Stephan Livera Podcast

Stephan Livera Podcast

Join Stephan as he interviews the sharpest economic and technical minds in Bitcoin & Austrian Economics to help you understand how money is changing and evolving. Leading names in the world of Bitcoin join the show to share their insights, whether they are developers, CEOs, economists, authors, analysts and more.

Episodes

June 18, 2024 69 mins

Tiero of Ark Labs joins me on the show to discuss the latest with Ark. We get into: 

  • How Ark has changed since initial proposal

  • clARK - covenant-less ARK

  • Trade offs to make clARK happen

  • Which covenants would help vs what is ideal for Ark

  • Ark on Liquid 

  • Capital requirements and costs

  • Fiatcoins

  • Nostr

Timestamps:

(00:00) - Intro

(01:37) - What is Ark? ELI5 version

(05:42) - Tradeoffs of scaling payment...

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The bitcoin ‘ossification’ debate continues with a discussion on the key considerations. What makes Bitcoin special? What improvements are necessary to retain sufficient decentralisation, if any? 

Vijay Boyapati and Brandon Black (aka reardencode) rejoin me for a special episode to discuss: 

  • What makes Bitcoin special? 

  • Defining ‘ossification’

  • How many users is ‘enough’? 

  • Unknown unknowns

  • Addressing centralising ME...

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NVK of Coinkite rejoins me to talk about attitudes on Bitcoin development and consensus changes. We discuss how “ossification” is commonly thrown around as a term, but maybe there is a better term. “Extreme conservatism”? We talk:

  • What is ossification? 

  • What about bug fixes? 

  • What changes would NVK be interested in? 

  • How many people will use Bitcoin? 

  • What the market is focused on

  • It’s not your chain

Links:

...
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    I recently spoke at Bitcoin Seoul 2024 and here are some interviews with some of the speakers:

    • Calvin Kim on utreexo

    • Gloria Zhao on Bitcoin Core and mempool

    • Laolu on Taproot Assets and covenants

    • Saifedean on Central Banking and tax cattle

    • Obi Nwosu on Fedi

    • Jimmy Song on Bitcoin in Korea

    Timestamps:

    (00:00) - Calvin Kim on importance of Bitcoin conferences

    (01:51) - Simplifying Utreexo

    (03:31) - What is Utre...

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    Walt Smith of cyber.fund joins me to discuss thoughts on MEV and where it may be going on Bitcoin. 

    We discuss:

    • Defining MEV

    • 10 minute block time?

    • Does it centralise Bitcoin?

    • Suffering from success

    • The approach on shitcoins and spam

    Timestamps:

    (00:00) - Intro 

    (02:02) - Defining MEV

    (06:02) - Replace-by-fee (RBF)

    (11:01) - Concern regarding miner centralisation 

    (18:56) - Growth of private mempool flow &...

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    Silent Payments is a new approach to improving privacy and useability of Bitcoin. Imagine not needing to manually create new addresses? Josibake and Ruben Somsen join me to discuss some of the ins and outs of Silent Payments. We discuss:

    • Silent Payments overview

    • Contrast with other techniques such as BIP47 

    • Light client support

    • Stopping address re use

    • Base layer privacy discussion

    Links:

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    Skot joins me to talk about his project to bring affordable, energy efficient, open source mining to home miners. We discuss:

    • The current state of open source in bitcoin mining

    • Bitaxe overview

    • Why do people do this?

    • Price and how to set one up

    • Mining pools

    • Decentralisation

    Links:

    Sponsors:

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    Rusty Russell rejoins me on the show to talk about a new idea for a bitcoin soft fork that hopefully avoids some of the ‘horse trading’ dynamic that existed amongst other proposals. Listen in to learn more about the different paradigm that Rusty introduces here, so that developers can build more functionality and efficiency in, hopefully so that more people can use Bitcoin in self-custody. 

    • Bitcoin Script background

    • GSR ove...

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    Dan Gould of the PayJoin Dev Kit (sponsored by Spiral and Opensats) joins me to discuss how Bitcoin privacy could be improved with more PayJoin adoption. What’s more, it might also benefit users in consolidating their wallets or potentially even fee savings. We discuss how this could be integrated into more bitcoin wallets. 

    • What is a PayJoin?
    • How it helps privacy
    • Other benefits in efficiency
    • Downsides and trade offs
    • ...
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    Adam Sullivan, CEO of Core Scientific joins me today as we chat about:

    • Going through bankruptcy as a Bitcoin miner
    • Debt financing
    • Role of capital structure in mining
    • What makes Core Scientific different?
    • Centralisation of mining pools
    • Fee dynamics going forward
    • 2025 outlook on Mining

    Links:

    Sponsors:

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    Rapha Zagury, CIO of Swan and Head of Swan Mining rejoins me on the show to talk about a range of topics, from Brazil’s flooding, Bitcoin Mining, Capital Structure, as well as share some insights on speaking to TradFi professionals about Bitcoin. 


    Links:

    Sponsors:

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    As you may know, at the recent Bitcoin++ conference, there was a ‘meeting of the minds’ and Brandon Black aka reardencode rejoins me on the show to discuss. We talk about: 

    • The state of various covenant proposals
    • What has shifted now in thinking
    • The promise of Great Script Restoration
    • Could it have bad side effects? 
    • Doing good engineering

    Links:

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    Miljan from Primal joins me to talk about why Bitcoiners should not sleep on Nostr. We chat:

    • Why he’s bullish on nostr
    • What the experience is like nowadays
    • Network effects for creators and devs
    • Dealing with spam and sybil
    • Why Openness is the killer feature

    Links:

    • X: @mbraticevic
    • Site: Primal.net
    • Miljan’s Nostr npub: npub16c0nh3dnadzqpm76uctf5hqhe2lny344zsmpm6feee9p5rdxaa9q586nvr
    • Miljan’s Nostr: miljan@pr...
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    Peruvian Bull, a macro writer and commentator joins me to explain what’s happening with the Japanese economy and how it all ties in with the dollar end game. We discuss: 

    • The impossible trinity for Japan
    • Japanese government debt
    • The global JPY carry trade
    • The impact on the US financial system

    Links:

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    Parker Lewis of Zaprite rejoins me on the show to discuss recent updates in the space and what’s happening with Zaprite and merchant adoption. 

    • “Then they fight you” ?
    • Chilling Effect
    • Zaprite
    • Getting Bitcoin Payment Rails Ready
    • Gradually, Then Suddenly
    • Why hope should not be lost

    Links:

    Sponsors:

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    A lot of people talk about Bitcoin Ossification. Today Steve Lee, Lead @ Spiral rejoins me to expand on why this is the wrong idea. We also talk about the recent situation with bitcoin mining  pool centralisation and what is driving it. 

    Links:

    Sponsors:

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    Jeff Booth, author, entrepreneur and founding partner of Ego Death Capital rejoins me on the show to talk about his bitcoin advocacy at various levels: 

    • Speaking to politicians about bitcoin
    • The system you give energy to
    • “Staying and fighting” in Canada vs supporting alternatives e.g. Madeira
    • ‘Coincidental’ attack on Bitcoin? 

    Links:

    • X: @JeffBooth
    • nostr: npub1s05p3ha7en49dv8429tkk07nnfa9pcwczkf5x5qrdraqshxdj...
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    How do you think about investing as a bitcoiner? Preston Pysh of TIP rejoins me on the show to talk about a range of related ideas: 

    • HODL vs invest in companies
    • Microstrategy and other public companies
    • VC and early stage investment
    • Realistic investment hurdle rates
    • Technical realities as bitcoin grows

    Links:

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    Dmitry Nedospasov is a PhD in Chip Security, also known for his hardware wallet exploits in 2018 with the wallet.fail talk. Dmitry joins me to talk about hardware security in the world of bitcoin and how it compares with hardware chip security in other domains. We discuss:

    • The 2018 wallet.fail talk
    • Bitcoin compared with other industries
    • Realistic hardware wallet attack types
    • The cost of attacking a hardware device
    • Back...
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    Steve Lee and Matt Corallo of Spiral rejoin me on the show to talk about a range of topics. Firstly we discuss the Great Consensus Clean Up which relates to fixing some long standing bugs in Bitcoin. Secondly we talk about MEV and why it’s the wrong term, instead we should be talking about MEVil and the implications for Bitcoin miner centralisation. Finally we address the rumours of Lightning Network being dead or not useful. 

    Lin...

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