Bitcoin news for the week of 9/12/16

Welcome to our mid-September recap of top headlines and stories in the bitcoin and fintech world. This week’s edition includes some epic generosity, a World Economic Forum (WEF) interview with our very own Peter Smith, and according to the Washington Post, the ‘bizarre world of bitcoin mining’. Read on for that and more below.  

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Don’t take the bait: spotting phishing emails (with Kristov Atlas)

Phishing attempts are nothing new, but we’ve noticed a consistent increase in the number and variety of phishing emails targeting our users and bitcoin users in general.

Our Security Engineer, Kristov Atlas, took some time to collaborate with me on a post that will help sharpen your senses on these suspicious and sneaky emails. Keep reading to find out how phishing attempts can present themselves, and 6 red flags to keep in mind when checking your inbox. These tips can help make sure you don’t get fooled, and help you protect your bitcoin wallet and overall online presence.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 9/05/16

Thanks for joining us for this weekly bitcoin news recap, a series where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin and fintech. This week we discovered that the number of people learning to develop for bitcoin and blockchain technology could grow to 100,000 in less than two years. We’re also continuing to see a pattern of focus on user privacy on the blockchain. And if you’re looking for the low-down on interactive, engaging local events (or you’re an avid traveler with a fondness for bitcoin), we’ve got a variety of them to share. Get all these details and more, in our weekly Blockchain recap.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 8/29/16

Thanks for joining us for this weekly bitcoin news recap, a series where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin and fintech. This week we saw the launch of the new Brave Payments service, which looks to bring bitcoin micropayments right to your browser. The conversation on scaling the network continues, and this week it includes an update from our team on Thunder. There was also the OnChain Scaling Encore Edition, which featured prominent figures in the bitcoin community discussing bitcoin scaling possibilities. We also touched base on the bitcoin price, and what it is and isn’t doing. Read all this news and more, in our weekly Blockchain recap.

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An update on Thunder: On-Chain-Settlement (or CLAIM ALL THE THINGS)

A couple of months ago, we announced the alpha launch of the thunder.network. As we explained at the time, the vast majority of thunder payments are processed without touching the bitcoin blockchain, but that can only work if the few that eventually make it into the blockchain are handled correctly. In layman’s terms: a contract is useless unless it can be enforced in court. The same is true of thunder payments – users need to feel confident that the payments that make it to “court” (in this case, the bitcoin blockchain) will be valid.

Initially, we introduced the idea of a two-layer approach for payments: dual-tx. There are many advantages to this approach but it turns out that implementing that approach was far more difficult than anticipated.

How dual-tx makes thunder more user friendly

Refunds, in existing implementations, can take over a month and you can’t stay offline for more than a day. Want to go on a two-week vacation? That could mean refund times of over a year. You can find details on that here. We want to make refund windows as short as possible and to simultaneously prevent the payment recipient from dragging it out.

Dual-tx adds a second layer between broadcasting the settlement and claiming a payment which allows us to clearly separate the process of claiming a payment from waiting out the revocation delay. If the receiver of a payment wants to redeem a payment, he has to broadcast the second transaction which will allow them to claim the output of the second-tx after the revocation delay. If the user cheated, however, the counterparty can claim the funds even from the second layer. The second transaction acts as a safety net. Note:  going through the two layers is only necessary if you want to claim the outputs of a channel transaction you broadcasted. The other party can always redeem or refund a payment directly from your channel.

This approach allows for a 1-day payment window with a 2-week revocation delay, which meaningfully improves upon the existing implementations.

Below, Blockchain engineer Mats Jerratsch goes into detail on our solution for this problem, which allows for an application that is much more convenient. For those interested in geeking out, read on.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 8/22/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week a compelling TED Talk from Don Tapscott about bitcoin and blockchain technology was released; it’s a must-see video and we’ve embedded it below. Also this week we cover innovation in bitcoin privacy tools, and the importance of developing a solution that works sans third party intervention. Get all this news and more, in this back-to-school edition of our weekly Blockchain recap.

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Bitcoin News for the week of 8/15/16

Welcome to our weekly bitcoin news recap, where we cover top headlines and stories in the world of bitcoin each week. This week, an article co-written by Arthur Levitt Jr., former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Blockchain CEO Peter Smith, challenges bitcoin critics and highlights why the bitcoin blockchain is disrupting payments. We also learned about the first bitcoin software release that will include Segregated Witness code, in an effort to eventually be able to scale transaction capacity. In market-related news, headlines demonstrate the bitcoin price has recovered since earlier this month, and in Japan, trading volume has seen tremendous growth over the past year. Get all this news and more, in our weekly recap.

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Meet our Interns: Summer 2016

For many, Labor Day is the sign of summer coming to an end. At Blockchain, we were hit with that reality last week when we said good said goodbye to (most of) our summer interns. These great young talents have, in the course of a couple of months, contributed to Blockchain and the bitcoin ecosystem as a whole in significant and extremely meaningful ways. Below, meet the folks who spent their summer helping us build. They could very well be the future of bitcoin.

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