“Weekly” Dev Report

A few days late on this… I’ve got a few more blog posts to write about the subjects below, so I’ll just give a quick summary of what I’ve been working on:

  1. ChainAnchor defenses — Discussed ways to mitigate the ChainAnchor attack with Gregory Maxwell.

  2. Satoshi^H^H^H^H Craig Wright — Let’s just say my Monday was loltastic. Though to the credit of the half dozen or so journalists who contacted me that day, most didn’t bother running stories on it when they realised it was just an obvious scam.

  3. ChainAnchor AMA — This actually turned up more information about the attack that we’re reviewing.

  4. Paris FinTech conference — While it’s more than slightly ridiculous that I got flown to and from Paris just to answer two questions on stage, I’m quite happy with my description of what a blockchain is: Cryptography makes signed messages possible, allowing you to be sure messages are authentic even if they come from an untrusted source. Blockchains are simply datastructures that allow you to link those messages together, letting you be sure you have the complete set of all messages for a given topic. This is the difference between knowing that Bob says he sold you his house, and knowing that Bob sold his house only to you. Also, me on whether or not Bitcoin has failed.

Bitcoin Core GitHub Organization

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been added to the Bitcoin Core organization on GitHub. First of all, no, I haven’t been given commit access, nor do I want it - commit access is a security-sensitive janitorial role, not a priviledge. There aren’t any hidden repos in the Bitcoin Core organization, so this just lets other team members assign tasks to me in the repo, like “review this pull-req” or “fix this issue”. It also means my pull-reqs will show up in the drop-down menus by default. In fact, going forward we’ll probably add a lot more people to the Bitcoin Core organization for this reason - we have a large team of developers and there’s no reason not to make it easy for those people to be assigned tasks.