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  • ⚡ Lightning Labs Releases Taproot Assets & 🔐 BTC Hash Rate Hits Record High

⚡ Lightning Labs Releases Taproot Assets & 🔐 BTC Hash Rate Hits Record High

Greetings Earthling,

Welcome to issue #36 of the Bitcoin Breakdown, where we trust in mathematics and code, not in fallible humans.

In this week’s Top Stories edition:

  • ⚡ Lightning Labs releases the mainnet alpha of Taproot Assets

  • 🔐 Bitcoin hash rate hits historic 61 trillion difficulty mark

  • 🤡 Another Idiotic New York Times FUD piece dismantled

  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Bitcoin’s generational shift: two billion strong

  • ⚒️ Building on Lightning: beating fiat with the Breez SDK

  • 🌪️ Tornado Cash indictment shows desperation and ignorance

  • 🌌 Will fiat imperialism push BTC mining off-planet?

  • 🎾 How Bitcoin is changing tennis wagering forever

  • 🤥 Greenpeace’s Bitcoin lie destroyed in most politely brutal post ever

  • 🔍 Bitcoin miners are failing at SEO

  • 👛 Tutorial: how to develop a non-custodial Bitcoin Lightning wallet using Flutter and LDK

  • 🔢 BitVM will cause a computational revolution in Bitcoin

  • 🗝️ DIY multisig vs. collaborative custody multisig

Happy readings! 👽️

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📰 HEADLINES

Bitcoin layer-2 infrastructure firm Lightning Labs releases the mainnet alpha of Taproot Assets, a protocol that enables stablecoins and other assets to be issued on the Bitcoin and Lightning Network.

Ryan Gentry, head of business development at Lightning Labs writes, ‘This release marks the dawn of a new era for bitcoin. With Taproot Assets v0.3, builders have all the tools needed to make bitcoin a multi-asset network, but in a scalable manner that upholds bitcoin's core values. We believe this new era for bitcoin will see a myriad of global currencies issued as Taproot Assets, and the world's foreign exchange transactions settled instantly over the Lightning Network.’

During its test phase, close to 2,000 assets were already created, with nodes connecting to the 'Universe server' (a key source for Taproot Asset data for wallets) more than 420,000 times.

The prospect of transferring any currency over the Lightning Network, using Bitcoin's extensive liquidity, is now within reach.

Expect to soon see a number of global currencies issued as Taproot Assets with several foreign exchange transactions settled instantly over the Lightning Network.

Bitcoin hash rate hits historic 61 trillion difficulty mark. The Bitcoin network's 30-day average hash rate reached a new all-time high of 456 exahash per second (EH/s) the past week.

This marks a staggering 72% increase year-over-year and a 176% surge from its level on the day Bitcoin reached its all-time high price.

The Bitcoin mining ecosystem allows for efficient operations because it operates devoid of government bailouts, purifying the market landscape of weaker players.

It is one of the few places today where capitalism works in its rawest form, enabling market forces to work unimpeded to sift out inefficiencies.

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🏆 TOP STORIES

Daniel Batten, Co-founder of CH4 Capital, critiques a recent sensationalist NYT piece that makes vague security threat claims tied to Chinese associations with Bitcoin. Batten highlights the lack of substantial evidence, especially concerning grid destabilization claims contradicted by experts. He highlights the outlet’s inconsistent stance on demand response programs essential for grid stability and laments the omission of available independent reports and expert opinions that counter the article's narrative. All-in-all, Batten highlights the glaring oversight in the media's portrayal of Bitcoin: the decentralized nature of Bitcoin makes it an unlikely vehicle for supposed state-sponsored espionage or sabotage.

Anil Patel delves into the generational shift in the perception and use of Bitcoin, correlating it with the lifecycle adoption theory. He argues that each generation's interaction with Bitcoin varies, with Gen Z being the most embracing due to their innate drive towards financial freedom and disruption of traditional financial systems. Millennials, challenged by economic strides such as the 2008 crash, view Bitcoin as a potential wealth storage asset. Gen X is skeptical but open-minded, while Boomers tend to be the most wary generation. This provides a trajectory for future Bitcoin adoption – indicating that as newer generations rise, so will Bitcoin’s acceptability. Today, 2 billion individuals (under 15) have always lived in a world with Bitcoin, and this number is projected to increase to 3.3 billion (under 25) by 2033.

Roy Sheinfeld, Co-Founder and CEO of Breez, discusses through a case study how the Breez SDK is enabling developers to leverage Lightning technology to solve real-world problems. The piece shows just how powerful the Breez SDK plus Blockstream Greenlight combo is: non-custodial, always online, instant node setup, and zero channel or liquidity management. Says Sheinfeld, ‘There used to be tradeoffs between Lightning and fiat: UX vs. sovereignty; UX vs. speed; UX vs. cost; off-the-shelf fiat payment widgets vs. coding a node into an app. With the Breez SDK, Lightning beats fiat across the board. It’s faster to implement, cheaper to use, legally less complicated, more private, and the UX is on par with fiat for the user and even better for the developers.’ All-in-all, the Breeze SDK simplifies Lightning integration for developers, offering improved user experience and making Lightning a superior choice over fiat for various reasons. You can listen to the piece here.

Seth For Privacy, writing for Freedom.Tech, exposes the controversial indictment by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) of the pseudonymous developers of Tornado Cash. Developers being targeted despite operating in an anonymous, decentralized manner, questions the US justice system's effectiveness in such a technologically advanced setting. For example, the DOJ's charges rely on the founders having ‘necessary and sufficient control,’ which they did not possess, making the money transmission charge invalid. The indictment's claims of money laundering also fall short as Tornado Cash never takes custody of funds. The US government's actions appear desperate in trying to stifle decentralized privacy tool development and it raises the debate on the validity of traditional privacy laws in the context of emerging technologies.

William E. Stebbins Jr. explores the theoretical future of Bitcoin mining, suggesting the possibility of its relocation from Earth to outer space. As the Bitcoin network's energy consumption and the crackdowns on mining operations escalate, he implies a solution in off-planet mining. Stebbins emphasizes the role of free markets and technological innovations in driving this shift, while expressing concerns about potential state intervention that could hinder Bitcoin's sovereignty. He accredits the concept of ‘Seasteading’ as parallel, propelling the thought of space as an escape from existing restrictions, and positing that the immutable, decentralized and censorship-resistant Bitcoin network could become truly global, while human society advances towards becoming multiplanetary.

Tennis Connected discusses Bitcoin's transformational impact on tennis wagering. The article explains how traditional betting inconsistencies and restrictions led to the growth of Bitcoin wagering, offering pseudonymity, universal acceptability, and simplicity to gamblers. This paradigm shift has been largely beneficial to the tennis industry, boosting their audience's appeal and eliminating various geographical betting restrictions. Bitcoin betting has an edge over traditional methods due to the technological prowess of the blockchain, providing innovative features like micro-betting and in-play betting. There is potential for significant growth in the convergence of Bitcoin and tennis betting.

Professor Troy Cross, an advisor to Bitcoin and energy organizations, vehemently responds to Greenpeace's criticisms of Bitcoin's environmental impact. Cross exposes gaps in Greenpeace's stance and questions their sincerity in wanting to understand and change BTC's code, highlighting their failure to hire experts or collaborate with eco-conscious BTC community members. Cross also pointed out Greenpeace's lack of understanding about energy dynamics and Bitcoin's potential to exploit cheap global electricity, emphasizing its positive role in the energy transition. He criticizes Greenpeace's tactics and suggested ulterior motives aligned with certain donors.

Mike Hobart of the Bitcoin Veterans podcast argues that the Bitcoin mining industry is falling short in search engine optimization (SEO), as misinformation outweighs real information in search engine results. Hobart argues that an absence of effective SEO within the industry enables content with falsehoods about Bitcoin mining to dominate search rankings, limiting public understanding and promoting misconceptions. He suggests the industry's lack of attention to its digital presence has inadvertently allowed misleading narratives to proliferate, thereby creating an inaccurate public perception of Bitcoin mining's environmental impact, efficiency, and utility.

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📖 GUIDES & EXPLAINERS

Anton Kumaigorodski offers a detailed guide to developing a non-custodial Bitcoin Lightning Wallet using Flutter and Lightning Development Kit (LDK). He explains the Flutter framework and LDK, emphasizing the importance of cross-platform solutions and non-custodial Bitcoin Lightning wallets. Kumaigorodski then provides step-by-step instructions that cover setup, infrastructure, and coding, and emphasizes that utilizing LDK ensures privacy, user-friendly UX, and financial sovereignty. The guide combines theoretical principles with practical application and is designed to aid developers in leveraging these tools efficiently to build robust Bitcoin Lightning Wallets.

Edilson Osorio Jr. explores the revolutionary potential of BitVM to transform Bitcoin into an unprecedented computational model through embedding any computation process directly into transactions, therefore making smart contracts or off-chain calculations unnecessary. Additionally, the potential incorporation of zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) could enhance privacy and efficiency, making second-layer networks more secure and scalable. All-in-all, BitVM revolutionizes the blockchain by rendering the need for intermediary components redundant and paving the way for holistic, atomized Bitcoin transactions. The piece also includes advantages, disadvantages and challenges regarding BitVM.

Unchained discusses the differences between DIY multisignature wallets and collaboratively-built multisig wallets. DIY multisig wallets offer complete access control but comes with high-security risks while collaborative multisig solutions offer more security, efficiency and flexibility, but they entrust some control to third-party service providers. All-in-all, if you prioritize total control, then DIY multisigs are preferable, but if you value a mix of control, security, and efficiency, then collaborative multisigs offer a more balanced solution.

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Until our next transmission,

Naiw

 

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