Category Archives: Gregory Maxwell

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Bitcoin Core Devs Propose “Erlay” for Stronger, Faster Bitcoin

Bitcoin Core Devs Propose

Yahoo Finance reports that Bitcoin core developer Gregory Maxwell has collaborated with several other developers to come up with the “Erlay” proposal for a stronger and faster Bitcoin network.

Maxwell left Blockstream in January to dedicate his time to “deep protocol work”, so this is the first fruit of his labor, apparently.

Erlay: Bandwidth-efficient transaction relay for bitcoin paper: by @pwuille, Gleb Naumenko, Greg Maxwell & others.

— Bryan Bishop (@kanzure) May 28, 2019

First announced last night in a post to the Bitcoin Core development mailing list, Gleb Naumenko from the University of British Columbia described Erlay as the announcement of each transaction only to eight outgoing connections, instead of to each peer as currently happens:

“Further relay is achieved by periodically running a set reconciliation protocol over every connection between the sets of withheld announcements in both directions. […] Results: we save half of the bandwidth a node consumes, allow increasing connectivity almost for free, and, as a side effect, better withstand timing attacks. If outbound peer count were increased to 32, Erlay saves around 75% overall bandwidth compared to the current protocol.”

Erlay hence addresses one of the critical pain points for the Bitcoin network, which is nodes consume huge amounts of bandwidth simply to remain in consensus, and is a major cost that full node operators must bear. Because the Bitcoin blockchain currently stands at a massive 200 GB of data, and continues to grow every 10 minutes, this means that a full node must spend days or even weeks to download the initial blockchain for verification and validation.

The Erlay white paper talks about the introduction of “diffusion” to Bitcoin, different from the current method which it brands as a “version of flooding”. It claims a more efficient model of propagating blocks across the network, reducing the bandwidth consumed by each node by as much as 75%.



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$180,000 CoinJoin Bounty Awarded to Wasabi and JoinMarket

0,000 CoinJoin Bounty Awarded to Wasabi and JoinMarket

A 20 BTC (USD 180,000) bounty for the CoinJoin privacy implementation for Bitcoin has been awarded to privacy-centric Bitcoin wallet Wasabi and CoinJoin solution JoinMarket.

The bounty, co-held by Bitcoin core developers Gregory Maxwell, Pieter Wuille and owner Theymos, was awarded in a joined Bitcoin transaction earlier today to “several individual contributors directly as requested by the winning projects…”.

In his public announcement of the award, Wuille posted in the CoinJoin discussion thread on bitcointalk:

“this is to announce that we’re awarding:
* 10 BTC to JoinMarket, for the first practical CoinJoin solution, and continued research into progressing this domain.
* 10 BTC to Wasabi, for building a more end-user accessible solution and larger adoption.

The remainder of the funds is left for future solutions with more ubiquitous impact on the ecosystem.”

Theymos posted the first response to the announcement, citing JoinMarket was a pioneer of “a lot of CoinJoin science” and a comprehensive wiki article on privacy). He also credited Wasabi as “the first wallet that implements CoinJoin in both a highly-usable and sound way”.

TIL first coinjoin bounty paid out without fanfare, 10btc each to @joinmarket and @wasabiwallet projects, apparently the payment is… joined. ofc! also bitcointalk thread

— Adam Back (@adam3us) May 30, 2019

Wasabi is one of the leading Bitcoin wallets that implements the CoinJoin method to increase privacy features of Bitcoin use. In summary, it joins a Bitcoin input in a transaction with many other different inputs, making it more difficult to identify spenders and recipients, therefore increasing Bitcoin privacy. It has seen increased use over the past year and is touted as a good alternative to centralized “mixers” or “tumblers”, services that “mix” inputs with random ones to obfuscate transaction trails.

Theymos also notes that default fungibility for Bitcoin was the end goal of technologies like CoinJoin, and personally hoped to see future research and development focus on improvements to the Wasabi wallet for more user-friendliness, integration with other wallet clients such as Bitcoin Core, ConJoin with more decentralized methods, and usable products for improving privacy in Bitcoin daily use.


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