Hey, bitcoiner!

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On 9th of June 2021 El Salvador blazed the trail, making Bitcoin legal tender. While several nations intended to emulate this groundbreaking move, many faltered, ensnared by the allure of shitcoins or CBDCs. Undeterred, El Salvador continues to champion Bitcoin, illustrating a nation’s self-awareness. This is the way.

Hot off the press:
❌ Can’t Innovate? Regulate!
☒️ Atomic Wallet Got Hacked
🧑 = Prague + Bitcoin
πŸ§‘β€πŸ’» Who Hacked Mt.Gox?
πŸŒ‹ Tether will Mine on a Volcano
⚠️ New Vulnerability Class in ECDSA Signatures
πŸ“’ ZBD Social: A Fresh Social Vibe
🐝 Alby’s split addresses
πŸ’© Twitter Account Hacks Push Influencers Towards Nostr
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Fresh releases
πŸ“Ί Watching, 🎧 Listening and πŸ“š Reading recommendations
🐸 Meme Hub πŸ’œ
🌱 Grow Nostr

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Mempool:

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Lightning:

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Mining:

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❌ Can’t Innovate? Regulate!

SEC’s got its boxing gloves on and is going for a knockout against Coinbase and Binance, charging them with dealing in naughty non-regulated securities and other mischief.

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Meme by worshipbitcoin

Seems like Coinbase is all about living on the edge, dabbling in some seriously questionable trades with shitcoins like ADA, MATIC, SOL, and their shady pals. Coinbase, however, is shaking its head saying “nuh-uh” to the SEC’s claims and isn’t planning on giving its beloved moneymakers the boot anytime soon.

Binance, on the other hand, is looking down the barrel of a bigger mess. Not only are they accused of playing with the same rule-breaking rogues, but they’ve also got a nasty habit of dipping into the cookie jar, mixing customer and company dough. Throwing in a dash of illicit US trading to their international platform, they’re looking at a grand total of 13 charges. And the SEC’s not playing nice – they’ve asked Uncle Sam to put Binance’s US assets on ice.

And what’s Binance’s response? Pulling the plug on USD deposits and hinting at stopping USD withdrawals soon too. Any unlucky funds left on the platform after July 13 will be magically transformed into stablecoins. Check out their official statement:

As this drama unfolds, everyone’s digging their heels in, with the SEC waving the rule book and the exchanges claiming “innovation” as their get-out-of-jail-free card. There’s a lot of finger pointing, ‘why me?’ and ‘how come nobody sued FTX?’ from the exchanges, bringing to mind a tantrum-throwing toddler rather than a billion-dollar corporation. The SEC’s approach isn’t exactly winning points for professionalism either, but they might be onto something – considering the so-called “crypto market” is a murky sea teeming with scammy projects looking to line their own pockets.


☒️ Atomic Wallet Got Hacked

The popular hot shitcoin wallet, Atomic Wallet, has found itself on the receiving end of a heist.

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Late last week, Atomic Wallet users woke up to a nasty surprise: their funds were pulling a vanishing act. You might think it’s the dubious shitcoins to blame, but think again - even BTC wasn’t safe. As for the mystery ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the hack, everyone’s got a theory. Some say it’s the handiwork of a supply chain attack where the app stores’ software got a nasty makeover. Others are pointing fingers at the wallet’s antique transaction signing dependencies that basically rolled out a welcome mat for hackers to guess the seed phrases.

Just to add some spice, the security watchdogs over at Least Authority had raised a red flag last year about Atomic Wallet’s flimsy security set up, suggesting it was an easy target for cyber crooks. They even gave some friendly advice: tidy up your code and up your game. Sadly, it seems their warnings fell on deaf ears…

Adding another layer to the intrigue, a chunk of the stolen stash has found its way into the Bitcoin mixer Sindbad io, a favored playground of the North Korean hacker gang, Lazarus. This has set alarm bells ringing, as some wallets used in the Atomic Wallet heist were seen hobnobbing with the group in the past.

Now, it’s a messy situation for sure, but let’s get real. The buck stops with the users, not the developers. It’s our money, our choice. So, do your homework before you trust a wallet with your hard-earned cash. And here’s a free tip: Don’t pile all your eggs in a hot wallet. Keep what you can afford to lose or what you need for your daily dough.


🧑 = Prague + Bitcoin

The largest Bitcoin conference in Europe, BTCPrague, took place in Prague from June 8th to 10th.

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Now, you might wonder what’s so special about Prague. Well, it’s kinda like the birthplace of many Bitcoin firsts. First mining pool, first hardware wallet, first Bitcoin conference, and even the first Bitcoin cafΓ©. Yup, all brewed right here in Prague. It’s fair to say this city is a Bitcoin hotspot on the European map, and strolling its cobblestone streets was a real hoot!

The shindig took place on the city outskirts, a breeze to reach. Picture this: three massive venues decked out to the nines. One rocking the main stage, another showcasing an expo of Bitcoin’s brightest and boldest and hosting a secondary stage. The third? It’s a chill-out area connecting the first two, with benches perfect for kicking back, grabbing a bite, and washing it down with a frothy Czech brew.

Keep your eyes peeled for a detailed write-up on our conference capers and juicy takeaways.

Despite the lineup of top-notch speakers gracing the main stage, the sound quality was a bummer. If you were hoping for some ground-breaking reveals (we’re looking at you, Michael Saylor), watching the replay on YouTube won’t rob you of anything. But hey, the company expo and the secondary stage were a riot! Speakers doled out some game-changing ideas, and the hands-on demos of Bitcoin innovations were eye-openers. Plus, the chance to hobnob with fellow Bitcoin enthusiasts was the cherry on top!

A massive shout-out to the Trezor team, who played the perfect hosts. They got us up to speed with the conference vibe in no time, and we even scored a new Trezor hardware wallet to bring home! Who knew that such a big-name company could be filled with such friendly folks? And it wasn’t just us - they spread the love to all attendees.

So, are you marking your calendar for next year’s BTCPrague? You bet! It’s not just about diving deep into the Bitcoin world - it’s about meeting like-minded folks who can turn a fun gathering into a hub of opportunities. Prague’s calling, folks - will you answer?


πŸ§‘β€πŸ’» Who Hacked Mt.Gox?

Gather round, folks, for another chapter in the tale of the infamous Mt.Gox saga.

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The U.S. has slapped Alexey Bilyuchenko, a WEX maestro, and Alexander Vinnik, a whiz at BTC-e, with charges. Their crime? An alleged plot to scrub clean the funds swiped from Japanese exchange Mt.Gox - we’re talking about a whopping 647,000 bitcoins!

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that back in 2011, our two accused masterminds wormed their way into Mt.Gox’s servers. And where were they headed? Straight to the mother lode - the private keys of the exchange’s unsuspecting customers. Their grand scheme was to siphon off the funds into wallets they controlled and then perform a high-stakes laundromat operation.

So, does this latest development shuffle the Mt.Gox deck? Not likely, folks. The wheels of the bankruptcy proceedings have been grinding on for years, and the charges served didn’t whisper a word about seizing or confiscating anything. Looks like this might just be the final curtain call for the notorious exchange’s drama, but for the poor folks who lost their stash, the story continues.


πŸŒ‹ Tether will Mine on a Volcano

Tether is pouring its treasure chest into bitcoin mining, and guess where? Right on a volcano in El Salvador! Talk about turning up the heat!

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Tether’s vision? To wave the flag for renewable energy sources while backing bitcoin mining in a big way. They’re not just tossing money at the project either; they’re sending their brain trust to help roll out an infrastructure that can dish out a fiery 241 MW. Adding solar and wind energy into the mix, they’re dreaming big - of building the largest mining farm on planet Earth.

Give Tether a pat on the back for their noble venture. But let’s not forget, in the world of high stakes business, this not only adds to their coffers from the mining returns but also scores them some stellar PR. All’s fair in love, war, and business!


⚠️ New Vulnerability Class in ECDSA Signatures

A new vulnerability class has been discovered in ECDSA signatures, allowing access to wallets.

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Researchers from the California Institute in San Diego have spotlighted a new class of vulnerability lurking within ECDSA signatures on the Bitcoin blockchain. This flaw emerges when a nonce is created by melding together half the bits from the message hash and half from the secret signing key. A simple countermeasure exists though: deterministic ECDSA nonce generation as outlined in RFC 6979. This safeguard is already implemented in the core library for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

According to the authors, this weakness could potentially lay bare not only private keys but also disrupt the integrity of Bitcoin pseudonyms and addresses in user implementations of ECDSA. That said, exploiting this flaw requires deliberately exposing the target to vulnerable software.

We hypothesize that these signatures are an artifact of a custom ECDSA implementation used by a thief to steal these funds. A number of Bitcoin forum postings link addresses receiving these funds to a particular individual who is relatively public about these activities, in addition to other scams.

Worth mentioning:

  • The US government has prevented the Bittrex exchange from returning funds to users until the bankruptcy procedure is completed.

  • Crypto.com is shutting down its institutional platform in the US due to regulatory issues.

  • The Chicago options exchange has obtained permission to trade bitcoin and ethereum futures.

  • Bybit has received permission to operate in Kazakhstan.

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πŸ“’ ZBD Social: A Fresh Social Vibe

ZBD has announced a Nostr-based social app and is on the way to onboarding tons of new users.

ZBD has finally jumped on the Nostr bandwagon, which helped the project amp up its game and include the social media factor into their stack. Waitlist is now open for those craving to get early access to the app. The team highlights three major features of the new application:

  • Zap away! Fire off those ‘zaps’, tiny packets of Bitcoin, to your friends, favorite influencers, or that cute cat video. Now, your likes are more than just a digital thumbs-up; they’re tiny bitcoin treasure chests.

  • Talk the talk, walk the encrypted walk. ZBD has upped its privacy game with end-to-end encrypted messages. They are keeping the nosy folks at bay.

  • One app to rule them all. Remember the hassle of switching between apps for gaming, shopping, and chatting? Well, kiss it goodbye. With the ZBD app, you can game, shop, and socialize in one go!

With this move ZBD is looking into onboarding a ton of new users to Nostr, which is always good news! Let’s wish them luck – we as end users could use some client competition 😁

Listen to the 14th episode of Plebchain Radio, where among other things, they discuss the new ZBD endeavor with santos: Listen on Fountain.


🐝 Alby’s split addresses

Alby – one of the most active dev teams on both Lightning and Nostr stages – has committed to delivering another interesting feature to showcase during the BTCPrague conference πŸ‘€

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Split address creates a new random lightning address to assign it to a note of your choice and then split each received payment between the nostriches, mentioned in the split. This can be considered an enhancement on top of the Zapsplitter, which was announced recently and allows you to split the zaps received by a certain npub. See details on their GitHub.


Plebstr will add advertising

During an interview with our frontline reporter, Raptor the CEO of Plebstr announced the upcoming integration of advertising into their Nostr client.

In an interview with Bitcoin Herald, Mates revealed that they will be introducing advertisements next month. Users who wish to use the client without ads will have the option to subscribe to a paid plan. For others, the ability to earn satoshis by viewing advertisements will be added to the built-in custodial lightning wallet within the app.

Plebstr will also release an open-source application that allows you to store the Nostr private key. You will be able to use it to log into various Nostr clients without granting them access to your nsec.

It will be interesting to test Plebstr’s new solution. Their decision to release an ad-supported client during the reign of Damus and Amethyst could be risky for the company. However, we hope that Plebstr’s team can provide an interesting functionality and generous rewards for ad viewing in order to retain users.


πŸ’© Twitter Account Hacks Push Influencers Towards Nostr

Hacks of Twitter accounts are increasingly commonplace, causing many users of traditional platforms to turn their eyes to Nostr.

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This time, Pete Rizzo, editor of both Bitcoin Magazine and Kraken, fell victim.

Despite Pete’s lukewarm reception of Nostr so far, these security breaches on traditional social media underscore Nostr’s advantages and gradually entice everyday users. Furthermore, the usability of the protocol is perpetually improving.Β 

Interestingly, although Pete appears to have delayed his exploration of Nostr despite enthusiastic community feedback, it’s all part of the journey.

Tony hypothesizes that, much like Bitcoin, it often takes multiple encounters to truly grasp the protocol and understand Nostr’s real potential.

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Bitcoin

  • Nunchuk rolled out v1.9.26 for iOS and a similar update for Android users. The most notable update among numerous improvements is batched transactions.

  • Lightning Terminal v0.10.1-alpha.

  • BTCPay Server v1.10.2.

  • Blockstream’s Greenlight: new developer preview.

Nostr

  • A massive Listr update significantly improved UX and introduced some enhancements, including support for following lists (kind 3). Check it out here: https://listr.lol.

  • Plebcloud is about to spin up a cloud infrastructure for privacy-aware plebs. Stay tuned!

  • Damus 1.5: The update sticks top zaps to the top of threads, allowing for efficient zapvertizing.

  • Onyx, which is a fork of Amethyst that doesn’t have any of the spam filters or reporting shadowbans, released.

  • Amethyst v0.56 (5) brought numerous behind the scenes improvements.

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πŸ‘οΈ The Great Awakening by the authors of the Plandemic:

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NOSTR: Social Media 2.0” by Carl B Menger

Become a nostrich and prepare yourself for the age of censorship and control. Why NOSTR matters, including a step-by-step guide for set-up.


The State of Zapvertisement” by The Same Cat

If we do not support the businesses, creators, developers, and operators that we claim to want and need, then we have nobody but ourselves to blame when they end up turning to advertising revenue to fund their work. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Nostr.review with NVK, FiatJaf, Miljan & Pablo: Listen on Fountain.

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🐸 Meme Hub πŸ’œ

Also see this weekly selection by Wake Up:

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#GROWNOSTR

#grownostr is arguably one of the most important initiatives that aims to bring new talented people and diversify what is perceived by many normies as overly bitcoin- and nostr-related talks here on Nostr. While some of accusations are overblown, the general notion of a community of bitcoiners who created a censorship-resistant communications protocol to be excessively discussing their baby and ways to make it better is true. So let’s grow Nostr together – tag Herald in your non-techy posts and we will add your notes to our weekly digests. Today we’re grantig stage to Cortez and his art club: