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Wednesday, October 16th 2019 - Issue #592

Good piece on Schnorr + Taproot

What you're looking at above is an illustration of an example of Taproot spending conditions. The chart comes from this incredible blog post by BitMEX Research that dives into the Schnorr Signature and Taproot softfork proposal that Pieter Wuille posted to the Bitcoin mailing list in May. We here at the Bent covered the fact that a proposal had been proposed when the news broke, but our friends at BitMEX took a better deep dive that your freaks should check out when you get a chance if you're keen on staying up to date with the latest technical proposals for Bitcoin. 

Learn how Schnorr signatures differ from ECDSA signatures, the current algorithm used to generate Bitcoin private-public key pairs. What a Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree is and how Taproot's construction is different. And how, when combined, these two upgrades could lead to a win-win-win scenario for privacy, scalability and capability (the ability to code more interesting smart contracts).

After you read BitMEX's piece, it may be a good idea to peep this recent email from Pieter Wuille that includes some updates to Taproot in particular. And then after that, if you still have some time, peep this video from Steve Lee, formerly of Bitcoin Optech and now with Square Crypto, in which he dives into the Schnorr + Taproot softfork proposal as well as a couple others. 
Steve Lee drops knowledge. Tune in and grow your know.
Final thought...

Life is weird. Like really weird when you think about it. 
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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.

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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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Copyright © 2017  Marty's Ƀent  All rights reserved.

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