Free and Easy Week Review | Bitcoin Issuance? Ethereum determined to change the PoW algorithm? These rumors are not credible!

Written in front: Last week, rumors about "Bitcoin issuance" and "Ethereum switched to the ProgPoW algorithm" were misled again, so in this issue, we first clarify these things and tell you what happened What, and the real development of these projects in the past week.

In the academic content part, at the Stanford Blockchain Conference held last weekend, scholars from Stanford University, MIT, Princeton University, Ethereum Foundation and other well-known institutions shared many interesting research results.

In addition, bZx protocol attacks, Fcoin incidents, and whale theft incidents also triggered a wave of discussions on smart contract security and private key custody.

Real or Fake Magnifying Glass Lies Wrong Information 3d Illustration

(Picture from: tuchong.com)

Let's start with Bitcoin.

1.1 Rumors about "Additional Bitcoin"

Recently, Peter Todd, a former Bitcoin core developer, once again proposed the idea of ​​adding Bitcoin. He said:

"The 21 million supply cap is really just a religious belief."

Then, after this sentence was transmitted to China, it was adapted into " Why is Core persisting in trying to issue additional BTC ?"

The key point here is that Peter Todd actually lost his identity as a bitcoin developer. His last contribution to the core project was in February 2017.

This is like an employee of a company who resigned 3 years ago, and his current remarks can only represent himself, not to mention the company's internal proposal.

So what is the true Core member's attitude towards the issuance of Bitcoin?

After being “rumored to be issued” last time, Wladimir van der Laan, the current chief maintainer of the core project team, had to make a rumor:

"This is nonsense. Sadly, this has to be made clear. No one with the right mind will propose to change the monetary policy of Bitcoin . If a software professed to be 'bitcoin core' proposes this, I suggest you run Software without this change because it has been broken. "

Peter Wuille, another core maintainer, also holds the same attitude, so similar rumors, remember, do not believe.

1, 2 What are real Bitcoin developers discussing?

So what did real Bitcoin developers research last week?

  1. Lightning Network client C-Lightning upgraded to version 0.8.1 : This version adds several new features and fixes multiple vulnerabilities. For a detailed list of updates, see the change log .
  2. Discussion on taproot and alternatives: A group of anonymous developers (we call them Anon) wrote a critical article about taproot, comparing it to alternatives that enable MAST and schnorr signatures in Bitcoin . Anon ended their criticism with five questions, and several Bitcoin developers responded to these questions separately. Those who are interested can see the original discussion post ;
  3. Lightning Network developers are working to elaborate a protocol for interactive financing transactions. Last week, Lisa Neigut published her analysis of PoDLE's interactive financing concept. She also described an attack method and proposed mitigation measures;
  4. For a discussion of decoy nodes and lightweight rendez-vous routing, please refer to Teinturier's solution documentation for more information;

Significant code and documentation changes

Last week, Bitcoin Core, C-Lightning, Eclair, LND, libsecp256k1, the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP), and the Lightning Network BOLTs have all changed significantly, of which:

  1. As part of the Bitcoin Core release process, Bitcoin Core # 18104 ended support for building 32-bit x86 binaries for Linux, and the corresponding 32-bit Windows binaries were deleted a few months ago. Of course, 32-bit Linux binaries are still built as part of Bitcoin Core continuous integration testing, so users can still build them manually, but due to lack of use and actual developer testing, these binaries will no longer be distributed by the project;
  2. C-Lightning # 3488 standardizes C-Lightning's request for Bitcoin data, enabling it to run on something other than Bitcoin Core (as a backend);
  3. C-Lightning # 3500 solves a problem that can make sending channel funds difficult with a simple solution. The developer proposed another solution in C-Lightning # 3501, but it is currently waiting for further discussion by the developer;

For more development updates, readers can refer to: https://bitcoinops.org/en/newsletters/2020/02/19/.

After talking about Bitcoin, let's look at another rumor.

1, 3 rumors about Ethereum ProgPoW

Last week, a foreign media also announced the "heavy" news that Ethereum developers agreed to implement ProgPoW, which made the Ethereum mining machine manufacturers enthusiastic, and the miners were also very concerned.

The source of this rumor is the 81st video conference of the Ethereum Core development group, and this conference mainly discussed the following:

  1. Review of some EIPs: including changes to EIP-2200, updates to EIP-1962, EIP-2315, EIP-2242, EIP-1057 (ProgPoW);
  2. Discussion on the next upgrade time;
  3. Open RPC;
  4. Test updates, etc .;

Among them, EIP-1057 (ProgPoW) is everyone's attention.

The so-called ProgPoW is an alternative implementation of Ethash, Ethereum's existing PoW algorithm. Its purpose is to resist Asic miners. The audit of this algorithm scheme was announced in September last year. However, its existence is It is very controversial. Its proponents and supporters believe that ProgPoW can effectively resist the ASIC mining of the Ethereum network, thereby promoting the decentralization of the network. However, this voice is not the only one in the Ethereum community. There are actually many sounds.

Therefore, in the last Istanbul fork upgrade, EIP-1057 (ProgPoW) was not included, and then its supporters expected to include it in the next hard fork upgrade Berlin (Berlin, about June this year (July-July).

But in fact, there are still many resistances. For example, the developer Marius Kjærstad wondered :

"Why are people still pushing ProgPoW? It has been rejected by the community."

If this hasn't convinced everyone, then look at the comments of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin:

"Hey, this thing was gone before, and now, gosh, it's scheduled for the next hard fork ????"

Vitalik said he would be neutral on the proposal and would only criticize the decision-making process.

Well, this is the situation. Regarding whether ProgPoW will be included in the next Ethereum hard fork, there is currently a very big disagreement among developers. It is not that individual developers have said that "a consensus has been reached." Personally, Tends to believe that it will not be accepted in the short term.

Free and easy comments: Last week, two rumors about Bitcoin and Ethereum actually belonged to different situations. The former belonged to nothing and the latter has not yet been concluded. Regarding such development progress news, I recommend that you pay attention to bitcoinops and weeklythereumnews Two websites instead of one-sided coverage from individual media.

Second, the academic results of the Stanford Blockchain Conference

After clearing the rumor, let's briefly understand some of the academic research content of blockchain next week.

From February 20th to 22nd, Beijing time, the 4th Stanford Blockchain Conference was held as scheduled. This meeting focused on security engineering and risk management methods in the blockchain system, and discussed the application and decentralization of encryption technology. Protocols, formal methods, and empirical analysis to improve the security of blockchain systems.

In this conference, scholars from well-known institutions such as Stanford University, MIT, Princeton University, Cornell University, New York University, California Berkeley, Facebook, Ethereum Foundation and other scholars shared some academic achievements, such as:

  1. Stefan Dziembowski, " The Boundaries of the Off-Chain Protocol: Exploring the Limitations of Plasma Technology ";
  2. Assimakis Kattis, Proof of Work (PoNW): Concise State Verification and Fair Guarantee ;
  3. Florian Tramer's Anonymous Transactions Linked via Remote Side Channel Attack ;
  4. " Atomic Multi-Channel Update with Fixed Collateral in Bitcoin-Compatible Payment Channel Network " shared by Matteo Maffei;
  5. " Boomerang: Redundancy improves latency and throughput of payment channel networks " shared by Joachim Neu;
  6. Brick: Asynchronous State Channel shared by Georgia Avarikioti;

For more details, please see here: https://cbr.stanford.edu/sbc20/

Related reports:

  1. Stanford Blockchain Conference Day1: Can New Attacks Break Anonymity of Zcash or Monero ?
  2. Vitalik's latest speech: 51% of nested attacks become a deadly threat to PoW blockchain, PoS is the only way out
  3. To achieve a 10,000-fold expansion of Bitcoin, what is the new agreement Prism created by MIT and Stanford?

Free and easy comments: Overall, this academic conference focused on the research on scalability, privacy, consensus mechanism, blockchain economy, and off-chain solutions. These are the most popular blockchain research For some topics, interested readers can read the original paper by themselves.

Security discussions triggered by bZx protocol attacks, Fcoin incidents, and whale theft

After paying attention to academic content, let's look at some blockchain security incidents that occur in reality.

Last week, the bZx protocol attack, the Fcoin incident and the whale theft incident became the focus of attention of the cryptocurrency community, which also triggered a wave of discussions on smart contract security and private key storage.

For example, these two articles by PeckShield analyze the detailed process and existing vulnerabilities of these two attacks in detail:

  1. Analysis of hard core technology | bZx protocol attacked by hackers ;
  2. Analysis | The bZx protocol has been hit by the technology behind hackers' "two combos" ;

The threat posed by Lightning Loan is not just for the bZx protocol. For example, Dominik Harz, a scholar from Imperial College London, analyzed how to use Lightning Loan and Maker's governance flaws to launch attacks to remind project parties to resist potential Hacker .

In addition to these attacks, smart contracts may also encounter four types of censorship attacks: (1) fork, (2) dodge, (3) interference, and (4) quick attack. To prevent these potential attacks, Princeton University Computer Science Professor Ed Felten wrote an article " How to prevent censorship attacks on smart contracts ? ".

The above security issues are for smart contracts, and the Fcoin incident and the 260 million digital currency assets stolen by whales reminded people to keep their private keys and how to keep them private.

For example, Yike ’s article " The easiest way to make BTC cold wallets " introduces three cold wallet production methods using different wallets (bitcoin core, bitcoin wallet, electrum). For those with money, you can have a good understanding. .

In addition, Wang Yishi wrote a " Guide to Safe Internet Access ", reminding everyone about the impact of privacy on the security of digital assets, and giving some practical suggestions on how to avoid asset loss.

Free and easy comments: Security issues have always existed in the blockchain industry and are also the issues that most users do n’t pay attention to. The recent security incidents remind you again. Let ’s start with private key security and privacy security.