Andreas Antonopoulos

Welcome to our Andreas Antonopoulos news page. Here you'll find some of our featured Andreas Antonopoulos crypto content pieces as well as all our latest Andreas Antonopoulos blockchain posts.

Andreas Antonopoulos Says SegWit Helped Patch Transaction Malleability Problems for BTC and LTC

Andreas Antonopoulos, one of the most important figures in the cryptocurrency space and the author of Mastering Bitcoin, talked about the Lightning Network (LN) and how it could be able to deal with scaling issues. During a Q&A session on YouTube, he has also discussed whether Segregated Witness (SegWit) was necessary for the Lightning Network.

He started his Q&A session talking about the Lightning Network proposal. The LN would allow the Bitcoin network to scale without having to broadcast the transactions on Bitcoin’s main network. Additionally, he mentioned that these payments processed through the LN are private and low cost.

This allows the Bitcoin network to be less congested and also to have lower fees. Users transacting through the LN would have also lower transaction costs and will be able to enjoy a faster network.

At the same time, he explained that it might be possible for nodes to process hundreds of thousands of payments per second. Additionally, transactions can only be seen by the nodes that are involved in the channel. The activity between two nodes in just a channel does not really affect the rest of the network.

Another positive aspect of the Lightning Network is the fact that is a much more private way to make transactions. The funs and data about the sender and receiver can only be seen by participating nodes. At the same time, miners are not needed to confirm payments, which means that is much harder to censor.

Antonopoulos has also talked about Segregated Witness and the influence it had to make Lightning Network compatible. With SegWit implementation it was possible to fix a bug in the Bitcoin code known as transaction malleability. This allowed people to modify the subsequent hash.

However, he said that it is possible to make a Lightning implementation without having to use SegWit. On the matter, he said:

“It could be a different transaction malleability fix. It is very difficult to implement Lightning securely on a chain that has a transaction malleability problem. SegWit fixed it on Bitcoin and Litecoin. On another chain, you might have a different fix. That would make Lightning possible.”

Currently, the Lightning Network has 4,914 nodes with 16,371 channels. Additionally, the network capacity has reached 518.56 BTC.

Andreas Antonopoulos: Beam for Store of Value and Grin for Medium of Exchange via MimbleWimble Protocol

In a recent interview, one of cryptocurrencies top authors, Andreas Antonopoulos, talked about the latest fascination in the decentralized ledgers world – MimbleWimble protocol. The protocol hosts two cryptocurrencies that offer different uses on the platform namely Grin project and BEAM. The former coin was launched in 2018 while the latter was launched recently on January 3rd, 2019. MW was first brought to life by an anonymous person (named Tom Elvis Jedusor, the French name for Harry Porter’s Lord Voldemort) in 2016 along with a team of anonymous developers.

Andreas explained in simplicity the MimbleWimble project saying the protocol allows the optimization of scaling and increased privacy while making transactions. The protocol removes unnecessary information regarding transactions made on the protocol allowing more transactions to be made on the platform. Furthermore, transaction details such as amount and account are obscured increasing the privacy of transactions.

He further remarked on the Grin Project saying the open-source project started two years ago was built to bring the MW protocol to life through implementing the coin. The grin project is an open source project that is crowd-funded by its community members to develop and improve the privacy and scalability of the protocol.

While the Grin project has one established developer and a community behind the development, Beam, the second coin to be built on the protocol, has a development team. The team consists of seven full-time developers as well as a marketing and management team, all of whom are employed by Beam Development Ltd. Andreas further stated that the Beam project raises its funds through a “founder’s fee” that is paid per mined block till year five.

The Beam project is currently working with Venture Capital organizations to aid the funding and development process. He further spoke of the governance structure of Beam (which consists of community and commercial governance) and the ease of use of the two cryptocurrency projects. He said,

“They have two different approaches [to governance]: one is a very grassroots, community development model that is mostly research search focus. The other one is more commercially oriented, intending to [create] a viable commercial product. Grin has a command-line interface [for Linux, OSX, and Windows], which is not that easy to use. Beam has a full graphical user interface and mobile wallet, which is easier to use.”

In his final comments, the author of Mastering Bitcoin touched on the difference in monetary supply economics of the two projects. Beam has a fixed supply of its tokens much as Bitcoin’s 21 million fixed supply while Grin project issues 60 new coins per minute in a linear, continuous issuance schedule. Despite the differences however the two coins offer a new scalable and privacy intensive options to send transactions.

He completed the interview saying,

“The way these are [each] advertised or described by those developing them is, Grin is intended to be medium-of-exchange, and Beam is intended to be for store-of-value.”

Andreas Antonopoulos Expounds on Crypto Concepts Including Bitcoin Dust, UTXO on YouTube Q&A

In a recent question and answer (Q&A) session held on YouTube, author and crypto expert, Andreas Antonopoulos expounded on Bitcoin dust and the notion of Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXO) as reported by AMB Crypto.

Thoughts on Bitcoin Dust

Famously known for the book, “Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies,” Antonopoulos shared what seems like the pros and cons of Bitcoin dust and how it impacts Bitcoin holders and/or its network.

In the YouTube session, Antonopoulos opened about Bitcoin dust by defining it and then provided an example. Bitcoin Dust, according the expert, is the amount of Bitcoin that becomes part of the UTXP set, i.e. transaction fees. Here’s the example provided:

“I create a transaction and part of the change in that transaction of one of the payments in that transaction is an amount that’s maybe a thousand Satoshi […] the cost to spend that single chunk of Bitcoin […] is going to be more in fees, […] therefore it is [practically] unspendable.”

As for the notion of “unspendable”, Antonopoulos argues that this might not be fully true, as it could eventually become spendable depending on the value of the crypto, along with how fees change over time.

When asked how impactful Bitcoin dust is to Bitcoin and its overall network, Antonopoulos pointed out it depends on its level and how, in most cases, it is too little to make a difference. Here is as per his quotes:

“Depending on the level of dust, if it really is true, dust-like amounts that are so tiny that you can’t spend them on Bitcoin network today […] it’s just going to sit around forever […].”

Not So “Easy-to-find”, But Provides Info

The next topic Antonopoulos indulged in is that of the UTXO, also referred to as “Unspent Transaction Outputs,” which he deems are part of the blockchain. As for its existence as a whole, here’s what has been shared.

“They’re not in an easy-to-find database because they’re just in the transactions so unless you know the transaction ID, you can look up a transaction and then find the outputs that transaction has […] sitting in the blockchain.”

An example that has supposedly been provided is that of the user’s node software, i.e. Bitcoin Core. For instance, when a transaction index is created and added to a watch address – an address stored in a wallet without a private key which overlooks unspent outputs – a separate index would be created by Bitcoin Core that stores the UTXO. This permits access to said UTXO data.

Antonopoulos added that this access is granted only for a specific address that has been under the watch address. This implies that not all UTXOs are indexed, hence we need to tell Bitcoin Core that everything needs to be under a watch address.

So, wouldn’t indexing suggest too large of a database? According to Antonopoulos, this can be resolved by considering block explorers that allow users to search and find address balances, which are constantly being updated. This way,

“[Users] can look these things up very very quickly and present them on your screen and that’s custom software that they built to do this, your wallet doesn’t do this. So, the UTXO is stored where it’s needed, when its needed for the purposes that its needed.”

Binance's Bitcoin Reorg Proposal Gets Expert Andreas Antonopoulos to Shed Light on This Not So Good Idea

Something that people thought would be unthinkable happened this week: Binance was hacked. The hacking of the largest crypto exchange in the world was a huge event and when the CEO of the company Changpeng “CZ” Zhao started to talk about a Bitcoin reorg, the situation got heated quickly.

Important figures like the Bitcoin expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos have affirmed on social media that any reorg to recover lost funds is like a major bail-out and disagreed with the idea. According to him, losing the money is the responsibility of the companies which lose the funds because they failed.

He also warned users that if you do not hold your keys, you do not really have the coins, so you should not use centralized exchanges and wallets.

The Hack

The original hack happened this week. Binance was hacked and it lost around 7,000 BTC ($41 million USD). According to CZ, the hackers were very careful while analyzing the situation, which is why they were able to get the access details of several accounts to steal the funds and sent out these funds in one large transaction.

At the time of this report, there was no reason to indicate that the funds could be taken back by any other means than the reorg.

Reorganizing the Blockchain

A reorg or reorganizing the blockchain is basically what happens when someone decides to go back and invalidate some transactions which occurred after a certain block. This way, CZ would pay miners to invalidate the previous transactions.

So far, three reorgs happened. The first one was in 2010 due to the Value Overflow/Integer Overflow Bug, which caused several problems to the network. The second one was made in 2013 when BTC upgraded from the version 0.7 to 0.8 and the chain was split in two. It was quickly noticed and fixed, but it was the biggest reorg of BTC so far.

The final third reorg did not actually happen. In 2016, Bitfinex was hacked and it lost 120,000 BTC. However, the process was considered a failure and the exchange did not get its money back.

The Community Did Like The Idea Of The Reorg

Several influencers decided to speak against the reorg, not only Antonopoulos. These people included Adam Back, Udi Wertheimer, Michael Novogratz and others.

This seems to have affected CZ’s view as he dropped the idea after talking to some other people in the company. He knows how hard it would be to pull a reorg and it could damage the reputation of Bitcoin and cause another split in the community, which is why the idea was eventually dropped off.

Andreas Antonopoulos Talks Bitcoin and Blockchain's Main Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

As the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies continues its quest towards global adoption and use of the revolutionary technology, education on the key concepts in the industry is key. Top cryptocurrency personalities are increasingly opening up the technicalities involved in the technology making it easier for the mass population to understand it.

In a MOOC on MSc. In Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia, Andreas Antonopoulos, a crypto influencer and open blockchain expert, speaks on the alternative uses of blockchains. The Q&A session highlights the overview of popular alternative cryptocurrencies and their functionalities; such as Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin Cash and the differences between public and private DLT networks. Furthermore, Andreas speaks on what constitutes Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in blockchains.

One of the questions asked is on the recent proposal by Vitalik to introduce gas fees on the wallet transactions. The question reads,

“What do you think on the proposal by Vitalik [Buterin] to introduce gas fees on the wallet transactions?”

In his response, Andreas clarified that the proposal is voluntary and will not require a consensus to introduce it to the blockchain. The key word is “common practice” and not as a general rule to the Ethereum protocol. Bitcoin’s blockchain has a similar practice where some of the wallets donate a small fee of the transactions made to the wallet developers.

“What Vitalik proposes is to make this [gas fees on wallet transactions] a part of the best practices acts to ensure the development of wallet software is better funded.”

The Bitcoin enthusiast further also addressed questions asked in his previous sessions and the current session. One of the session members asked a question on the KPIs on blockchains and what indicators we should use. The question reads,

“Should we consider code commits, blockchain activity, number of DApps, or a number of peers as key performance indicators (KPIs)? What are the metrics for success?”

In his response, Andreas suggested that the KPI you choose depends on what you are trying to achieve. For example, a trader, developer and an interested party in blockchain technology may all have different metrics to measure the progress of the blockchain. It depends on whether the digital asset is being held for long term investment or part of your portfolio in the short term.

He further says that the metrics are difficult to measure and different persons can have different views on the measurements. He offered an example on the common metric where a huge investment during the ICO is equated to an interesting and revolutionary technology. He says,

“For me, the blockchain that has the most money invested into it isn’t necessarily the most interesting blockchain. If that blockchain is centralized and owned by a bank, of course it has lots of money invested into it…however, this is not what makes it have the most freedom, the most political empowerment or economic inclusion to people.”

He concluded saying that most metrics are hard to measure and people in the community should refrain from using metrics in the field to bash other projects. The selection of a metric based on the overall stance of the community or a biased opinion should be avoided. Blockchain KPIs are not a zero-sum game as most investors tend to believe. Selecting a blockchain that actually solves your problem should be the key metric whether you are a dApp developer, trader or user.

For more on the MOOC by Andreas follow the video below.


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