Blockstream Block Explorer is now Live

Blockstream is introducing its block explorer which has gone live on the internet. The new block explorer is first for users of the Liquid Sidechain but Bitcoin has been integrated so Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain can be checked using the Blockstream block explorer.

Bitmex Research Launched a Fork Monitoring Website
BitMEX research developed a fork monitoring tool that can be used to monitor network and protocol upgrades for soft and hard forks for Bitcoin and BitcoinCash. They plan to include different implementations of Bitcoin nodes such as Bcoin, BTCD and Libbitcoin which might be helpful to detect consensus bugs such as CVE-2018-17144 that was discovered last September. They also announced that the source code for the tool will be made available soon.
Braiins OS: Open Source Alternative to Bitcoin Mining Firmware
The company behind SlushPool announced the first release of its Open Source ASIC miner firmware called Braiin OS. Braiins OS is the very first fully open-source, Linux based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices. Now enabling AsicBoost. Finally, you know exactly what’s running on your device, have the ability to customize it in any way and benefit from major functionality tweaks enabled by a continuous development and updates. Highlight of the features:
Predictive UTXO Management

Dmitry Petukhov presents a different approach to the UTXO consolidation problem called Organic Consolidation.

For UTXO-based cryptocurrencies, it is important to have the set of managed Unspent Transaction Outputs in optimal shape, because if you have too much small UTXO, you will have to create bigger transactions to send the same amount of funds, and hence pay bigger network fee, or even need to send several transactions to transfer the needed amount.

Typical approach to handle this is to do periodical sweep of UTXO, bundling them all together, at the time when network fee is low.

We implemented another approach, that does not require manual UTXO consolidation, and at the same time, conserves network fee - when fee in the network is high, the algorithm tries to use less UTXO per transaction, and when network fee is low, it will create bigger transaction, effectively performing UTXO consolidation along with regular payments. This organic UTXO consolidation allows to maintain healthy UTXO set automatically, without manual consolidation runs.

Workshop Summary Scaling Bitcoin V Tokyo 2018

Content originally published by BitcoinOptech on newsletter #16.


Introduction

The fifth Scaling Bitcoin conference was held Saturday and Sunday in Tokyo, Japan. In the sections below, we provide brief overviews to some of the talks we think might be most interesting to this newsletter’s readers, but we also recommend watching the complete set of videos provided by the workshop organizers or reading the transcripts provided by Bryan Bishop.

Mast and Schnorr Signatures
Bitcoin’s development effort for the past few years has been focused on a few key concepts, privacy, scalability and efficiency. One of the first improvements was Segregated witness which is ushering in the rest, Lightning Network followed but was an effort in a different direction as it took transactions off-chain rather than optimizing the on-chain process. Some of the upcoming technologies aimed at optimizing this process are Schnorr Signatures and Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees or MAST for short.