Bitcoin Stays below US$4,000, Approaching Capitulation Moment

The new desc fields are not expected to be particularly useful at the moment as they can currently only be used with the scantxoutset RPC, but they will provide a compact way of providing all the information necessary for making addresses solvable to future and upgraded RPCs for Bitcoin Core such as those used for interactions between offline/online (cold/hot) wallets, multisig wallets, coinjoin implementations, and other cases. 1937 stores the most recent channel reestablishment message in the node’s database so that it can be resent even after a channel has been closed. Although this particular tool mirrors functionality already provided by the lnwallet.Signer service, the mechanism used to enable this new service makes it possible for developers to extend the RPCs (gRPCs) provided through LND with gRPCs provided by other code on the local machine or even a remote service. Several additional new services using this mechanism are planned for the near future. The virtual currency (VC) has stayed below the US$4,000 mark and a market analyst for the financial services company IG Group has been quoted as saying that the VC is approaching a “capitulation moment.” What this comment means is that many investors may soon reach the point where they just want to cut their losses (or make very small gains, depending on when they initially invested) and run.

Then there are those that believe Bitcoin is simply hitting its correct value (possibly around US$3,000) and that the bull run of 2017 was either a market anomaly or criminally manipulated, something that the U.S. But if the current trend continues, it’s likely it won’t be long before Bitcoin falls below US$3,000. It appears the bad news for long-term Bitcoin investors continues unabated. This accompanies a proposal for LN described in the News section of last week’s newsletter where LN would mostly ignore onchain fees (except for cooperative closes of channels) and use CPFP fee bumping to choose the fee when the channel was closed-reducing complexity and improving safety. Rusty Russell is organizing meetings to help speed up the specification process and has started a thread asking for feedback about what medium to use for the meeting (Google Hangout, IRC meeting, something else) and how formal to make the meeting. Anyone intending to take this version is encouraged to review the list of backported fixes and help with testing when a release candidate is made available. This week’s newsletter describes a proposal to tweak Bitcoin Core’s relay policy for related transactions to help simplify onchain fees for LN payments, mentions upcoming meetings about the LN protocol, and briefly describes a new LND release and work towards a Bitcoin Core maintenance release.

The Bitcoin Core project is planning to start tagging release candidates for maintenance version 0.17.1 soon. This release also fixes an accounting bug for users of the btcwallet backend where not all change payments to yourself may have been reflected in your displayed balance. Upon upgrading, a rescan on the block chain will be performed so that the missing accounting information is recovered and your correct balance will be displayed. ● CPFP carve-out: in order to spend bitcoins, the transaction where you received those bitcoins must be added to the block chain somewhere before your spending transaction. CPFP even works for multiple descendant transactions, but the more relationships that need to be considered, the longer it takes the node to create the most profitable possible block template for miners to work on. Even relative latecomers could have made decent returns: US$1,000 invested on January 1, 2015 would now be worth US$13,642. There are those who are expecting the VC to completely crash and maybe even become practically worthless. But those who came late to the table and invested US$1,000 on January 1, 2018 would now be looking at a negative return of a paltry US$318.

If a person had invested US$1,000 in the VC on January 1, 2011 that investment would now be worth a staggering US$4.28 million. ● Organization of LN 1.1 specification effort: although LN protocol developers decided which efforts they want to work on for the next major version of the common protocol, they’re still working on developing and coming to agreement on the exact specifications for those protocols. This can be a major problem for protocols like LN that rely on timelocks-if a transaction isn’t confirmed before the timelock expires, the counterparty can take back some or all of the funds they previously paid. But for users of multiparty protocols, a malicious counterparty can exploit the limits to prevent an honest user from being able to fee bump a transaction. For users fee bumping their own transactions, the limits are high enough to rarely cause problems. However, to make this safe for LN no matter how high fees get, nodes need to also support relaying packages of transactions that include both low-feerate ancestors plus high-feerate descendants in a way that doesn’t cause nodes to automatically reject the earlier transactions as being too cheap and so not see the subsequent fee bumps.

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