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Issue #445: Android Bitcoin Core

Issue #445: Android Bitcoin Core

Mar 21, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #445: Android Bitcoin Core

Here's a really cool project that our friends Udi Wethheimer and Lawrence Nahum have been working on that enables anyone in possession certain Android always-on devices can use them to run a Bitcoin full node using the Bitcoin Core or Knots implementations. Anything from a spare tablet to an Android TV can be turned into a Bitcoin full node now thanks to this software. Decentralization is an ideal that we strive for and the road towards a more decentralized Bitcoin is pathed by projects like ABCore, which increase the optionality presented to consumers and the potential amount of hardware devices can be used to contribute to Bitcoin's consensus. Making it harder to kill, more useful, and more valuable.

With all of that being said, ABCore is still in its Alpha stage and is extremely experimental at the moment. The team behind the project doesn't recommend you use the devices you run ABCore on as wallets, but simply as an anchor to monitor another, safer wallet you own. You'll be able to download an app that allows you to connect to and monitor your ABCore node while on the go. Slowly but surely the vision begins to take form in front of our eyes.

Since this is still in the experimental stage, the ABCore team is looking for anyone with spare Android devices to help them stress test the software. So if any of you freaks have any devices sitting around gathering dust it's time to hit up your local Swiffer™ distributor, get to dusting, download ABCore, and let Udi and Larry know how good or bad their software is. Onward!

Giving back, it's important

As you freaks probably already know, our boy Jack Dorsey came out of nowhere and dropped a bomb on Twitter last night with the unveiling of Square Crypto, an initiative to support open source developers working on Bitcoin or other open source projects related to "crypto". An incredible show of goodwill from a man who seems to be becoming as obsessed with Bitcoin as many of us congregating around this rag every day are.

A topic of heavy debate within the "crypto space" that has persisted for many years is the concept of "developer incentives". Why do developers decide to contribute to open source projects? How do you compensate these developers? Should we bake a "developers fund" into our supply schedule to attract and pay talent? How much should the companies utilizing these open source technologies give back? All of these questions, as well as many more like them, have been posited since the dawn of open source. Cryptocurrency protocols have been launched to solve this specific "problem". Even worse, reputations have been pegged to the notion that this is a critical problem that is an imminent threat to the survival of Bitcoin and other open source projects like it.

Uncle Marty is a huge believer in the idea that all of the hype around "developer incentives" is completely overblown. Bitcoin has survived and thrived for a decade without a defined way in which to compensate the developers building it out. Some developers were early miners/buyers and are able to work on Bitcoin without having to worry about money. Some work full-time jobs and contribute in their spare time due to their belief in the mission. Others are paid salaries by companies like Blockstream, Chaincode, and now Square Crypto so that they can work on Bitcoin worry free. Some will be directly funded via crowdfunding efforts of Bitcoiners who have benefited from the protocol (whether it be financially or by utilizing it when there was no other option for their particular needed use case) and want to give back.

I believe the biggest misconception of people who think there is a "developer incentives problem" when it relates to Bitcoin and other projects is whether or not these projects have earned the outside investment. Just because these technologies are really cool and paradigm shifting on paper, they still have to prove themselves in the wild before people begin to dump a bunch of capital into the infrastructure. It seems as if, after a decade of rabid dedication, enthusiasm, efficiency gains, intellectual debate, attention accumulation, increased adoption and (most importantly) a track record of reliability, some of the big boys are taking notice and putting some skin in the game. The Blockstreams and Chaincodes of the world were prescient enough to see Bitcoin's potential very early on and were Wiley enough to put their money where their mouths were, leading the way to get Bitcoin to a point that was comfortable enough for the cavalry to join the fray. We should be very thankful for their contributions up to this point in my opinion.

Any other protocol that is not getting the funding it perceives it deserves may want to take this into consideration. It may not be a funding problem, but a product/market fit problem that people do not want to fund until it is clearly defined and solved.

Final thought...

Sixers looking like a team that is ready to make a deep run in the playoffs. Trust the Process. In every aspect of life.


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