that right

now. But with,

with Fedimint, not only can you have, like, a 5 of 7 in which you need at least 5 people to collude,

but it takes if you're doing it in a community

where a lot of communities around the world,

you have generation upon generation of people who stay in that community. Right. And their family name and reputation means something. Their personal reputation means something.

So there's a

a strong incentive


not to screw people over. And that's specifically a a massive priority of the Federman open source project is is that it's easy. Like, it's not everyone can just launch a wallet of Satoshi. Right? But it needs to be easy for these small communities to just spin up their own sentiments, and and you'll you'll have many different sentiments of different sizes and different trade offs and whatnot. Right? Yeah.


So I think the ideal outcome there is that there's

1,000, tens of 1,000,

maybe millions of pediments around the world. They're all small scale.


And you could even have one that's, like,

just your family. Right? And, like, that's Yeah. You know, maybe you use it for larger amounts, and then the community one you use for a slightly less amounts, and then the the big continent wide one you use for even smaller amounts.


Yeah. So I'm super excited,

about that future. And and, again, there's not there's no there's no,

there's no altcoin or Right. It's using Bitcoin. Exactly. Bitcoin is money.

You just send and receive Bitcoin. It's compatible with lightning.


It's compatible with the Bitcoin network. Right. That's the key because you can send between the different

using Bitcoin, using Lightning. It's the interoperability


there. I could be a user that's never heard of Fedimint. Don't know nothing about it, but I can send and receive money with you and your Yeah. You can pay me for your full node using Zeus to my Fedimint wallet. Boom. Done. Using lightning. Yeah.

Let's talk a little bit about,

wallet scrutiny, which is the project that I mentioned a little bit controversial. And before the show, you said you you had,

you know, maybe some concerns about it. Yes. Let me describe the project

why Spiral's excited about it, why I'm excited about it, and what I why why I think it's important for the space

and why I think this particular,

project can do a lot of good for the space.

So the if people not familiar with wallet scrutiny,

it's been around 3, maybe 4 years. The idea behind it is that,

even if you,

you know, do self custody,

you're using a mobile wallet, you're

still you know, you've eliminated a lot of risks, but you also introduce

new risks. And some risks are

that even if that project is open source and you can look at the code

and your you know, you might have a trusted friend who's an engineer who's looked at it and says it's good. You actually don't know if the binary from the App Store on your phone matches Is what you're running is what you're running.

You know, it could be

there could be a man in the middle attack, whether it's Apple or a third party or the wallet developers themselves. Or even if the wallet developers are earnest, they their computer could be hacked. Right. So they could, you know, be


super high integrity, but if their computer's hacked, then

all bets are off. So

the the devastating


is a wallet that becomes very popular.

1,000,000, tens of millions, 100 of millions people are using it, and there's, like, a a zero day type of attack where everyone's wallet is swept in one moment, that would be very bad.

So the the goal of wallet scrutiny is to help reduce that risk

by really focusing on reproducible

builds. Right. Reproducible builds for people not familiar with it is when, an independent party

can take the source code,

that's open source,

build the software,

and confirm that the binary they produce

is the exact same that was digitally signed and what you're running on your phone.

It's it's technical process. It's complicated.

Trying to do this across

100 of or even thousands of projects is

a enormous task,

but that's what this project has set out to do. Right.

And then the project tries to,

you know, categorize

each each wallet and communicate to users if there's any concerns.

So I think it's so the intent so it's an important problem, I think, for the space to solve. I agree.

The intention of the project, I think, is really good.


I, you know, I've I've gotten to know the folks involved in it over I I met Leo, like, 3 years ago, gotten to know them over time,

as well as several other people have been working with them. I think they're very earnest and trying to do the the right thing. So I'm excited about this project.

Are there areas of improvement?


And others have let me know that. I've seen it myself, but I've heard I've listened to others.

So I'm excited to go fix those.

For 1, any project like this is naturally going to be

controversial in the space Right. Because it's a little bit antagonistic to the to wallets. Right? Right. As as developers. To develop wallet developers and wallets. You know, you don't want you don't wanna be scrutinized,

or most people don't wanna be scrutinized.

So it's just naturally gonna be contentious for that reason.

If you feel like it's unfair scrutiny or it is unfair scrutiny Right. Then you definitely are not gonna like it.

And I think one challenge the project has had, I I think they've reviewed, like, literally over a 1000 projects Right. With a very small team of volunteers who are not paid. So it's just been, like, way too much work for a few people who aren't paid.

Hopefully, with funding, it can attract more people.

But I do think there's, like, a quality quantity

challenge that they've had. Like, too many too many projects, not enough resources. I think that's one challenge.

And I also think that the design of the website

and the


can be improved

So that is,

Kinda scares the shit out of a lot of people. Scares the shit out of people. Yeah. Like, the average end user when they go to the website. Right. And it's it's a really tricky balance, though, because you also don't you do wanna

you do wanna scrutinize.

It's a tricky balance. So,

you you need to balance, like, doing what's right for the user and being transparent and communicating important information to them so they can make a good decision.

You also you don't wanna

you don't wanna go out of your way to be adversarial

to wallets because most of these wallets and wallet devs are absolutely trying to do their thing. And and, also, there's no perfect wallet. And a lot of them don't have their own business models, so they're just pure open source projects.


They're they're


basically contributing their time and energy to to develop and maintain. You know? And if we if we walk through every wallet, both of us could find flaws in every Right. There's no perfect wallet.

So if you know, it's easy

it's easy to point out or find flaws, point them out, and highlight those and scare people away. And then you have to ask yourself,

you know, what if if this mobile wallet that checks 8 of 10 boxes,

is that really do you wanna scare people away from that, and then they just keep their coins on,

you know, an exchange?


Like Or even worse. Like, I mean know. I had,

Sergei on, from Bitrefill. Right? And

one the one of the most commonly used wallets there is is Trust Wallet by Binance. And, like, that's even far like, you know, reproducibles are are great, but they use a reusable Bitcoin address. It's just like the one fixed address. Right.



There's a disconnect. It's a really hard problem,

because it's not a simple, like, thumbs up or thumbs down answer to any of these wallets. There's just a lot of nuance, a lot of trade offs.

So I don't know what the right answer is,

but the

I'm optimistic because,


we reached out to the Bitcoin design community

to see if they would help with this project. Right.

And we got an amazing response from the design community because they saw

the importance of this project. They saw the seeds of something that could be really valuable, but they also saw ways that

they can help.

And so several people from the design community have been working for the past few months

on the project.

And, also,

Spiral's copywriter who does all of our copy for our tweets and website and, our creative person,


helping as well on the copy for that site. So I think we're gonna see a lot of improvements


And, also,


the goal of that project does not have it just be

one purse like, the the founder of the project, not to just have him be the only one behind it. Like, he he doesn't wanna be

the dictator of all these,


reviews. I mean, I think that's where a lot of the concerns lie. Yeah. And and so,


he doesn't want that, he doesn't wanna have that responsibility.

We don't Spiral doesn't either. And so,

hopefully, with funding now and more


and just more people in the community knowing about and helping out, we're gonna get more expert opinions, more contributors to the project, and it becomes less about

one person's

personal review on every project Right. And much more of a community feel. That's good. So I think if we can achieve these.

So I I think we're in a good spot and that there's awareness

of some of the problems and challenges.

There's a plan to to address them, so let's let's see how that turns out. Well, so I'll I'll just say my piece really quick.


First of all, I mean, it's

it's an important goal. It's an important mission.


my my concerns have mostly been,

you know, the maintainer. There there feels like there's a little bit of bad faith that happens. It feels like,

you know, like we said earlier, like, it really scares the shit out of people from otherwise very, you know, very good wallets that have very strong code bases that are that they really care about security.

You mentioned earlier that there's, you know, no business model attached to it, but the lead maintainer is former Mycelium wallet. Right? Like, if you go to the website,

he only says there's 5 wallets that work, that are reproducible, that are good.

And one of them is mycelium. Right? So there's some

issues with incentive alignment there, and and that's why it'd be great to see more contributors. Like, I completely agree with that. Yep. And then, I mean, last but not least,

anyone who's using an Apple phone,

this doesn't help them at all no matter what because you cannot tell what's what's running on the phone,

when you download it from the App Store. Right? And you can't side load.

On Android, it's a different story.

On Android, you can build from source. You can then pull the you can pull an APK. You can check PGP signed, GPT signed APKs.

And especially in the global south and whatnot, the majority of them are using Android phones. If you look in Africa, you look like Latin America.

So on the Android side, it it can be very helpful.

But at least in America, on, like, the iPhone side,

it's kind

of a I'm not gonna say it's it's it's not a priority, but it you're it's not you're not really accomplishing any real goals on on the App Store side. And I think if you even check on this website right now, all the 5 that he has

are all Play Store.

None of the App Store ones

are reproducible. But like I said, you wouldn't even be able to tell if it was on iOS,

anyway. So, like, that that's my concerns. But then again, you know, like, first of all, no one's perfect.

There's always gonna be controversy whenever money is involved in general.

You know better than most,

but I have seen it firsthand as well.

So, yeah, I that that's that's where I come from, but,

I'm I'm interested to see to see how it goes going forward.



Yeah. I

I agree with those concerns. So I think what the whole what the ecosystem should I I hope people,

you know, cheer on as these improvements that that I talked about plus others.

And if we see those improvements,

I think it'll be a really positive thing for for the ecosystem. Agreed.

And, I mean, one thing

just to hammer on more,

relationships with the wallet developers, I think, is a really important relationship to have. Again, it's always gonna be natural, a little bit contentious, but you don't have to, like, throw fuel on the fire. So, like,

and and, also, ideally


It shouldn't be, like, adversarial.

It should be more of a I well, ideally, like, wallets,


see the value in this Right. And actually contribute back. Like,

and because

building building the open source software is not always straightforward. There's not like some projects don't have,

great instructions to follow, so you have to sort of figure it out yourself,

which has caused tension. So, hopefully, better relationships

can be built with the wallets.


and and some wallets hopefully see this as a great way to market their wallet as well. If they do well Right. Mark yeah. You know, in in in repurchasing a build There's a direct incentive there. Yes. Yeah. And if they do that, then others will

be, you know, incentivized to follow.

But, yeah, that's that's our approval of scrutiny.

Lots of other projects we support. We we don't have to go through them in in detail. Some are Bitcoin. We've been a huge funder and supporter of that. And That's been impressive, man. That's been really impressive. They've had a really good reach. I mentioned earlier, we we have funded, like, 6 Bitcoin core developers,


1 or

let's see. We just announced,


who is taking over for Carl Dong's work,

which is separating out the core of core,

which has been

various attempts and projects for longer than I've been in Bitcoin,

to do that. It's very it's hard,


but it's very important. And so, like, right now when you run Bitcoin Core, you have this full wallet. You have everything kind of bundled together with the consensus code. But it would be nice if we just had that consensus element, the the most arguably the most important part, the foundation of the network

separate from everything else,


so we could keep that stable while other iterations are happening. Right? There's numerous benefits by doing that. One is just like general software engineering practice. If you isolate that, it you're less likely to introduce bugs in the really, really critical stuff if you're adding something to the We don't want accidental forks. Yeah. Yeah. Right.

There's also the benefit for the contributors themselves.

Contributing to, like, the GUI QT wallet is a very different type

of exercise than

changing consensus code or the interference in your load Yeah. Or or mempool code.


it's really

2 types of contributor bases. And so just being able to separate that, I think, is important.

And, also, you know, there, you know, there did been different views and camps as to do we need more competition for Bitcoin Core. Should there be more implementations?

And the folks

that think we should put

all the arrows behind 1 project, Bitcoin Core, generally point to it would be dangerous to have independent consensus implementations because there's no spec, and the spec is the is Satoshi's code.

And it's really complicated,

and we don't want inadvertent forks.

I sympathize with that view.

However, it would be great if we can separate that code out so that all other parts of Bitcoin Core can have a lot of competition and competing projects. I think that's, like my opinion, that's, like, the the right sort of high or, you know,

compromise approach on that. So,

yeah, so Carl did a lot of great work on it. He's moved on, but he,

to his credit, he found his successor. So Sebastian is a developer who's gonna take over that project, and we're we're funding him. We funded

Fossil and Jonatak

and Gloria

and folks that are working on nitty gritty peer to peer mempool


That's awesome. And privacy. Like, Fossil added, like, Torv3 support. And,

that that tends to be where we wanna we wanna fund the

more core part of core, and less so the the the wallet. Not not because we don't,

believe wallets are valuable, but just in general,

there's, like, hun hundreds of wallets. So we Right. There's no funding strategy where we can fund all of them, and we don't really wanna, like, pick and choose. We're we're spirals about building dev tools, infrastructure to make it easier for there to be more wallets,

and require less resources to build a great wallet, that's where we focus on. A strong foundation to build on top of. Yep.

Let let's talk a little bit about LDK.

I know that, you know, Jeff and Val just were on your show the other day, so I don't have to repeat what they already talked about. But just to to highlight or rehighlight things that we've learned and new initiatives within LDK project the past year.

One is that we heard a lot of feedback from people using LDK. There's really 2

camps. So for folks not

familiar with LDK,

it's a full lightning implementation.

So in some ways, similar to lndclndeclare

to full full lightning implementation. But the way it's delivered to people is not a a binary.

It is an API,

an API with 100 and 100 of methods.


it gives you the developer a lot of control and flexibility and power to build awesome lightning applications.

So for developers who

have maybe tried to build a lightning

product or they have 1,

they tend to know a lot more. Lightning is super complicated. They tend to know a lot more about lightning, and they know what they wanna get out of their application.

So they love they tend to love LDK because they know exactly they see exactly how it addresses their problems. So for that,

group, LDK, we've seen we have over a dozen


actively developing with at least 2 developers

on LDK right now. That's right. We're seeing growth there.

But there's another

group of developers who it's their first experience building lightning application. They're experienced developers.

But because of Lightning's complexity,

you know, they're at the point of just trying to, like, get l and d or CLN up and running

and connecting to peers

and learning about rebalancing channels and funding and things like that.


is both, I think, perceived as too complex,


the reality is, you know, you you gotta roll up your sleeves and do some coding.

And they're not ready for that yet.


one project we started last summer

is called LDK node, and it's almost

ready for to be to be unveiled and people can start using it.

What LDK Node is, it's, while LDK API

is not opinionated

on how a lightning node or wallet is built. Right. LDK node is is a specific recipe. It is opinionated,

and it it is a full lightning node

presented in a API of, like, 6 functions. Okay. A very simple I mean, like,


connect to peer, fund channel, send payment, like, that level of simplicity.

And it should make building a mobile wallet

much, much easier. Got it. And, so for example, it's made a decision about how are block how's block data sourced.

And it can be sourced from Explora or Electrum, which are 2 popular options for

for mobile.

You it it makes this it it it includes a BDK based

on chain wallet.

Because LDK API by itself doesn't have an on chain wallet, You bring your own wallet,

which if you already have your own wallet, LDK is amazing. Right. Because LDK doesn't make you, you know, switch to LDK's idea of a wallet. But LDK node is its own on chain wallet. Right. In comparison to something like LND, just to put it in perspective, is like this


this full




that you just, like, install and has the on chain wallet. It has everything already. It has everything, and that makes it, you know, much easier to get up and running Right. And and start sending and receive you know, funding channels and send receive payments,

which certainly has an attraction to it. Like, people like to get up and running fast. But Yeah.

You know? And for a lot of uses, like, people are successfully using l and d in the space. And, I mean, you know It's like 80% of the network. It's like 80% of the network.

But for other applications that maybe never got off the ground, like, they they wanna use Lightning in a new way. A different not as as extensible

as as something like LDK or LDK Node. Yep. And and having you know? So having to, like,

fork the go code of LND Right. And modify that is, you know, has a number of barriers you have to understand go, like, maintain like, that code's very you know? Right. Any lightning implementation, it's very complicated.

And, it's just generally not something

one one was wants to do.

So, anyway but LDK node,

is is a a full lightning node implementation.

With an on chain wallet. With an on chain wallet.

And so we think it's, like, a great starter plan

for anyone interested in building a mobile a mobile wallet.

A lot of the focus in general on LDK has has been mobile. Right? This idea of The the the emphasis has been mobile. We've always thought, or at least I've always thought LDK can absolutely run on servers as well. That's what Cash App's doing. That's what Cash App. So our our the primary main net application of LDK right now is is on a server.

But we we wanna focus on where we see the greatest need in the ecosystem.

And from the start, we we thought mobile was underserved,


underserved, privacy


So that's where we tend to prioritize.

But we can talk a little bit about

some shifting views on that as well and some need for

server work. And and, actually, just I can speak to some of the users of LDK who are beyond Cash App

that are using it on servers.


So Well, I would say I'm curious your opinion.

If if the goal is a library and and software that's built on top of it that's highly efficient and and can work in a mobile environment, because, obviously, mobile has a lot of constraints already.

Usually, it's a lot easier for them that to be adapted to a server environment, but the reverse is not true. If something's built, you know Correct. For an always on high performance server,

that thing is probably not gonna work on a mobile phone. And and when you talk about mobile phones in general, I mean,

there's gonna be billions of people that use Bitcoin that only use it from their mobile phones. Right? They're never gonna use a desktop computer. They're never gonna use a server. They're never gonna use a laptop.

They're gonna be doing mobile first. So for us to tackle that problem is is absolutely crucial.


That's correct. And

and and that's been our our view in how LDK has been architected and designed. Right.

The you know, and and running,

there's been past attempts at, or there's been attempts at running a lightning node on the phone.

It generally has produced,

you know, a subpar performance experience. Yeah. I think that can be boiled down into 2 or 3 things.

One is that if you try to to do path finding when you're finding a route for your payment on the phone,

you need the the the gossip, you know, or you need to you you need to you need to know the entire network graph of all the the lightning nodes to be able to to to select an optimal path.


a lot of data. And so when there's been attempts where

all of that data is downloaded to the phone,

it can cause a problem when the phone doesn't run the the, you know, the the mobile OS won't run the application in the background.

And so a person opens or if it's been, like, a week or a month since a person opened their wallet, it might spend

dozens of seconds or even minutes downloading that network graph just to be able to route a payment. That's that's a showstopper user experience. That's not a mainstream people aren't gonna tolerate that. Any friction.

Any People will go somewhere else. Yep. And so, you know, I think I think Jeff and Val talked about this in the show a couple days ago, but,

a project that,

Spiral worked on in the past year called rapid gossip sync Yes.


which just shrinks the amount of information that needs to be sent to the phone,


And it you know, we've measured it as,

you know, less than one second to both download the data for the full graph,

and process it. So that can be done on app when the app starts up and,

and there's the user it's hidden from the user. And the reason why pathfinding the phone is important is privacy.

Because if you if you outsource that to a third party server,

which is also often done today,

that third party server knows every single payment you make and has your entire Right. How the transaction flows to the Lightning Network. Yep.

So it's a huge privacy win by running it on the phone. But I think, historically, that's one reason people have seen bad performance on a phone. Right. Hopefully, rapid gossip sync eliminates that problem and solves that problem.

A second reason, some wallets have used compact block filters,

also known as BIP 157158.

It's also been called Neutrino. Lots of names for it. Right.

But it is where,

I mean, it has

I love the technology.

There's all kinds of great benefits. It's,

it allows you to connect directly to the Bitcoin peer to peer network, get your block data from the peer to peer network. You're not connected to one trusted server for block data.

It's excellent for privacy.

And but the the challenge on a mobile phone

is that the the, you know, compact block filter, the name implies that it's not the full block. It it it it's a filter, but it's still, like, 3%

of the block size. Right. So your mobile app still has to download


of blocks. It's still pretty heavy for mobile. Yeah. Especially, you know, if if we're able to figure out how to background

this, it it then it's easy

to do that in the background. And then when you start your app, you'd never the user would not notice them. Right.

But that's a big, big challenge on mobile phones. The way the OS schedules things, it's nondeterministic.


They're just killing processes left and right in the background. Yeah. For good reasons overall.


And they they Mostly battery life. For battery life. And both Android and iOS have have introduced more advanced APIs over time to,

facilitate more backgrounding. So that's good, but it's still not, like, in any way guaranteed.

The other problem, even if it was perfectly backgrounded, then you'd have no performance problem.

But for some people around the world, maybe many people, it might be cost prohibitive

because it it could be

100 to 200 megabytes a month of data

for these comeback block filters.


you know, for some people's data plan, that's no big deal. Other people, that might be

meaningful. You know, it might be several dollars or even more per month.

So there there are trade offs there. You know? I'd I'd like to see I'd like to see wallets that support that, but that's been another challenge in the past.

I have no grand solution to that.

I would like to I would I'd love to see wallets do it and try it out and see if, number 1, we can get a performant. And then, you know, at least for for some users, the the data will be fine.

But the so the solution to that, though, is just, you you know,

use a or Electrum.

It definitely nails the performance


It it sacrifices a bit of privacy. Right. If you're using someone else's.


Yeah. Yeah. So, you know You can be running your own You can run your own.


But if we're yeah. If we're talking about mainstream

Right. They're not going to. Yeah. I I I do believe in a future where,

someone makes

a 5, $10


board that can go in your home that goes in some other, hardware device that you put in your home, I think that and then a 100,000,000 people would use that, but that's still a small percentage. Right. I mean, that would be great.

That's a 100,000,000 more people than Exactly. Yeah. But it's still not,

billions of people around the world. Operate on the assumption the majority will not. Yeah. Yeah. So, but, anyway but almost everything else about the light, a lightning node

is totally performant on a mobile phone. There's really I mean, absolutely, lightning nodes can run on a mobile phone,

in terms of performance.

The other big challenge on a mobile phone, though, is that it's it's like a leaf node on the lightning network

because you it can't be a forwarding node, also known as a routing node,

because you don't have a it's not a it's not a server up and running 247. It's only when the user's operating with the wallet. So as a leaf node, that introduces,



As a forwarding node,

your node

might sort of rebalance itself. It I mean, it depends on who you're connected to, how you're connected. But,

if you're a leaf node, it's all about your own spending patterns.

And depending on your spending patterns and how you receive money, it could balance out nicely or not at all. And so it just introduces this really, really tricky problems with inbound liquidity

and how do you get that inbound liquidity, who's managing your channel channels. Like, people who are running lightning

routers tend to, you know, know how to

operate They're professional. Node. Yeah. I mean, they're they're at least,

you know, a hobby enthusiast or a hobbyist who likes to do it or cares about it. For mainstream users,

no way. And so, you know, already with Breeze and Phoenix and Moon, Walt, have shown if you

automate that and hide that from the user, it dramatically improves the user experience. So there's just no question that's needed. Once again, friction. Right? Like, you don't want


I I would go as far as to say, like, if there's any kind of channel management or any kind of liquidity management, like, it's already


lost for most users. Yeah. So I think there's no question that has to be hidden from mainstream users,

but it's really hard to do. And so, I mean, the good news is those

wallets I mentioned, they they've done it. And they Right. I think those they've done a great job at

first attempts at it. And Pragmatic approaches. Yep. And I, you know, I love the Phoenix Wallet. I I love,

I love Moon, the user experience. You know? It's not a full lightning It's not a lightning wallet. Yeah. It's lightning in in terms of the what


Network. Every transaction is an on chain transaction. All the balances are held on chain. Whereas Phoenix is a true,


Lightning wallet. Yeah. And

so if fees rise on chain, like, Phoenix

should out outperform Moon in terms of fees.


Like, Moon has had the,

the benefit of over the last and, by the way, it's Moon with 2 u's for the, you know, the dozen of freaks that maybe don't know how to spell it. They've had the benefit of a a of very low fees on the Bitcoin network.

That will probably not always be the case, and it seems with these

Inscription NFTs that might be getting supercharged. So


Yeah. And I my understanding from Dario's

I mean, they're working on Yeah. He's been working on it for a while. Yeah. They're working on it for a while. Dario's amazing. His team is awesome. All all these Francesca, she's All these wallets we're mentioning, the the people behind them have just done incredible work because they they've had to deal with

very poor

development tools. Yeah.

A lightning protocol that's still work in progress

and strive to create as good of UX as they they could, and, like, they've they couldn't have done better, basically. Just to go back for a second, not to be


not trying to be a dick.

But, if you go to wallet scrutiny.com,

like, Phoenix Wallet, they tell you not to use Phoenix Wallet. Right? Yeah. Another one


is is Blue Wallet. They call it custodial, and that that's that's one that we're That's what I'm saying. That's what a bad faith kinda feels like. You know? I I I I agree. Like, with BlueWallet, it it again, it gets to this nuance. Right? Because Yeah. BlueWallet Lightning

is custodial,


and it's important for users to understand that. BlueWallet on chain is noncustodial. Right. And you could use BlueLight Wallet Lightning in a noncustodial way, but by default, it's custodial. Yeah. Yeah. So there's just lots of nuance


and yeah. Again, I think problem. Yeah. It's a difficult problem. Sorry. Continue. I don't think you're a dick.

Thank you.


oh, just back to I mean, we're talking about Liquidity. Lightning challenges and liquidity. And Yeah. So

anyway, so we have examples of wallets

that did a good job of creating a user experience around that. They've tried different

business models there because they're

you know, as an LSP

where you're providing inbound liquidity to an end user wallet, you are tying up your own money

in a channel that can't get forwarding fees. So

through other users.

So, yeah, there's a cost of capital there. So there needs to be some kind of business model.

We're seeing different experiments tried. I think it's healthy. We need to see more experiments.

Another development that we need to see


just a healthier LSP market place. And that because it's a


we're it seems like we're going to the same place. It's a bit of a trusted relationship. Like, yeah, like, Phoenix is self custody,


they're the node you're connecting to, and they're providing all the liquidity. So, you know, if if Phoenix disappears if if the Phoenix team disappears tomorrow,

like, you can't use the wallet anymore.

Yeah. You I I don't get your funds out. You can get your funds out. If they're not actively malicious, if they're not actually trying to steal your money, you can still get your funds out. But Even if they're trying to,


steal your money,

as as long as you're using the wallet regularly. Like, there's no watchtower involved. But, You have to keep opening the wallet. You have to keep opening it. Theoretically. Yeah. I mean, they can't just, like, at at one moment steal it. They Right. They that,

you know, as the counterparty of the of the channels,

they could try to unilaterally close out. If you're not paying attention,

then Right. Steal money.

So it's it's definitely not perfect trust minimized.

It's I find I think at at this moment in time, I think I think it's acceptable.

But to get to a better state


be more LSPs,


that are,

not just tied to the wallet, but, like, LSPs as a business, and then they supply many different wallets. Yes. And then wallets that computation. Wallets that use multiple LSPs.




Simultaneously or easily be able to switch.

So having having standards


between a wallet and LSP thinker is important. Then we'll have a proper marketplace, and you'll have competition and more providers. And I just wanna go back real quick on Phoenix

just because I I feel like they deserve a shout out. All wallets, pretty much all tools have trade offs, and the Phoenix team is amazing at disclosing the trade offs on their website. Like, they go through everything for you. Yep. They they're very good actors, and and they


they contribute in many ways. Not only a great user experience Lightning Wallet, but they're protocol developers as well at Lightning. So, it's a great team there. But,

every project, every team,


every wallet can definitely improve. So LSP marketplaces. We want LSP marketplaces. We want some standards there so that it can can there can actually be multiple providers. And the good news is there's activity


on that.

There's a team at Block working on Lightning


It hasn't been, like,

announced in a big way yet, but Nick Slaney,

leads this team. He's on Twitter. He's talked about it.

They've hired some really great folks. They're building out really cool lightning infrastructure stuff,

which will will be talked about by that team more in more details soon.

Like, Synonym

has a block tank, which is an LSP. Right. There's a couple of developers a couple of teams,

companies that are using LDK

that are built you know, there's a team that's taking LDK

talking about running LDK on a server.

They're running it on an enterprise HSM.

Cool. And they're building out an LSP


There's other users at l d LDK that are building LSPs as well. Some of them are building it just for themselves. Some, I think, want us you know, want it to be open to others and be a business. So,

there's definitely activity and development on on that front.

I expect to see more of this to be public, be real, be usable this year, and then, you know, bleeding into next year, it'll be much better.

There's been efforts for a standard spec.

It's hard because, like, there's a lot of,

options out there. Lightning Labs has some liquidity

options. Blockchains proposed, like, liquidity options.

Companies like Bitrefill

and Breeze and and,

and Async with Phoenix. They they developed their own homegrown for their own wallet. Lots of different ideas. I

think it'll be a little messy over the next few years, but it's it it I think it's generally good messy. We want a lot of experiments.

And, hopefully, over time, the ecosystem will see what what's, what's sticking, what what are good models,

and they can become standards

that LSPs and wallets adopt. Awesome.

What we don't want is,

you know, one LSP to become


especially if it comes from a big big company. Right.

And everyone's using that, and it gives the lowest fees, the best performance, and it attracts everyone,

that that's not a good outcome at all for Lightning. Massive central point of failure.

So that'll be a big development,

for for Lightning.

Yeah. So, actually, getting back to,


I talked about LDK node. We're developing that. That'll be quick. Yeah. Tony Tony in the live chat is asking, is there an LDK LSP group? Seems like a lot of potential overlap and duplicated work that might be going on.


Yeah. It's a great question.

Actually, about a year ago,


spiral team, me specifically,

started looking into that. Because, like, if there was

code that could be written, that could be reused

by others,

that would be, like, certainly within scope of something Spiral would like to do.

Spiral doesn't wanna operate an LSP. We're not we're not a business. We don't wanna have operating capital and and operating, you know,

an ongoing,

you know, servers and stuff.


yeah, our conclusion there was that not not really.

Also, hopefully well,

I I believe Block Tank is open source. I believe stuff Breeze has done as open source. I expect stuff

from Block to be open source.

And then any any kind of emerging spec, I would expect to be open source as well. So,

I'm not sure

if Spiral

needs to to really engage on that. I think I think it'll come. But if anyone has specific ideas on on what Spiral can do, we're we're we're all ears on that. And it'd be great in general if if I mean, it doesn't have to be Spiral. Like, sounds like there probably should be at least maybe a Discord group or something like that, people that are working on that. Yeah. There, there is a Telegram group for the LSP spec that is

pop I mean, it's for it's a working group. So, like, if you if you have a you know?


Don't go in there and ask them why your lightning payment failed. Yeah. This is not a


a a help desk or,

you know

but but if you're interested in LSP spec, absolutely, people are welcome to to join that.


Getting back to so LDK node, that's been a big project

the the past 8 months or so. It'll be ready soon for mobile.



as we developed it, we realized we can take the same code base

and run it on

a server as well and really just need to reconfigure it. So instead of using, like, Explora or Electrum for block data, we just plug in Bitcoin Core for full blocks because that's the obvious choice if you're on a server Right. Because you're not resource constrained.

You may or may not want a different



We'll see. But we think without that much extra effort, we can configure LDK node on a server, which will make it much easier

for users to get up and running

with an LDK based solution on a server. Awesome.

We're also


just going that final step

with that 6 API,

6 method API and just

shipping a daemon.

Cool. Actually, shipping a binary because it's not that much extra effort.

And why would we do that? Well, there's a lot of features that we're building in the LDK now, like bolt 12 and async payments.

Splicing is on the horizon,

and and things that,

wallets and LSPs are demanding and wanting.


we might be

the the only or the best solution out there for them. So it would be a shame if it's not adopted by someone who wants it

just because

they're intimidated by even a 6 API,


a 6 function So in that situation, would would that be, like, a binary that targets end users? Like, an end user could just

install the binary and and be running it, or is that more of a developer focused thing still?


That's a good question.

You know, is

it targeted at someone who's running

a business? Yeah.

Like a like a Striker OpenNode or something like that. Or or is this for someone with a Raspberry Pi and Umbrel? Yeah.

I I I don't know. I'm thinking more, though,

the the larger companies. Right.

Be here's here's what I we can get we can get to, like, BOL12 and async payments and the problems that it solves Right. The status,

but the deployment of that is really hard Right. Because of interoperability.


it's important that


that are server based

that want to support bolt 12 and async payments that they're that they're able to and have as many options at their disposal.

Got it. Yep. So we're we're looking at that.

The only other and and Jeff and Val spoke about the VSS project Right. Which is new on the radar. A lot of people probably haven't heard of it because it's relatively new, and it's not even launched yet. Right. But it solves an important problem, which is if you have

anyone building a mobile wallet

with lightning,

you have critical state that if you don't back up, you can lose your funds. Right.

So if you lose if you only store it on the phone, you lose your phone,

you are at the mercy

of your peers, which might be your LSP, which you can maybe trust. Right.

Probably trust in certain situations, but you are at their mercy to get your money back.

So there needs to be there needs to be a better solution. You should be assured that if you lose your phone, which all of us lose a phone at one point in life, that you're not gonna lose your money. So with, there needs to be a way to back up that state on a server in the cloud.

Securely. Securely and in a privacy

way. So you need to encrypt the data and then store it in the cloud. So whoever's storing it in the cloud, you don't they can't see it. They can't mess with it.

And that's what the VSS the VSS project is all about solving 2 problems, 1, that backup,


2, being able to to access your wallet from multiple devices. And I think Jeff and Bell talked about that a little bit.

I'm not yeah. I don't believe anyone supports that today. You can't you know? But I think It's something my mom would expect that it she could use it on her iPad and her iPad. I think any user would expect this. If I mean, a lot of users only have a mobile phone around the world. Right. Okay. But there's a lot of people that have a laptop and a phone or an iPad and a phone.


they would just expect to be able to access their money.

They they they they don't they shouldn't

they wouldn't, and I they shouldn't have to expect that it's tied to a particular device.

Now, of course, the lightning gets gets gets super complicated. If you have 2 different

self sovereign

clients that have your private keys

messing with your lightning state and they're not coordinating with each other, you're gonna lose your money. Right.


VSS Because if it specifically, if, one of your channel partners, if you broadcast a old state,

it's built into the the lightning model. It's how lightning is secure is that they can then take your money if if they see that because that's the same way that it would look if if you were cheating the partner.


Exactly. Right. So it's very important that multiple clients would be synchronized


to that state,

and that that's pretty complicated. So VSS is intended to solve both of those problems, do it in a way that's free open source library

that anyone can use. And it's not it's not, it's not only

it it doesn't just support LDK. It'll support, like, the VLS project as well. Awesome. And it could, you know, it can support other implementations,

in theory at least.

So that's something we're working on. Phase 1 of that, which is, like, the backup phase, we hope to have ready first half of this year,

and then the multi device access

will will come after that. Awesome.

Another thing I wanted to mention, another thing we've learned and observed,

anyone who's been in lightning, it's as obvious. Lightning is really complicated.

Developing Lightning is really complicated. So we're building these tools, but,

you know,

quite a few developers in Bitcoin went through you know, I think everyone's read mass Mastering Bitcoin who's into Bitcoin. Right. But then a lot of developers went through Jimmy Song's


Bitcoin workshop. Right. And

it packs a lot of punch in 2 days.

It's drinking from the fire hose. It's a really intense 2 days. I took it about 5 years ago.


it it was it was a really, really good course,

that gave you a foundation leveled up your knowledge and gave you a great foundation to go learn more. And that's missing

in lightning.


a few of us have started a project

recently this year

to develop, a programming lightning workshop.

And sort of so in the same vein as programming Bitcoin,

but for lightning. And, we actually did a first test run here in Nashville at Bitcoin Bark. Let's go.

And it it it was a great first test. We only have, like,

5% of the content done, but we tested out.

We use as the environment. We use Rust as the language, which we're a little

unsure of. We don't want to have

students get tripped up over our language details, and Rust is fairly sophisticated language.

But if it can work, great, because a lot of great libraries in Bitcoin are Rust. Right. But if it doesn't work, that's fine. BDK and LDK. Yeah. But if but but also those projects acknowledge not everyone is Rust developers. So they support language bindings. They support Java and Swift and Python, etcetera. So,

you know, maybe we have to do this project in in Python to be determined very early stages. Yes. But if, yeah, if anyone is interested in being a guinea pig early

student, let us know, or contribute to the to the project.

We can go over quite a bit more about lightning complexity. How much time do you have, Matt? I I'm all yours. It's you you let's keep going. K.

Maybe 20 more minutes. Let's do it. Let's so I wanted to talk about, like, yeah, the more challenges of developing

lightning applications and wallets and, like, especially on user experience. So here's one thing that, might be or I don't think it's controversial, but it might be controversial.

I think lightning should be hidden from users.

Okay. Like, I don't think it like, hide the lightning. Like, we we should You're just spending Bitcoin. You're spending Bitcoin. You send me Bitcoin. There's, like, a lot of Bitcoin. There's, like, you know There's a lot of complaints about Moon and, like, architecturally,


but, like, the single biggest thing they did was you just scan a QR code and just pays it. Yeah. Like, the user doesn't have to know how they're paying it. Moon has yeah. Did a great job with UX.


Great job, but, like, example

to improve it is,

if you wanna receive,

it's a tabbed design.

So you're presented with

on chain Bitcoin. I forget what vocabulary they use, what copy they use, but it's basically It's Bitcoin and lightning, I think. It's He said Bitcoin and lightning. But, you know, so it's Which is even more confusing because it's, like, I've I do so much, work in the education

space, and people are like, what so is this not Bitcoin? What is lightning? Yeah. I I totally get to anyone knew, like, you know, because because it is a really good user for print, but they get tripped up on that. They think, oh, is this and they think of it as, like, Litecoin or some kind of, you know, other coin. Coin. And they certainly don't understand the difference between on chain. Like, they just don't understand the benefits of the technology.

Nor really should they. Nor should they. Yeah. So, you know, there's cert there's been efforts

from the design community and the community at large, as part of part of that, like, for a unified QR code. Cash App, you know, as a commercial prod product made made a bit big splash of that. And to Cash App's credit, they they launched a unified QR code.

Actually, to Dario's credit in Moon, they launched you a q a unified QR code, I think, like, 2 years ago, but they took it back because

a lot of other wallets in the ecosystem couldn't successfully send to it. Right. You need wallet support. Yeah. Yeah. There's, you know, BIP 21, which has been around forever. It it's on chain address based, but you have, like, extra,


information you can include a lightning invoice. Which is why it's useful because it's backwards compatible. So if you pay from an old on chain wallet or just any on chain wallet that doesn't have Lightning, they don't even see the Lightning component. But as as long as new lightning wallets know what to look for, they can then pull the lightning invoice and pay for v lightning. Exactly. So


there's there's

decent there's been decent bit 21 support from exchanges and stuff, but but moon moon had launched it, pulled it back.

It was too early. Then there it was too early.

Then there was both this

community effort to

describe this problem, the opportunity,

listed out a bunch of exchanges and wallets, who who supported it, who didn't. It was crowdsourced. People could could update that.

Cash App made a big splash and then actually launched with it and did a bunch of testing themselves.

And now we see

BTCPay following, and I think Zeus followed. And Right. All the good lightning wallets. There's some other you know? And and and, Moon, I know I don't know if it's default, but I think they added the options. It's in the settings. Yeah.


And I think there's a few others too. So I think same with BTC Pacer. Right? I think it might not default to it.

It might be in settings, but that's a little bit more realistic because if you're operating in BTC pay server, you're a little bit more technical than, like, a moon user. You'd you'd like to see it default in the actual apps. Yep. So there's


good momentum

for that, and, absolutely, it's better user experience to just not have to think about that. And you all you're thinking about is, like, I'm receiving Bitcoin. I will say hat on the table, Steve.



my good friend, Miles Suter, told me that BIP 21 support was absolutely crucial,

I was a little bit dismissive.


I I personally thought we'll just move to lightning in general. So, like, there will be one QR code, but it'll be a lightning QR code. But I will say now that it's actually rolled out, and I I think we were talking about specifically with the b t c pay server point of point of sale,

it is so clean. It is so nice. It's I I love it. I think it's a massive, massive UX improvement.


That's great to hear. Yeah. Because it it is the simple detail, but it's those simple details that are massive for mainstream adoption. 100%.

I think I've seen, I still never personally experienced, paying for something in El Salvador, but I've seen videos where using buster fuck.

Yeah. I mean, you know, the point is that the merchant the person behind

the that app really doesn't know what they're doing. Right. And, like because it's complicated.


Yeah. And that it yeah. As you said, cluster black. Yeah. Like, you see, like, big corners, they have to, like, take their phone and, like, go to

change it to lightning, and it just becomes a whole process. So small detail, but really needed.


But just in general,

I think,

Lightning should it's a it's a technology layer that


you know, developers

and enthusiasts and early adopters of Bitcoin can get excited about and talk about,

but I really think it should be hidden


like, I I just think mainstream users don't care. They just wanna send and receive money

and that being Bitcoin. Yep. And, They're just sending Bitcoin. They're receiving Bitcoin. I also I I'm I'm not sure what you're you you mentioned the other day that you're you or actually it was on the podcast, I think, with Jeff and Val that you go from, like, being a

I am Enthusiastic about lightning and then back to unchained, and and I I totally understand that psychology. I mean, there's days where I get a little, like, depressed about all the challenges of lightning, but overall, very optimistic.


Well, like, the other day, Steve, we were at Bitcoin Park. We had our open house, our monthly meetup.

Like, we have the BitDevs to the to the listeners. We have BitDevs, and then we have Open House. But we had Open House. We had, like, 200 people here. This guy comes up to me,

and he just started his lightning note, and he's asking how he can get inbound liquidity. Right? And I go into this whole thing for, like, 10 minutes. And then at the end, I'm like, I'll just open a channel to you. You know? And, like, that's where I that's when I get lower on the ebbs and flows. And then, obviously, when I see lightning out there in the wild and it's working, it's I get very bullish. Well, that's why yeah. I I don't think Lightning becomes mainstream unless there's a healthy LSP market. And these models work out, and it's


fair to end users, and they're getting value, and LSPs have a business model, etcetera. But,

oh, it's my I mean, if if we assume

Lightning successful, I think most people's Bitcoin experiences will be dominated by Lightning. Yeah. Vast majority of their payments, their interactions will be Lightning.

But, again, it'll be it's a technology layer underneath. Just like when I'm using a web browser, I'm not, like Right. Constantly

seeing or thinking about all the different protocol layers underneath that. I just use the software. Makes sense to me. Where in on chain I I think there'll be

I mean, you just do the math. I mean, unless we increase block size, like, there's only so many transactions that can occur. Right. And if you get, like, super broad adoption, billions of people, you can just do the math. Only so many can have,

an on chain

one on chain u UTXO Right. Or a Lightning channel, let alone, like, Savings Wallet, etcetera.

So I think there'll be a lot of users that, are on Fedimint or something like that, some kind of other technology where you're sharing UTXOs.


And they'll just


not interact with the blockchain. Right. Most most there there will be people that presumably only use lightning and never never touch the chain. Yep.


So let's see.

Let's oh, another u user experience problem with Lightning


around, you you do have this liquidity. And so,

people not familiar with Lightning, you can think of like an abacus. So if,

Matt and I have a channel between the 2 of us,

we might have,

you know, a 100,000 satoshis on each side.


even there's 200,000 satoshis in that

channel, I can't receive 200,000 satoshis through that channel. He you Matt can only slide a 100,000 over to me,

And that's just not how people think about

money. That's not how their $20 bill in their wallet works. It's hard to conceptualize. It's hard to conceptualize.

So, 1, how do you hide that? But, 2, what do you do technically

when I actually wanna receive a payment of 500,000 satoshis

and I don't have enough of this inbound liquidity.

So that's where an LSP can come into play. They can, on the fly, do that, like, a just in time,

you know,

injection of liquidity.

They could open a new channel.

They could use splicing, which is tech technology that's,

you know, in development.

But there's still a problem of, like, oh, do we have to wait for

block confirmations on Jane? Right. How many? 1, 3, 6?

Even 1, you know, it's a really bad user experience. And for the end user, it's like,

why do sometimes when I receive money, it's instant and it's amazing, and other times, I have to wait a long time. Right. And, again, if they're hidden from lightning, all these technology and all these,


it's just a weird experience that sometimes most of the time, it's fast. Sometimes, it's really slow. Right? So,

you know, one solution that's been deployed by,

various wallets and LSPs is 0Conf.





I I think that's a in this instance,

that can be a good choice


in this case of 0Conf, unlike on chain, you're not you as the recipient, you're not trusting

the person sending you the money. You're actually trusting your LSP,

which is a very different trust relationship.

Because all of a sudden, you can,

like, if some random stranger comes to your house to, like,

or if if let's see. Yeah. If someone comes and buys, like, your couch or something and sends you money,

you don't know them, and they leave. You either see them again. Yeah. If they double spend you, you're out your money.

But in this case, over Lightning, if you're accepting 0Conf, you're not trusting them. You're trusting that your LSP doesn't steal your money.

And I think that it's,

far more reasonable in most situations that you can trust your LSP

because you're using them on an ongoing basis.

They have probably

trade off that you're making.


recently, there was a new proposal called swap in Potentium, which was discussed at Nashville BitDev Right.

Which is an alternative,

which is pretty interesting. It's great. It's a good tool to have in the tool shed. It's an alternative to 0Conf here.

It can,


the speed and instant instantaneous

benefit of 0Conf without the risk of 0Conf, but it does introduce a different type of trade off.

There's actually 2 trade offs, and I I think one of them wasn't discussed at at bit devs. But,

the first is that,

it it


the money that's coming in with a 2 of 2 where your LSP has one of the keys Right. For a period of time with a time lock. So during that period of time, you do not have unilateral control of your funds. You're trusting your LSP to always cosign for you during that period of time. If for some reason,

they go offline, they become untrustworthy,

you still haven't lost your funds permanently. You just have to wait for the time out, then you have access. So that seems like a reasonable, acceptable

approach. But, of course, the other trade off is once that time out is done, then you can no longer

use that for instant


So the there it it still doesn't fully solve that. Right. But, anyway, there's solutions in the works to address that, which is a big But it reduces the trust significantly.


Reduces the well,


what what do you mean by that? Because it's a 2 of 2 with a time lock. Yeah. Oh, meaning it it it improves that trust Yeah. Relation. Yeah. Yeah.


So and I think those I mean, those 2 can also be used together too. They're they're not competing. You you you could apply both. You could, like, prefer

swap and put out to him, and, and if that's not avail if there's no coin available to do that, then you could then you could 0 comp. Right.

Maybe the last thing we talk about. Let's talk about, bolt 12,

lnurl, and just, like, you know, what are what are the problems being solved there? Because, like, bolt 11 has,

So bolt 11 is a normal invoice that we're used to right now. Yep. Which is I mean Lightning invoice. It's, you know, it served a good purpose. It it has a lot of us doing lightning payments, but it has a number of problems.

One is that it's, like, in invoice


So it's really,

you know, it it's pretty good for merchant customer relationship where customers paying merchant. But for, like, peer to peer money, I'm just paying you back or whatever,


and and you're just like You have to text me, send me an invoice. Yeah. I have to text you back, send the invoice. Anyone familiar with, like, Venmo or Cash App or anything like that,


it's just not how you interact with someone. Even if it's not a friend, even if it's, like, you know, a a babysitter or something. A babysitter is not, I mean, yes, it's a business, but it's not like they have, like Right. Like, have accounting, send me an invoice. They don't have a back end, you know, system, and they don't, yeah, they they don't think in terms of invoices. There's lots of, like, jobs like that where you pay people as well. And the babysitter is not running a BTC pay server. Right. So,

you know, so, traditionally, you might hand them a $20 bill or write them a check, or today, you you might Venmo them or cash Right.

Use Cash App, something like that.

And, yeah, you can't do that with bolt 11. You have to have have, like You have to do this invoice dance. You wanna push payment. You wanna be able to push a payment instead of

Right. Yeah. So what

so one thing bolt 12 I wanna look up just Moneyball in my wallet or whatever and just pay. Yeah. So one thing that bolt 12 does is it has the notion of an offer,

which is a reusable oh, another thing about bolt 11, you you should only use that invoice once. Are there reusable Bolt 11s? Well, if you try to pay it again, money can be stolen along the path. But, usually, the wallet will just say it failed. Widely known, I don't think, in Lightning either. So it's I guess your wallet is just protecting you from that. They know it's already paid, so they're not sending it. Right? Yeah. But, I mean, if you know? Yeah. So it I I don't in practice, I've not heard of it being a problem, but, like, if you did try to pay it again, it could be stolen. Also, it could be stolen, but, like, I don't know if, like, intermediate knows or, like, actively looking to steal that. But in practice, what you usually see is if you try and pay an invoice that's already paid, it said this invoice is already paid. You can't pay it for the end user. Yeah. Although I think that's because

because it actually timed out. Got it. So there's also so there's the notion of expiration date in bolt 11 invoices as well,

for multiple reasons, but that's one.

Now bolt 12 offers are reusable

payment identifiers. Right. So they solve a use case of tipping. They also solve a use case of where I just wanna send you a payment and not do this invoice dance. Right. So it And donations is really big for it too. Donations, tipping, and just, yeah, just sort of the Venmo Cash App use case. Right. So, getting rid of this interactive dance with the person receiving the money.

So massive UX wins for these very popular use cases that Right. People use money for and how they transmit money. So it unlocks that.

It has another benefit of

the we talked about the unified QR code. A challenge with that

is the density of the QR code. The more information you put in a QR code, the more dense that QR code.

And all of a sudden,

phones that were scanning it fine,

all of a sudden struggle. And you might have to, like, spend 20 seconds, like, zooming in perfectly, and and it it's not a good experience. Especially in the global south where it's old Android phones with bad cameras. Yep. And sometimes it just won't scan at all. Right. So,

the you know, so there's there's a a threshold there.

And the another beautiful thing about a Bolt 12 offer, it's much less data

than a Bolt 11,

invoice. So it's a smaller QR code.


with lightning, what you can embed in a Bolt 11 invoice are,

routing hints. Yes.

Basically, where my private channels are to receive. Yep. And there's another technology called blinded paths that's being developed. And if you include that, it's more data. And so in Bolt 11, it'll just break because break in the sense that it'll be way too much data to get the privacy you want,

and the

payment success rate you want by providing all these Right.

Hints for PaaS. It's too much data. QR code gets too big. With bolt 12, it pushes that off to a second

step in the process. It's not in the,

it's not in the the offer. There there are there are some paths, though, in the bolt 12 offer.

Those are onion message paths Right. To do this initial communication


to receive an invoice. I think Jeff mentioned that, which was a part I did not realize,


in in that situation, if those paths change or those routing notes change, then you actually need a new QR code or a new text string. Right? Like Yeah. Sadly. So they're reusable to a point, but there's also still gonna be Reusable to a point. So, like, if you,


in practice, it might be

that you only need to include a path to your LSP. Like, most users will be on a mobile phone. You'll have one

LSP. Right. And the path will lead to that LSP, and that LSP will be around for a long time. So it'd be pretty stable. And it'll be pretty stable.

So from a UX perspective, I think that's not a huge or it'll be fine and not a big problem.


it's not perfect. Right. That's not great. No. So for for people who are,

who really need,


stronger levels of privacy,

They might have to go they might have to choose a a particular type of wallet Right. That is more privacy sensitive, uses multiple LSPs, uses more sophisticated

blinded paths, multiple blinded paths, etcetera. And then maybe you'd have a little bit of a degradation

on, like, your your Bolt 12 offer might have to change, you know Update it, essentially. Every once in a while.


Seems like a re I mean, we Still a massive win if you're updating every month of the year or every 6 months or whatever. Yep.


But with bolt 12,

with the the offer,

if I'm if if I'm sending you money,

I somehow obtain your offer, and we can talk about that in in a second, like, different ways I might find it. But,

I I scan it,


my wallet would reach out to your wallet over onion messages

to to fetch the invoice. So there's still an invoice involved,

but it's hidden from the user.

And because it's done as this, like, computer to computer communication,

it can be bigger.

It can include lots of,

blinded paths and route hints and data,

and you don't suffer the the cost of the QR code.

And so that's,

so reducing the data in the QR code is another benefit of bolt 12. Let me talk a little bit about async payments as well, which is a it's a orthogonal topic, but it's related, and it'll be integrated as part of Bolt 12. But a huge problem with mobile phones,

is that, again, they they don't guarantee background,

access to the CPU. So if my phone is in my pocket, which is where people's phones typically are or sitting on this table right now, if someone's sending me money right now while I'm on this podcast, you know, I I it likely fails Right. Over Lightning. Because,

with Lightning,

unlike on chain Bitcoin,

you both the sender and the recipient

have to sign a transaction. Right. You have to act behind the private key, yet to be online.

And even though my phone's connected to the Internet right now,

you know, the iPhones,

typically doesn't wake up my wallet. Right. It goes back to the processes in the background. Transaction and to receive the money. It's a big problem. Because because, again, to the end user, they don't know any of these details. They don't care. Know they're not getting their money. They don't they're not getting their money. They want their money. And it's also not what they're accustomed to with other

apps. Even on chain Bitcoin. Right. Right. So it's really it's it's bad and also,

just not what they're used to.

So async payments,

Matt Carollo proposed it fall of


a a solution to this. He sketched out a high level solution that looked promising. We discussed it last year in Oakland when we got Lightning Protocol developers together from all 4 major implementations,

and, people seem to like the concept. I'd call it like a it got a generally got a concept or, like, approach


But there are a lot of details,

left to be figured out.

So starting a few months ago, Val and her team

took on the project that she she wants to build async payments. And I I was I I've been looking for a developer. There's a lot of excitement about doing it, but to find someone who has free time was hard.

And and finally, Val Val signed up for it, so I'm really excited about that.

And so the the I think it was covered a little bit on the other show, but, I mean Yeah. I love how it works. If I'm sending you money,

I and we're both mobile phone users,

I would,

notify my LSP

that I'm sending an async payment. Right. It then notifies your LSP,

and you your phone might be in your pocket. Right. And, basically, when your phone wakes up,

your LSP will know that. It will tell my LSP, and then the payment will be sent. Ready to go. Send it away. Right. And so this there there's been a proposal

in in the past,

from from Breeze

to do something kinda similar, but it's where it's held at the end of the the the last hop instead of the first hop. Right. And the problem the I mean, so it's trying to solve the same problem. Right. But the problem with that solution is that it ties up liquidity for an unbounded amount of time. That whole route Right. That liquidity cannot be used for forwarding or accessing your phone on or open the app. Yeah. So it could be hours, days, weeks. Right. Be because

you might create a really long time out too.

So the a huge win with this proposal is that it's held by the sender's LSP. No one's liquidity is being tied up.


It hasn't even gone down the path yet. Yep. Yeah. But it is complicated.


Right. So

it requires trampoline

and or something like trampoline. Trampoline ends up being a good solution.


when I trigger that payment to send to you,

my LSP is waiting to hear from your LSP,

but my phone's go I've gone offline. Right. So I can't retry a payment. So, like, if that first path doesn't work and you need to retry a new path,

I no longer


I also don't wanna trust my LSP to do this because I don't wanna lose my privacy. Right. And I don't wanna, like, give up my keys or whatever. So trampoline is a good solution that allows it to retry while being trust minimized Great. And privacy sensitive.

And then,

yeah, and then and then it can be from a UX perspective, it can be incorporated into bolt 12

so that when I scan a bolt 12 offer,

it will actually basically have a flag and indicator saying, like,

that's do you do you as a recipient, do you want async payments or not? And if you do, then my wallet goes down that path. And it it'll you initially use,


So it it because your phone's offline.

Right. So it's not in a position to to generate an invoice. Right. So even if I send you an onion message saying, hey. I'm ready. I wanna pay you. I wanna pay your offer.

Your phone's offline,

and you can't trust your LSP

to generate invoice because then all of a sudden you're trusting your LSP Right. To make sure that it's the invoice that gets you paid versus

your LSP to get paid. Yeah. So, by using KeySend, you avoid that invoice stance.

A drawback with KeySend is that there's no proof of payment. I think you guys talked about that the other day. Receipt. There's no

receipt. As far as I know, I I think it's important. But as far as I know, no one's really using receipts right now in in the space. So I don't think it's, like, I think it's a enormous win to enable people to receive money on their phone. But to be clear, I I mean And it's a good trade off. Dispatch is a podcasting 2.0 show. So I receive


thousands of key send payments

a day.

It works. It yeah.

That's that's great. Don't have a receipt. But


and there's and there's potential for receipts. Like, AJ Towne's like, Vowel challenged the community. Like, hey. Can can someone come come up with an idea? How do we get receipts? Maybe using PTLCs or other technology, and AJ's already sketched out a solution, which looks promising. Now even if that solution ends up working, it depends on PTLCs. That's gonna take years to develop and deploy.

But great. I mean, that's how Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Yeah. Anyway,

that's high level how async payments works. It solves

arguably the biggest UX problem

Right. For mobile light I mean, people who are having good experience I mean, there's definitely good experiences to be had with lightning today, but they're often



Or the person's running their own umbrella or something. Right. And it's totally totally valid and totally fine.

But if the long term, if we only have custodial lightning, then we lose most of the benefits of Bitcoin, censorship, resistance, privacy, etcetera.

And so,

being able to deliver great user experiences on on mobile is essential. It's 10 times harder technically.

Yeah. We've outlined a bunch of the problems. The good news is there's generally good solutions

in the works.


every year, we're gonna see more of those more of those delivered. So the async payments,

the, you know,

the hope is that this year, Val can, come out with a demo that demonstrates that it works, simultaneously

complete a spec

that can get feedback from

fellow protocol developers. I don't expect much. I mean, as long as it works as we're currently thinking, we don't come up cross any more hiccups. I don't expect it to be controversial in terms of the spec. So it's just a matter of finding another implementation in addition to LDK that that,

implements it. That'll usually go through, you know, finding some bugs and problems.

And then hopefully,

you know, hopefully, 2024,

that can become you know, go live and start to become popular.

But with both bolt 12 and async payments, it's a really big challenge for deployment,


you know, ideally,

every wallet,

every LSP,

and even every node in the net basically, every node gets updated.


It's a massive interoperability challenge. Yep. And,



not everything has to be updated for

certain situations to work, which is what's gonna there's gonna be a transition period, but it's a it's a big challenge. And it's a UX challenge because

when you add this to your wallet,

you you you have to anticipate

sometimes when you're sending to someone or receiving from like, if you're receiving from someone,

sometimes they are gonna be bolt 12 compatible, sometimes they're not, and you you have to handle that. Right. So,


I've chatted with folks in the the Bitcoin design community. I think a good resource that can be developed is,

put put some smart people together, design

people who understand the tech, but also design oriented to think through what are best practices for a wallet to to approach this.

Because everyone's gonna face the same question. Right. And, I spent some quality time with Steven DeLorme this week

in Nashville at Bitcoin Park.

And and and I I really he has some really great thinking around this.

So I think a a few of us are gonna put put together some of those thoughts,

and and then share them with wallets,

to to get their feedback. Hopefully, it's a good resource for wallets. I recently started,

a a bolt 12 Discord community,

that that that's public. Right right now, I've invited people who develop wallets, our designers,

that are that are bolt 12 advocates,

and trying to develop a rhythm there. But just a place where we can talk about the problem, like, all the problems ahead of us. Right. We're all we all wanna make it make it happen, come up with a plan.

And once we develop a rhythm, you know, I'll publicize that more and get more people involved in that. It's, you know, again, we want every wallet and every LSB to to adopt this.

But I think if, you know, this year, I think,

I'm optimistic we can get,

you know, half a dozen or more wallets

implementing it and launching it. At least between those wallets, you'll be able to use it, and then hopefully set ourselves up for

next year

really going broad. Like, demonstrate these benefits we're talking about.

It's all about running code. Right? I mean, we can talk about the benefits,

understand them in theory, but let's actually see it in practice.


see that this year and the next year,

see really broad broad adoption.




I'm excited, Steve. I'm feeling bullish. I'm on the bullish curve of the Good. Of my lightning feels. Oh, and, also, I I think a lot of people think that or Bolt 12 is still just like an academic project by one protocol developer, Rusty, who who, proposed it.

But there's been tremendous progress. Right. LDK, CLN, and Eclair all,

are nearly complete with,

unused messages, bolt 12 and

like, bolt 12 invoices and, blinded paths.

And I think,

you know, in the next well,

CLN supported this for a while, but they're updating the implementation to the latest spec. That should be available soon. Eclair should be available soon. So should LDK. Soon, meaning, like, on the order of, like, a a few months. That's fucking good. And even LND,


has a solid plan in place where,

some developers have,

gotten some PRs into LND that will allow an external

daemon to run to handle onion messages in bolt 12 and at least allow lnd users to,


Bolt 12 payments, which is critical for interoperability.

Because all the exchanges and Right. And and custodians that support Lightning of the Day and run lnd, it's important for them to be able to fund and send money from there to a mobile wallet that's noncustodial that might not be on LND and use a different implementation.

So it's really important for that use case to be unlocked. That would be unlocked with this solution.

And then, hopefully,


you know, we'll show how much demand there is for Vault 12 and how awesome it is

and get get it, you know, as a higher priority to merge it all into into LND.


That's really good, Steve.

I'm excited.

Well, it's been an absolute pleasure. We're over 2 hours. I've enjoyed it. I hope you've enjoyed it. It's been great. I've hoped everyone out there has enjoyed listening, found it helpful.

Can we

put it on the record that we'll we'll record again at least

at least once a year. We'll do updates, but maybe more. Yeah. On the record. On the record? Yeah. I would love to have you back. I'd love to come back. It's always a fun time. Thank you for coming to Nashville and visiting, and

hope you come back to Nashville as well. And

I usually wrap it up with final thoughts. Do you have any final thoughts for the audience? I mean, I think


I'll just show Bitcoin bark again. I I think,

I I it really has been a good experience. I'm not saying that just because I'm on your show right now, but it's been great.

So I I would recommend people find a way

to to work Nashville and do your your travel.

And I think you guys have some kind of plans for I mean, clearly, people in Nashville and the local area can can become members and and Right. Come here a lot. But but even visitors, I think you have something to plan. So,

definitely learn more about Vikram Park and check it out. Awesome. Well, thank you, sir.


Thank you. Thank you, Freaks, for for tuning in, joining the live chat, supporting the show. Reminder,

we're gonna have a show,

Super Bowl Sunday before the Super Bowl with Casey,

on ordinals and inscriptions.

And, also, I remembered

after one of the episodes this week that I haven't mentioned at all. I know I've been giving you guys a lot of content, but also my new

series, in partnership with Bitcoin Magazine, Freedom Money is out.

So if you just search Freedom Money in YouTube, the first two episodes are there. 1 was with, Gigi,

and, the other was with Roya.

Roya is an af everyone knows Gigi already, I assume, but Roya is an Afghan tech entrepreneur.

She's absolutely inspiring and amazing. So consider listening to that. There's gonna be 4 more episodes of that as well.

I love you all. Thank you, Steve.

Stay humble, StackSats.