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Monday, October 14th 2019 - Issue #590

Another Lightning implementation appears in the wild

Well this is an exciting start to this mid-October Monday in the world of Bitcoin. Seemingly out of nowhere, Electrum, the open-source project that has been producing wallet and server software for bitcoiners since 2011 announced that their next implementation will support Lightning Network payments. Joining the ranks of LND (Golang), Eclair (Scala), and c-lightning (C); Electrum's implementation will be written in Python.

From Uncle Marty's surface layer understanding of the world of computer science and programming languages, Python is a particularly powerful and popular programming language at the moment. So hopefully, the emergence of this Lightning implementation from the wild means that the potential amount of people who will be able to leverage the Lightning Network to build powerful apps has just increased significantly.

For those of you a bit confused right now, the Lightning Network is a protocol with a certain ruleset. Different teams have created software written in different languages to interact with this ruleset. Each implementation, written in different programming languages, caters to the demographic of developers proficient in the particular language. The fact that a Python implementation now exists, again, means that there are now more potential people that can build on LN.

As time goes on, it will be interesting to see if these competing implementations can scale and maintain compatibility with each other as LN becomes more popular. We here at the Ƀent will be following along with the progress made by each implementation and LN overall. 

Shoutout to the Electrum team for building this out and ninja announcing it today. Very excited to see what types of app-building this enables.
Final thought...

All nighters into 6am flights, not ideal.  
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Thanks for reading Marty's Ƀent, a daily newsletter containing all the information I found interesting in the Bitcoin world in the last 24 hours.

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Tuesday, October 8th 2019 - Issue #586

Bitcoin scary stories

It's October and we here at the Ƀent are well known for our penchant to play along with holiday themes. As Halloween approaches, we thought we'd take the time to share some scary stories with you. Here's a transcript from a talk that Ethan Heilman gave over the weekend at a Bitcoin conference hosted by MIT. The talk is titled Near misses: What could have gone wrong, and is filled with scary stories from Bitcoin's past. 

Take some time to learn about the bugs that have been found in the Bitcoin codebase over the years. Problems that, if exploited, did and/or could have led to node denial of service attacks, inflation bugs, and inevitable network splits. Luckily for us, the scary stories that Ethan told about Bitcoin's past have come and gone. The bugs have been patched and lessons have been learned. But, if anything, we should use these instances to help become more vigilant moving forward. Each individual exploit teaches us about an attack vector we should be aware of and how we can harden our defenses. The more we find and come to understand, the better. 

So let this be a scary reminder to you freaks out there, bugs have existed, they probably exist right now, and may very well exist in the future within Bitcoin. Be aware. Stay vigilant. Encourage your smart developer friends to help peer review the Bitcoin Core codebase.  
Final thought...

Moving the car for street sweeping; equal parts rage inducing and demoralizing. 
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Hope you enjoyed today's issue. If you have any friends that are looking to find out more about Bitcoin have them sign up for this newsletter here:
 
Get Ƀent

Ƀent noun 1. direction taken, as by one's interests; inclination.

Thanks for reading Marty's Ƀent, a daily newsletter containing all the information I found interesting in the Bitcoin world in the last 24 hours.

Archives for Marty's Ƀent can now be found here. 
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