Scaling Bitcoin formula – Five lectures to look forward to

Scaling Bitcoin, the big Bitcoin Summit, will begin on 9 October with five interesting presentations.

Will Bitcoin formula finally be scaled?

This is the question the current Bitcoin formula Developers Conference will address. Scaling Bitcoin formula runs from October 8th to 9th and is the third conference to address the question of how to create more users and more transactions.

Even if this Bitcoin Summit has lost some of its original fascination, this conference is eagerly awaited: It is about the technological roadmap of Bitcoin, a project critics say is losing ground compared to other crypto currencies.

But this conference will not just be about scaling Bitcoin. In general, one would like to discuss how Bitcoin can be improved. For example, one would like to talk about Segregated Witness.

Roughly speaking, the technical presentations will be divided into six sections. Top tier developers will be addressed on topics such as Bitcoin network issues, privacy and security.

In previous editions of this conference, things like Segregated Witness or Bitcoin-NG, a proposal to revise Bitcoin, have been presented.

There will be a live stream to be found on Youtube, and in an IRC channel even the physically absent audience will be able to interfere in the discussions. So what can you see live or via livestream? Now five interesting talks are briefly touched on, so that one knows what kind of lectures one can expect – what else there is to talk about can be found here. For the readers, the titles of the lectures are left in English, so that you can quickly find them on the Internet if you are interested.

Fungibility Overview (Adam Black and Matt Corallo)

The following four talks will deal with fungibility, which is why an introductory talk on this topic is useful.

Fungibility is ultimately the idea that a Satoshi is as good as any other – as is the case with cash. In the Bitcoin blockchain, this is not necessarily the case – individual coins are interchangeable.

The concept of fungibility goes hand in hand with transaction anonymity: if one can hide details of transactions from the eyes of third parties, the money will ipsofacto not carry around any information about old transactions – at least not in such a way that third parties can see it.

Adam Black, the inventor of Hashcash and CEO of Blockstream, has always been a proponent of the principles of fungibility and privacy. He will give this lecture.

Onion Routing in Lightning (Olaoluwa Osuntokun)
The Bitcoin Lightning network is seen by many as the future of Bitcoin, but it is not yet clear to many how all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together to form a working, fast payment network.

One way to bring anonymity to the Lightning network is through onion routing (a process you should know from the Tor network). Osuntokin is a pioneer in this approach and published standards for onion routing a few months ago.

Unlinkable Outsourced Channel Monitoring (Tadge Dryja)
Off-chain networks for microtransactions is a major topic. In this lecture one of the inventors of the Lightning network, Tadge Dryja, will talk about a special challenge.

The Lightning Network requires that there be someone who constantly monitors individual payment channels and ensures that users do not cheat on each other.

It was suggested that such a job be outsourced to specialists. They should look for fraud attempts without having control over these transactions themselves. But how this will work in Lightning Network has remained open so far.

Dryja’s presentation will certainly try to clarify a few things here. The word “Unlinkable” suggests that we will be dealing here with private transactions. So one can assume that there is something new regarding the Lightning network.

Sidechain Scaling (Paul Sztorc)
Sidechains, another strongly observed Bitcoin feature, is currently being driven primarily by the Montreal-based company Blockstream.

In order to motivate creative minds to do more experiments in the Bitcoin ecosystem, you can enable users to move Bitcoin to other blockchains. On these so-called sidechains other rules can apply than on the Bitcoin blockchain; see Rootstock, for example, Smart Contracts could run on them.

Paul Sztorc, a developer who submitted his own sidechain proposal called Drivechain, will show how these sidechains work with Bitcoin’s Skalie