On November 3, 2020, the IRS seized 69,370 bitcoin worth over $1 billion.

The United States Attorney’s Office (Northern District of California) has filed a civil complaint for forfeiture and I expect the United States to prevail in court.

Past seizures of bitcoin were auctioned off by the U.S. Marshals Service.

In 2014 and 2015, the United States seized and sold more than 144,000 bitcoin, then worth $122 million but now worth almost $3 billion.

The expeditious auctioning off of seized bitcoin was, in my view and with the benefit of hindsight, a mistake. The Federal Reserve can create an infinite quantity of US dollars, the proceeds received in the auction. …

Send and receive payments

Enabling payments in your software is often a business necessity

Common consumer web application use cases include:

  1. Receiving SaaS revenue
  2. Payments between marketplace participants, including escrow
  3. In-app purchases for premium features

Until now, the only choice for developers has been integrating proprietary, trusted, centralized, third-party digital credit systems like PayPal or Stripe.

Bitcoin’s Lightning network offers developers an open source, trustless, decentralized, self-hosted digital cash system.

What is Bitcoin’s Lightning network?

The Bitcoin digital cash system uses proof-of-work over time to provide transaction finality. This proof-of-work function is currently paid for by new cash emission and transaction fees. Full verification of every transaction is necessary for users to trustlessly determine that the expected cash emission schedule to 21 million bitcoins is correctly being followed. …

Install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015

This is needed to avoid a bug with the Node Launcher’s UI library (Qt / PySide2)


Install OpenSSL

Python’s package manager (pip) does not work on Windows without OpenSSL installed

Go to https://slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html

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Download the latest Win64 EXE, currently Win64 OpenSSL v1.1.1b

Open the .exe and install OpenSSL with all of the default options

Install git

Git is the version control software used by the Node Launcher (and any other software project hosted on GitHub)

Go to https://git-scm.com/download/win

If you’re a command line wizard and love BTC/LN, you’ve probably already used bitcoin-cli and lncli

These two utilities allow you to issue commands to your bitcoin and lightning nodes

The Node Launcher now has direct access to these commands, so you don’t have to open a terminal window and try to remember what to type!

The consoles are located in the Node Launcher’s system tray menu

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When you open the consoles, the help command automatically runs

Go to https://lightningpowerusers.com/home/

Enter your pubkey if we are already connected, or your pubkey@host:port if we are not already connected

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Select how much inbound capacity you would like to request. If you have already opened a channel in our direction, we will reciprocate for free for 3 days.

If you have not opened a channel in our direction, or you would like additional inbound capacity, or you would like the channel to be guaranteed open for longer than 3 days, we charge a capacity fee.

This starter pack is for Bitcoiners who want to run a reliable Lightning routing node from home. You could set up your routing node on someone else’s cloud server, but that wouldn’t be very self-sovereign!

This starter pack is not for Bitcoiners who just want to send and receive payments with a non-routing Lightning node.

Routing vs non-routing

A routing node is a node with channels that are publicly advertised, broadcasted, as being available to potentially route payments for others on the network.

A non-routing node is a node with only “private” channels, the existence of a private channel is only known to the two nodes it is connecting. …

The Node Launcher can sometimes experience issues which are difficult to diagnose. Here’s how to get more information on macOS.

Open up Applications/Utilities/Terminal

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A command line interface will appear

My favorite part about writing software is hearing positive feedback from users. The concept of the Node Launcher is uncontroversial: help users run a full Bitcoin node and a Lightning node on their desktop or laptop, without using the command line. All of the constructive criticism has been related to bugs (most of them fixed) or desired improvements (forthcoming!).

I’ve gathered here a list of my favorite tweets so far…

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Every satoshi you save on shaving is another satoshi you can HODL, think about it!

Inspired by Brian Lockhart

$15 Safety Razor Double Edge

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$5 Razor Blades

If often have questions about port forwarding and what it means, so I thought I would write down my responses.

Why should I care about port forwarding?

Port forwarding is needed when any kind of computer (laptop/desktop/server/mobile) on the internet needs to initiate a connection to you and you are behind a typical home internet router.

This is key: even without port forwarding, you can initiate a connection to others who do have port forwarding enabled (or they don’t need it).

You port forwarding is only needed if others are making a connection to you.

You port forwarding is not needed if you are making a connection to others. …


Pierre Rochard

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