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.

BIP 322: Generic Signed Message Format

Message signing and verification is one of the quirks included in Bitcoin clients, although it isn’t used as much, this quirk can help you in different situations like proving the ownership of an address, proving a payment to a real world vendor or like a simple proof of an anonymous identity and avoiding fraud.

Currently this only works with P2PKH addresses (legacy addresses starting with a 1), leaving out a standard way to do it with P2SH or any different type of segwit addresses. Note that there exist some non-standard implementations with limited functionnality.

Bloomfilter Issue With Segwit Addresses

An issue was raised by Andreas Schildbach via bitcoin-dev regarding compatibility issues between segwit and BIP37: Bloom Filtering:

The issue affects only P2WPKH and the special case of transactions without change outputs (such as when emptying a wallet). In this case, neither inputs not outputs contain any data elements that would cause a match for the filter. The public key, which would match, goes to the witness but not to the input.

Read the full thread

An Introduction to Segregated Witness ( Segwit )

If you’ve been around the cryptocurrency space in the last year or so, you had to notice the insane fees on Bitcoin around December and January. Bitcoin’s adoption has been growing along its price and so the amount of transactions done per day has been going up. There was a point where a day’s worth of transaction costs in USD reached 22 Million dollars. For perspective, it currently averages at 200 thousand dollars, that’s about 99% less.

Now while Bitcoin’s price and the cryptocurrency bear market had a toll on that, last year we saw a massive effort by the Bitcoin community to drive up the number of transactions per second the blockchain could handle. To achieve this goal two strategies were proposed, one of them was Bitcoin Core’s effort introducing SegWit, short for Segregated Witness, which was activated by a user activated soft fork (UASF), and the other was Bitcoin Cash’s user activated hard fork . To further explain this we need to touch on simple basic Bitcoin blockchain technical details.

Consolidating Transaction Output

Prior to SegWit, when blocks were at their transaction maximum and major wallets were not transaction batching, many wallets were generated and discarded with minuscule sums. In the Bitcoin source code, these balances are referred to as “dust” (the following comment is adjusted for formatting):

“Dust” is defined in terms of dustRelayFee, which has units satoshis-per-kilobyte. If you’d pay more in fees than the value of the output to spend something, then we consider it dust.

BIP Proposal P2sh and Version 0 Segwit Script Enforcement From Genesis

A BIP draft was submitted by Suhas Daftur on bitcoin-dev suggesting to backdate the P2SH and Segwit version 0 script rules back to the genesis block.

The Pay to Script Hash (P2SH, BIP 16) script rules and the Version 0 Witness Program script rules (BIP 143141) can be enforced from the genesis block with only one historical exception. Doing so simplifies consensus rules and allows protocol implementers to avoid writing and testing code paths that are no longer relevant.

Link to the BIP draft

Segregated Witness Adoption at 11%

Segregated Witness, the much needed protocol improvement for Bitcoin, staggered in adoption following its release. According to SegWit Charts, the peak of adoption was just under 18%. The referenced adoption metric is formed by evaluating the percentage of transactions per block that qualify as SegWit transactions.

A Look at Transaction Fees

A discussion was started on Reddit’s /r/BitcoinDiscussion that initially wanted to look into the possibility of spam transactions. Much discussion occurred regarding the topic as it is highly debatable. However, out of the discussion one redditor put a quick project together to collect some fee statistics from recent Bitcoin blocks.