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After some year playing with full bitcoin core nodes and lightning network nodes, starting times ago with a project called raspibolt (that teach me a lot), i can tell you to have found an awesome project that is ok for the beginner and for the professional too.
I challenge all of you to find another product (commercial too) with all of these functionality and starting from 0$. It calls myNode (this is a screenshot of the app https://ibb.co/n7KDmkx
I discovered it by chance reading a post from the main developer here on reddit, and I wanted to discover this fantastic software to all bitcoin and tiny hardware enthusiasts like the raspberry pi that want have at home a swiss army knife :) .
Think of an automated script that takes care of configuring everything without you having to do anything. Does it seem strange to you? Try this app!
If you want more informations, please check the website https://www.mynodebtc.com
and the telegram official channel with more than 150 guys happy to have discover this awesome application -> https://t.me/mynode_btc
best hardware to buy: (https://www.mynodebtc.com/download
- raspberry pi 4 with 4gb of ram
- power cable
- hdd or ssd of 1tb
- hdd or ssd adapter to connect to usb3 of raspberry pi
- micro sd of at least 16 gb
best bitcoin full node software
- mynode - www.mynodebtc.com
- open source
- free for basic stuff
- github - https://github.com/mynodebtc/mynode
- tor enabled by default for bitcoin core and lnd
- full bitcoin node
- lightning wallet (lnd)
- simple ui / web interface (screenshot of last release: https://ibb.co/n7KDmkx
- bitcoin explorer
- electrum server - btc light wallet server
- ride the lightning - lightning wallet
- lnd hub - lightning wallet server
- bitcoin cli
- quicksync - quickly sync bitcoin blockchain
- lnd connect - generate qr codes for connecting wallets
- ln channel backup
- lnd manage cli tool
and a lot of stuff will be added in future like..
- btcpay server
- liquid sidechain (blockstream's elements)
- samourai dojo (whirlpool)
- blockstream satellite cli
steps to use it (https://www.mynodebtc.com/download
0 - collect hardware
1 - download image from site
2 - flash image
3 - boot device
4 - enjoy
Update 3: submitted by
Pieter convinced me in the comments of his Stack Exchange answer
that these checkpoints don't give any material improvement over assumevalid and assumeutxo. He made me realize why my Case IV below would not actually cause a huge disruption for assumevalid users. So I rescind my call for UTXO checkpoints.
However, I maintain that UTXO checkpoints done properly (with checkpoints sufficiently in the past) are not a security model change and would not meaningfully alter consensus. It sounded like Pieter agreed with me on that point as well.
I think UTXO checkpoints might still be a useful tool
I will call for Assume UTXO
tho. It plus assumevalid adds pretty much much all the same benefits as my proposal. OP:
Luke Jr has been proposing
lowering the maximum block size to 300mb in order to limit how long it takes a new node to sync up. He makes the good point that if processor power is growing at only 17%/year, that's how much we can grow the number of transactions a new node needs to verify on initial sync.
But limiting the blocksize is not the only way to do it. As I'm sure you can foresee from the title, I believe the best way to do it is a hardcoded checkpoint built into the software (eg bitcoin core). This is safe, this is secure, and it is a scalability improvement that has no downsides.
So what is a hardcoded checkpoint? This would consist of a couple pieces of data being hardcoded into the source code of any bitcoin full-node software. The data would be a blockheight, block hash, and UTXO hash. With those three pieces of information, a new client can download the block at that height and the UTXO set built up to that height, and then it can verify that the block and UTXO set are correct because they both have the correct hashes.
This way, a new node can start syncing from that height rather than from the first block ever mined. What does this improve?
- Less storage - nodes don't need to store the entire historical chain through the eons. Just very recent blocks.
- Initial sync time is massively reduced
- Initial sync time would scale linearly with the transaction rate (whereas now it scales linear with number of total transactions).
While not strictly necessary, its likely that the UTXO data would come from the same source as the software, since otherwise full nodes would have to store UTXO sets at multiple block heights just in case someone asks for it as part of their checkpoint. Also, full-nodes should store block information going back historically significantly further than their checkpoint, so they have data to pass to clients that have an earlier checkpoint. So perhaps if a client is configured for a checkpoint 6 months ago, it should probably still store block data from up to 2 years ago (tho it wouldn't need to verify all that data - or rather, verifying it would be far simpler because the header chain connecting to their checkpoint block would all that needs to be validated).
To be perfectly clear, I'm absolutely not suggesting a live checkpoint beacon that updates the software on-the-fly from a remote source. That is completely unsafe and insecure, because it forces you to trust that one source. At any time, whoever controls the live source could disrupt millions of people by broadcasting an invalid block or a block on a malicious chain. So I'm NOT suggesting having a central source, or even any distributed set of sources, that automatically send checkpoint information to clients that connect to it. That would 100% be unsafe. What I'm suggesting is a checkpoint hardcoded into the software, which can be safely audited.
So is a hardcoded checkpoint safe and secure? Yes it is. Bitcoin software already needs to be audited. That's why you should never use bitcoin software that isn't open source. So by including the three pieces of data described above, all you're doing is adding a couple more things that need to be audited. If you're downloading a bitcoin software binary without auditing it yourself, then you already take on the risk of trusting the distributor of that binary, and adding hardcoded checkpoints does not increase that risk at all.
However, most people can't even audit the bitcoin software if they wanted to. Most people aren't programmers and can't feasibly understand the code. Not so for the checkpoints. The checkpoints could easily be audited by anyone who runs a full node, or anyone who can check block hashes and UTXO hashes from multiple sources they trust. Auditing the hardcoded checkpoint would be so easy we could sell T shirts that say "I helped audit Bitcoin source code!"
The security profile of a piece of bitcoin node software with hardcoded checkpoints or without hardcoded checkpoints is identical. Not similar. Not almost. Actually identical. There is no downside.
Imagine this twice-a-year software release process:
Month 0: After the last release, development on the next release start (or rather, continues).
Month 3: The next candidate version of the software is finalized, including a checkpoint from some non-contentious distance ago, say 1 month ago.
Month 6: After 3 months of auditing and bug fixing, the software is released. At this point, the checkpoint would be 4 months old.
In this process, downloading the latest version of bitcoin software would mean the maximum months of blocks you have to sync is 10 months (if you download and run the software the day before the next release happens). This process is safe, its secure, its auditable, and it saves tons of processing time and harddrive space. This also means that it would allow bitcoin full nodes to be run by lower-power computers, and would allow more people to run full nodes. I think everyone can agree that outcome would be a good one.
So why do we need
Because 300kb blocks is the alternative. That's not enough space, even with the lightning network.
I'm redacting the previous because I don't have the data to support it and I don't think its necessary to argue that we need this change.
So why do we need
this change? This change represents a substantial scalability improvement from O(n) to O(Δn). It removes a major bottleneck to increasing on-chain transaction throughput, reducing fees, increasing user security as well as network-wide security (through more full nodes), or a combination of those.
What does everyone think? Update:
I think its useful to think of 4 different types of users relevant in the hypothetical scenario where Bitcoin adopts this kind of proposal:
- Upfront Auditors - Early warnings
- After-the-fact Auditors - Late warnings
- Non-full-auditors - Late warnings
- Non full nodes - No warnings
Upfront auditors look at the source code of the software they use, the keep up to date with changes, and they make sure that what they're running looks good to them. They're almost definitely building directly from source code - no binaries for them. They'll alert people to a problem potentially before
buggy or malicious software is even released. In this scenario, their security is obviously unchanged because they're not taking advantage of the check-pointing feature. We want to encourage as many people as possible to do this and to make it as easy as possible to do.
After-the-fact Auditors want to start a new node and start using Bitcoin immediately. They want to audit, but are ok with a period of time where they're trusting the code to be connecting the chain they want. They take on a slight amount of personal risk here, but once they back-validate the chain, they can sound the alert if there is a validation problem.
Non-full-auditors are simply content to trust that the software is good. They'll run the node without looking at most or any of the code. They take on more risk than After-the-fact Auditors, but their risk is not actually much worse than After-the-fact Auditors. Why? Because as soon as you're sure you're on the right chain (ie you do a few monetary transactions with people who accept your bitcoin), you're golden for as long as you use that node and the part of the chain it validated. The can also still help the network to pretty much the same degree as After-the-fact Auditors, because if there are a problem with their transactions, they can sound the alarm about a problem with that software.
Non full nodes obviously have less security and they don't help the network.
So why did I bother to talk about these different types of users?
Well, we obviously want as many Upfront auditors as possible. However, doing that out of the starting gate is time consuming. It takes time to audit the code and time to sync the blockchain. Its costly. For this reason, for better or worse, most people simply won't do it.
Without checkpoints, we don't have type 2 or type 3 users. The only alternative to being an Upfront Auditor is to be an SPV node that doesn't help the network and is less secure. With checkpoints, we could potentially change many of those people who would just use SPV to doing something much more helpful for the network.
One of the huge benefits of After-the-fact Auditors and Non-full-auditors is that once they're on the network, they can act like Upfront Auditors in the next release. Maybe they're not auditing the source code, but they can sure audit the checkpoint very easily. That means they can also sound the alarm before
malicious or broken software is released, just like Upfront Auditors. Why? Because they now have a chain they believe to be the true one (with an incredibly high degree of confidence).
What this means is that Upfront Auditors, After-the-fact Auditors, and Non-full-auditors help the network to a very similar degree. If software that doesn't sync to the right chain, they will find out about it and alert others. Type 2 and 3 take on personal risk, but they don't put the network at greater risk, like SPV nodes do.
If we can convert most Non-full nodes into Type 2 or Type 3 users, that would be massive gain for the security of Bitcoin. Luke Jr said it himself, making nodes that support the network as easy as possible to run is critical. This is one good way to do that. Update 2
: Comparison to -assumevalid and why using checkpoints upgrades scalability
The -assumevalid option allows nodes to skip validation of blocks before the hardcoded golden block hash. This is similar to my proposal, but has a critical difference. A node with -assumevalid on (which I've heard is the default now) will still validate the whole chain in the case that a longer chain is floating around. Because of this, -assumevalid can be an optimization that works as long as there's no other longer chain also claiming to be bitcoin floating around the network.
The important points brought up by the people that wrote and discussed adding this feature was that:
A. Its not a change in security model, and
B. Its not a change in consensus rules.
This meant that it was a pure implementation detail that would never and could never change what chain your node follows.
The checkpoints I'm describing are different. On point A, some have said that checkpoints are a security model change, and I've addressed that above. I'd like to add that there is no way for bitcoin to be 100% trustless. That is impossible. Bitcoin at the deepest level is a specified protocol many people have agreed to use together. In order to join that group even on the most fundamental level, you need to find the spec people are agreeing to use. You have to trust that the person or people that gave you a copy of that spec gave you the right one. If different people claim that different specs are "bitcoin", you have to choose which people to trust. The same is true of checkpoints. New entrants want to join the network that the people they care about interacting with believe is Bitcoin, and those are the people they will trust to get the spec, or the source code, or the hash of the UTXO set. This is why I say the security profile of Bitcoin with checkpoints is identical to Bitcoin without checkpoints. The amount of trust you have to put in your social network is not materially different.
While its not a security model change, as I've supported above, using checkpoints is consensus rules change. Every new checkpoint would change the consensus rules. However, I would argue this isn't a problem as long as those checkpoints are at a non-contentious number of blocks ago. While it would change consensus rules, it should not
change consensus at all. There are 4 scenarios to consider:
I. There's no contention.
II. There's a long-range reorg from before the checkpoint.
III. There exists a contentious public chain that branched before the checkpoint would usually be taken.
IV. There exists an invalid chain that's longer than the valid chain.
In case I, none of it matters, and checkpoints have pretty much exactly the same result as -assumevalid.
In case II, Bitcoin has much bigger problems. Its simply unacceptable for Bitcoin to allow for long-range reorgs, so this case must be prevented entirely. The downsides of a long-range reorg for bitcoin without checkpoints is MUCH MUCH larger than the additional downsides with checkpoints.
In case III, the obvious solution is to checkpoint from an earlier non-contentious blockheight, so nodes validate both chains.
Case IV is where things really differ between checkpoints and -assumevalid. In this case, nodes using a checkpoint will only validate blocks after the checkpoint. However, nodes using -assumevalid will be forced to validate both chains back to their branch-point.
I don't believe there are other relevant cases, but as long as checkpoints are chosen from non-contentious heights and have time to be audited, there is no possibility that honestly-run bitcoin software would in any way affect the consensus for what chain is the right chain.
This brings me back to why checkpoints upgrades scalability, and -assumevalid does not. Case IV is the case that prevents -assumevalid from being a scalability improvement. You want new nodes to be able to sync to the network relatively quickly, so say the 90th percentile of machines should be able to do it in less than a week (or maybe we want to ensure sync happens within a day - that's up for debate). With checkpoints, invalid chains branched before the checkpoint will not disrupt new entrants to the network. With -assumevalid, those invalid change will disrupt new entrants. Since an invalid chain can have branched arbitrarily far in the past, this disruption could be arbitrarily large.
One way to deal with this is to ensure that most machines can handle validating not only the whole valid chain, but the whole invalid chain as well. The other way to deal with this is checkpoints.
So back to scalability, with checkpoints all we need to ensure is that the lowest power machines we want to support can sync in a timely manner back to the checkpoint.
On August 26, 2016 someone noticed that their Classic node had been forked off of the "Big Blocks Testnet"
that Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited were running. Neither implementation was testing their consensus code on any other testnets; this was effectively the only testnet being used to test either codebase. The issue was due to a block on the testnet
that was mined on July 30, almost a full month prior to anyone noticing the fork at all, which was in violation of the BIP109 specification that Classic miners were purportedly adhering to at the time. Gregory Maxwell observed
That was a month ago, but it's only being noticed now. I guess this is demonstrating that you are releasing Bitcoin Classic without much testing and that almost no one else is either? :-/
The transaction in question doesn't look at all unusual, other than being large. It was, incidentally, mined by pool.bitcoin.com, which was signaling support for BIP109 in the same block it mined that BIP 109 violating transaction.
Later that day, Maxwell asked Roger Ver to clarify whether he was actually running Bitcoin Classic on the bitcoin.com mining pool
, who dodged the question and responded with a vacuous reply that attempted to inexplicably change the subject to "censorship" instead.
Andrew Stone (the lead developer of Bitcoin Unlimited) voiced confusion
about BIP109 and how Bitcoin Unlimited violated the specification for it (while falsely signaling support for it). He later argued
that Bitcoin Unlimited didn't need to bother adhering to specifications that it signaled support for, and that doing so would violate the philosophy of the implementation. Peter Rizun shared this view
. Neither developer was able to answer Maxwell's direct question
about the violation of BIP109 §4/5, which had resulted in the consensus divergence (fork).
Despite Maxwell having provided a direct link to the transaction violating BIP109
that caused the chain split, and explaining in detail what the results of this were, later Andrew Stone said
I haven't even bothered to find out the exact cause. We have had BUIP016 passed to adhere to strict BIP109 compatibility (at least in what we generate) by merging Classic code, but BIP109 is DOA -- so no-one bothered to do it.
I think that the only value to be had from this episode is to realise that consensus rules should be kept to an absolute, money-function-protecting minimum. If this was on mainnet, I'll be the Classic users would be unhappy to be forked onto a minority branch because of some arbitrary limit that is yet another thing would have needed to be fought over as machine performance improves but the limit stays the same.
Incredibly, when a confused user expressed disbelief regarding the fork, Andrew Stone responded
Really? There was no classic fork? As i said i didnt bother to investigate. Can you give me a link to more info? Its important to combat this fud.
Of course, the proof of the fork (and the BIP109-violating block/transaction) had already been provided to Stone by Maxwell. Andrew Stone was willing to believe that the entire fork was imaginary, in the face of verifiable proof of the incident.
He admits that he didn't investigate the subject at all
, even though that was the only testnet that Unlimited could have possibly been performing any meaningful tests on at the time, and even though this fork forced Classic to abandon BIP109 entirely
, leaving it vulnerable to the types of attacks that Gavin Andresen described in his Guided Tour of the 2mb Fork
“Accurate sigop/sighash accounting and limits” is important, because without it, increasing the block size limit might be dangerous... It is set to 1.3 gigabytes, which is big enough so none of the blocks currently in the block chain would hit it, but small enough to make it impossible to create poison blocks that take minutes to validate.
As a result of this fork (which Stone was clueless enough to doubt had even happened
), Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited were both
left vulnerable to such attacks. Fascinatingly, this fact did not seem to bother the developers of Bitcoin Unlimited at all. On November 17, 2016 Andrew Stone decided to post an article titled A Short Tour of Bitcoin Core wherein he claimed:
Bitcoin Unlimited is building the highest quality, most stable, Bitcoin client available. We have a strong commitment to quality and testing as you will see in the rest of this document. The irony of this claim should soon become very apparent.
In the rest of the article, Stone wrote with venomous and overtly hostile rhetoric:
As we mine the garbage in the Bitcoin Core code together... I want you to realise that these issues are systemic to Core He went on to describe what he believed to be multiple bugs that had gone unnoticed by the Core developers, and concluded his article with the following paragraph:
I hope when reading these issues, you will realise that the Bitcoin Unlimited team might actually be the most careful committers and testers, with a very broad and dedicated test infrastructure. And I hope that you will see these Bitcoin Core commits— bugs that are not tricky and esoteric, but simple issues that well known to average software engineers —and commits of “Very Ugly Hack” code that do not reflect the care required for an important financial network. I hope that you will realise that, contrary to statements from Adam Back and others, the Core team does not have unique skills and abilities that qualify them to administer this network. As soon as the article was published, it was immediately and thoroughly debunked. The "bugs" didn't exist in the current Core codebase; some were results of how Andrew had "mucked with wallet code enough to break" it, and "many of issues were actually caused by changes they made to code they didn't understand", or had been fixed years ago in Core, and thus only affected obsolete clients (ironically including Bitcoin Unlimited itself).
As Gregory Maxwell said:
Perhaps the biggest and most concerning danger here isn't that they don't know what they're doing-- but that they don't know what they don't know... to the point where this is their best attempt at criticism. Amusingly enough, in the "Let's Lose Some Money" section of the article, Stone disparages an unnamed developer for leaving poor comments in a portion of the code, unwittingly making fun of Satoshi himself in the process.
To summarize: Stone set out to criticize the Core developer team, and in the process revealed that he did not understand the codebase he was working on, had in fact personally introduced the majority of the bugs that he was criticizing, and was actually completely unable to identify any bugs that existed in current versions Core. Worst of all, even after receiving feedback on his article, he did not appear to comprehend (much less appreciate) any of these facts.
On January 27, 2017, Bitcoin Unlimited excitedly released v1.0 of their software, announcing:
The third official BU client release reflects our opinion that Bitcoin full-node software has reached a milestone of functionality, stability and scalability. Hence, completion of the alpha/beta phase throughout 2009-16 can be marked in our release version. A mere 2 days later, on January 29, their code accidentally attempted to hard-fork the network. Despite there being a very clear and straightforward comment in Bitcoin Core explaining the space reservation for coinbase transactions in the code, Bitcoin Unlimited obliviously merged a bug into their client which resulted in an invalid block (23 bytes larger than 1MB) being mined by Roger Ver's Bitcoin.com mining pool on January 29, 2017, costing the pool a minimum of 13.2 bitcoins. A large portion of Bitcoin Unlimited nodes and miners (which naively accepted this block as valid) were temporarily banned from the network as a result, as well.
The code change in question revealed that the Bitcoin Unlimited developers were not only "commenting out and replacing code without understanding what it's for" as well as bypassing multiple safety-checks that should have prevented such issues from occurring, but that they were not performing any peer review or testing whatsoever of many of the code changes they were making. This particular bug was pushed directly to the master branch of Bitcoin Unlimited (by Andrew Stone), without any associated pull requests to handle the merge or any reviewers involved to double-check the update. This once again exposed the unprofessionalism and negligence of the development team and process of Bitcoin Unlimited, and in this case, irrefutably had a negative effect in the real world by costing Bitcoin.com thousands of dollars worth of coins.
In effect, this was the first public mainnet fork attempt by Bitcoin Unlimited. Unsurprisingly, the attempt failed, costing the would-be forkers real bitcoins as a result. It is possible that the costs of this bug are much larger than the lost rewards and fees from this block alone, as other Bitcoin Unlimited miners may have been expending hash power in the effort to mine slightly-oversized (invalid) blocks prior to this incident, inadvertently wasting resources in the doomed pursuit of invalid coins.
On March 14, 2017, a remote exploit vulnerability discovered in Bitcoin Unlimited crashed 75% of the BU nodes on the network in a matter of minutes.
In order to downplay the incident, Andrew Stone rapidly published an article which attempted to imply that the remote-exploit bug also affected Core nodes by claiming that:
approximately 5% of the “Satoshi” Bitcoin clients (Core, Unlimited, XT) temporarily dropped off of the network In reddit comments, he lied even more explicitly, describing it as "a bug whose effects you can see as approximate 5% drop in Core node counts" as well as a "network-wide Bitcoin client failure". He went so far as to claim:
the Bitcoin Unlimited team found the issue, identified it as an attack and fixed the problem before the Core team chose to ignore it The vulnerability in question was in thinblock.cpp, which has never been part of Bitcoin Core; in other words, this vulnerability only affected Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited nodes.
In the same Medium article, Andrew Stone appears to have doctored images to further deceive readers. In the reddit thread discussing this deception, Andrew Stone denied that he had maliciously edited the images in question, but when questioned in-depth on the subject, he resorted to citing his own doctored images as sources and refused to respond to further requests for clarification or replication steps.
Beyond that, the same incident report (and images) conspicuously omitted the fact that the alleged "5% drop" on the screenshotted (and photoshopped) node-graph was actually due to the node crawler having been rebooted, rather than any problems with Core nodes. This fact was plainly displayed on the 21 website that the graph originated from, but no mention of it was made in Stone's article or report, even after he was made aware of it and asked to revise or retract his deceptive statements.
There were actually 3 (fundamentally identical) Xthin-assert exploits that Unlimited developers unwittingly publicized during this episode, which caused problems for Bitcoin Classic, which was also vulnerable.
On top of all of the above, the vulnerable code in question had gone unnoticed for 10 months, and despite the Unlimited developers (including Andrew Stone) claiming to have (eventually) discovered the bug themselves, it later came out that this was another lie; an external security researcher had actually discovered it and disclosed it privately to them. This researcher provided the following quotes regarding Bitcoin Unlimited:
I am quite beside myself at how a project that aims to power a $20 billion network can make beginner’s mistakes like this. In what appeared to be a desperate attempt to distract from the fundamental ineptitude that this vulnerability exposed, Bitcoin Unlimited supporters (including Andrew Stone himself) attempted to change the focus to a tweet that Peter Todd made about the vulnerability, blaming him for exposing it and prompting attackers to exploit it... but other Unlimited developers revealed that the attacks had actually begun well before Todd had tweeted about the vulnerability. This was pointed out many times, even by Todd himself, but Stone ignored these facts a week later, and shamelessly lied about the timeline in a propagandistic effort at distraction and misdirection.
I am rather dismayed at the poor level of code quality in Bitcoin Unlimited and I suspect there [is] a raft of other issues
The problem is, the bugs are so glaringly obvious that when fixing it, it will be easy to notice for anyone watching their development process,
it doesn’t help if the software project is not discreet about fixing critical issues like this.
In this case, the vulnerabilities are so glaringly obvious, it is clear no one has audited their code because these stick out like a sore thumb
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