Daft Punk unveils a new look for the remix of their classic track, “Harder, Bender, Faster, Oh Dear.”
Jan 3rd is the 10th birthday of the Bitcoin genesis block. On that day, the Times led with “Chancellor on brink of
The genesis block contains the first 50 BTC block reward mined by Satoshi Nakamoto and was designed so that it can never be spent (all other mining rewards attributed to Satoshi still hasn’t been touched). Satoshi believed the old model of monetary philosophy was failing, so he built a new one without all of the controls and hazards that can lead to the debasement of fiat currencies with reckless printing practices.
His intent is covertly coded into the genesis block. Embedded in the hexadecimal code on the genesis block’s
The message is a direct allusion to the headline for The Times the day Bitcoin launched. As the article details, Alistair Darling, the U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, was debating a second bailout for U.K. banks. This capital infusion would come nearly a year after the government flushed the same banks in an attempt to ballast credit flow and stanch impending economic downturn, something the United States did for its own banks in October of 2008.
The rest is obviously history.
The Lightning Network adds another layer to Bitcoin’s blockchain and enables users to create payment channels between any two parties on that extra layer. These channels can exist for as long as required, and because they’re set up between two people, transactions will be almost instant and the fees will be extremely low or even non-existent.
How it Works
The Lightning Network is dependent upon the underlying technology of the blockchain. By using real Bitcoin/blockchain transactions and using its native smart-contract scripting language, it is possible to create a secure network of participants which are able to transact at high volume and high speed.
Bidirectional Payment Channels. Two participants create a ledger entry on the blockchain which requires both participants to sign off on any spending of funds. Both parties create transactions which refund the ledger entry to their individual allocation, but do not broadcast them to the blockchain. They can update their individual allocations for the ledger entry by creating many transactions spending from the current ledger entry output. Only the most recent version is valid, which is enforced by blockchain-parsable smart-contract scripting. This entry can be closed out at any time by either party without any trust or custodianship by broadcasting the most recent version to the blockchain.
Lightning Network. By creating a network of these two-party ledger entries, it is possible to find a path across the network similar to routing packets on the internet. The nodes along the path are not trusted, as the payment is enforced using a script which enforces the atomicity (either the entire payment succeeds or fails) via decrementing time-locks.
Blockchain as Arbiter. As a result, it is possible to conduct transactions off-blockchain without limitations. Transactions can be made off-chain with confidence of on-blockchain enforceability. This is similar to how one makes many legal contracts with others, but one does not go to court every time a contract is made. By making the transactions and scripts parsable, the smart-contract can be enforced on-blockchain. Only in the event of non-cooperation is the court involved – but with the blockchain, the result is deterministic.
In the report (PDF) published in April and unearthed by ZDNet, the Inspector General detailed the flaws it found in five random locations where the Missile Defense Agency installed ballistic missiles as part of the program. One of the most common issues it came across was lax enforcement when it comes to multi-factor authentication.
Apparently, many users/employees who have access to the BMDS’ network in three of the five locations haven’t even switched on multi-factor. Instead, they continue to use only their access cards and passwords for entry. And that’s probably not secure enough, since, you know, the system was designed to launch ballistic missiles in order to intercept enemy nuclear rockets and defend US territories.
The auditors also found that three of the five missile locations didn’t apply patches for vulnerabilities discovered years and years ago, even as far back as 1990.
Last week, the Australian government passed the country’s controversial Access and Assistance Bill 2018 into law, legislation that allows government agencies to demand access to encrypted communications. Companies that don’t comply with the new law could face fines of up to AU$10 million ($7.3 million). A number of companies that stand to be affected have spoken out about the legislation, and Signal has now joined in, explaining that it won’t be able to fulfill such requests if asked.
“By design, Signal does not have a record of your contacts, social graph, conversation list, location, user avatar, user profile name, group memberships, group titles or group avatars,” Signal’s Joshua Lund wrote in a blog post. “The end-to-end encrypted contents of every message and voice/video call are protected by keys that are entirely inaccessible to us.” Lund added that Signal is open source, meaning anyone can “verify or examine the code for each release.” “People often use Signal to share secrets with their friends, but we can’t hide secrets in our software,” he wrote. “We can’t include a backdoor in Signal.”