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How Bitcoin’s Lightning Can Be Used for Private Messaging

Bitcoin’s lightning network might have a use case beyond faster and more scalable payments. Last week Lightning Labs developer Joost Jager revealed an experimental, new proof of concept: Whatsat, a version of lightning that can be used to send private messages. Like bitcoin, it’s censorship-resistant. But, unlike encrypted apps that morph messages into unreadable, garbled text to keep messages from prying eyes, there’s no central entity to stop users from employing the network. Jager told …

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Venezuelans Made Lightning-Savvy Hardware to Use Bitcoin During Blackouts

On March 7, 2019, all the lights went out in Venezuela. Total blackout. While the electricity crisis was already part of everyday life, the blackout still crippled communications across the country. It also inspired Venezuelan Randy Brito to focus fully on the Locha Mesh initiative, an open-source project working to enable private messages and payments without an internet connection. During the blackout earlier this year, it became clear to Brito that poor internet infrastructure was …

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As Lightning’s Economy Takes Shape, Devs Are Split on Proposed Fee Hike

Fees aren’t just a topic of discussion for bitcoin users anymore. As the tech matures and an economy develops, fee discussions are making their way into the lightning network too. This past weekend, bitcoiners and lightning fanatics gathered in an industrial Berlin sector for the first-ever Lightning Conference. With topics ranging from onboarding and interface design to the vogue economics of the nascent payment layer, Lighting Conference attendees said the event had the feel of …

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Researchers Uncover Bitcoin ‘Attack’ That Could Slow or Stop Lightning Payments

The bitcoin lightning network could be vulnerable to a simple and disruptive attack, according to a recent research paper. Written by Saar Tochner, Aviv Zohar, and Stefan Schmid, the paper describes a denial-of-service (DoS) attack that could be used to slow down or even stop a huge percentage of payments on the network and, although the behavior hasn’t been seen in the wild and lightning’s technology is still in-progress, it’s considered a major flaw in the network …

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Vertical and Horizontal Blockchain Scaling, Explained

3. Vertical scaling is done by improving the efficiency of each individual transaction, whereas horizontal scaling is achieved through increasing the platform’s overall throughput capacity. In simple terms, general scalability improvements are made through the use of a concept called “layering” — wherein each individual component of a particular system is made to interact with its digital counterparts in some sort of sequential and hierarchical way.  Also, when it comes to blockchains, developers strive to …

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HTC Launches Exodus 1S, First Phone That Can Run a Full BTC Node

Taiwanese electronics giant HTC has launched its new smartphone Exodus 1s, enabling users to run a full Bitcoin (BTC) node on mobile. First smartphone to support full Bitcoin node In line with an announcement in May 2019, HTC launched the Exodus 1s at the Lightning Conference in Berlin on Oct. 19 and started selling the first devices during the even using the Lightning payment network, the firm said in a press release to Cointelegraph. The …

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A Dangerous Bug in Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Has Been Fixed

A popular payments network running atop the bitcoin blockchain suffered from a long-standing code vulnerability – one where attackers could drain users’ of their money. While initially flagged to the public on Aug. 30 by bitcoin developer Rusty Russell, the full disclosure detailing how this vulnerability could be exploited by an attacker was released Friday. “An attacker can claim to open a [lighting payments] channel but either not pay to the peer, or not pay …

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The Specs Behind Bitcoin’s Lightning Pass Their First ‘Formal’ Security Test

A pair of researchers have released the results of a formal verification of bitcoin’s lightning network. Lightning is new(ish), experimental, and bugs that could lead to loss of user funds are still being discovered. But even so, the paper – released last month by researchers Aggelos Kiayias and Orfeas Litos from The University of Edinburgh. Kiayias is also the chief scientist for blockchain firm IOHK – brought a dose of good news on the underlying security of …

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Lightning Network Developers Warn of Bug That Could Cause Loss of Bitcoin

Developers have disclosed a security hole in various versions of bitcoin’s Lightning Network software that could cause users to lose money if not updated. The bug was first made public on Aug. 30 by bitcoin and Lighting developer Rusty Russel and confirmed Tuesday afternoon by Olaoluwa Osuntokun, CTO of startup Lightning Labs. It’s unclear how much bitcoin, if any, was lost, or how many users were affected. Multiple Lightning node versions are vulnerable and should be updated immediately, …

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