Alex B rejoins me on the show to chat about bitcoin security over the longer term and updates on his ETH centralisation thesis. We discuss:

  • Bitcoin’s long term security and blockspace market
  • How miner fees shifted over time in Bitcoin and why
  • Tail emission arguments are dumb
  • Which nodes matter? 
  • Lido and ETH centralisation
  • Will efforts to fix it work? 
  • Being open minded, but not to shitcoins



Comments (5)
  1. Hey Stephan, really loved this episode.

    One question: circa 33:44, you say “If you are receiving Bitcoin into your wallet that’s validated by this Bitcoin node…”

    As a node operator myself, I’m curious to learn more about this. Does this mean that you need to receive using the built-in software wallet that ships with bitcoin-core?

    Historically I’ve been using a node primarily for privacy purposes, and not super familiar with the mechanics behind how nodes perform transaction validation. My understanding is that generating a receive address is just a local operation to e.g. ColdCard and Sparrow, so if I’m understanding you correctly, this scenario does not actually use my own node to validate the receive transaction in any way.

    If you can refer me to any resources on this concept of an economic node, that’d be great!

    • Thanks Kobie, think of it this way, you can connect your software wallet to your bitcoin node so that it checks transactions against your own node. So yes your Coldcard and Sparrow together can generate the address to receive into, you still need to connect to a node to *know* that you received coins there.

      So for e.g. you can connect your Sparrow wallet to your own Electrum Server (which is running on top of a bitcoin node), this function is available in most of the node packages like Umbrel and so on. This would be how you can use your own hardware signing device + Sparrow + own node to participate in bitcoin transactions in a more self sovereign way.

      • Thanks for the reply, Stephan!

        I’m really interested in this topic of “economically active nodes”, and specifically how my node is participating in strengthening the network. Historically my main focus has been on running a node for better privacy and security, and I just kind of assumed I was strengthening the network in the process of doing that. Yeah my rig is Sparrow -> ElectrumX -> bitcoin-core

        Maybe I’m getting caught up in the philosophy here, but I guess what I’m saying is that “if a UTXO arrives at an address and there is no wallet observing it, did it make a sound?” line of thinking. I don’t see how a node is involved with receiving in any concrete way. The UTXO would arrive at the receiving address whether or not my node was off or on. My “knowing” that I received a UTXO in Sparrow is a cognitive function of my own brain and does not impact the Bitcoin network in any way. But I absolutely see that when spending, using your own node is 100% more sovereign than using some third party to broadcast the tx.

        But I think from what I hear there’s not much more I can do at this point, so time to move on to running some lightning nodes 🙂

        p.s. I really enjoy your show, regular listener.

      • I understand the point about “did it make a sound” etc, but remember let’s say you’re working for someone or selling them a product, you’d need to know whether you got paid, correct? So in checking that you got paid or not, you are in some sense, “defending your chosen rule set” of bitcoin. Because if you gave someone a Bitcoin address and they sent you Bcash instead or something else, you wouldn’t say “Ah yes, payment received and accepted!”, you’d say “hey hang on mate, you haven’t paid me for my services/product!”.

        Thanks for the support of the show. It only exists because of listeners who help promote and share it!

      • Damn straight I would say that, BCash lol.

        OK I think I get what you’re saying – thanks for spelling that out. Definitely has a meat space component which is what was throwing me off.

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