Bitcoin Optech Newsletter #146 – Bitcoin Magazine: Bitcoin News, Articles, Charts, and Guides

The Bitcoin Optech newsletter provides readers with a top-level summary of the most important technical news happening in Bitcoin, along with resources that help them learn more. To help our readers stay up-to-date with Bitcoin, we’re republishing the latest issue of this newsletter below. Remember to subscribe to receive this content straight to your inbox.

This week’s newsletter describes a draft specification for LN splicing, announces a workshop about transaction relay security, announces the addition of ECDSA signature adaptor support to libsecp256k1-zkp, and links to proposals to change the BIPs process. Also included are our regular sections with summaries of popular questions and answers from the Bitcoin StackExchange, announcements of software releases and release candidates, and descriptions of notable changes to popular Bitcoin infrastructure software.


Selected Q&A from Bitcoin StackExchange

Bitcoin StackExchange is one of the first places Optech contributors look for answers to their questions—or when we have a few spare moments to help curious or confused users. In this monthly feature, we highlight some of the top-voted questions and answers posted since our last update.

  1. determine the validity of a block using its nTime field, controlling difficulty adjustment period times
  2. ensure that time only moves forward, simplifying state transitions in BIP9
  3. eliminate the incentive for individual miners to confirm transactions with locktimes up to two hours in the future by lying about the current time, as fixed in BIP113
  • Can Taproot be used to commit arbitrary data to chain without any additional footprint? Pieter Wuille answers by pointing out that while committing to data via OP_RETURN in a tapleaf is possible, techniques like pay-to-contract and sign-to-contract are in use currently by Liquid and OpenTimestamps and can be more efficient.
  • Why does the mined block differ so much from the block template? User Andy asks why block 680175 differs from what his getblocktemplate RPC had output around the same time that block was mined. Andrew Chow and Murch point out Asicboost as the reason the version field is different, while node-independent mempools and node uptime are considerations of the block’s transaction discrepancies.
  • Isn’t Bitcoin’s hash target supposed to be a power of 2? Andrew Chow explains the ‘leading zeros’ explanation of difficulty targeting is an oversimplification and chytrik gives an example of a valid and invalid hash with the same number of leading zeros.
  • Releases and release candidates

    New releases and release candidates for popular Bitcoin infrastructure projects. Please consider upgrading to new releases or helping to test release candidates.

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