Bitcoin on the moon

1 Thought of the Week by Anita Posch

Bitcoin is a community project and that’s what I love about it. Anybody can participate. As a saver, user, developer, commentator, educator and tinkerer. Now radio amateurs from Brazil outpaced companies and a certain billionaire in sending Bitcoin to the Moon and back to Earth. Mind-boggling!

2 Quote of the Week

You don’t have to be some eccentric billionaire to push the boundaries of the earth in search of freedom.” - Satoshi.Radio.br

3 Taproot lock-in may be successful soon

Last week I was explaining the advantages of a technical improvement of the Bitcoin software called Taproot, which improves scalability, privacy and sets up foundational scaffolding for future improvements. All decisions in Bitcoin to adapt the software have to be community-based. Any user can decide freely which software version to run. In the last weeks the miners had the possibility to signal, if they will adapt taproot or not. Now 97% of all miners are sending positive signals in their blocks, which means that in about 10 days Taproot will be automatically locked-in and the soft-fork will be deployed in November. This is great news and a huge step forward in strengthening Bitcoin’s privacy, neutrality and permissionlessness, which makes it unique in the whole cryptocurrency space.

4 Bitcoin adoption in Zimbabwe

Bitcoin is supporting the humanitarian cause. It enables people to send and save money even if they live in authoritarian countries like Zimbabwe. If you have been following my work you know that I went to Africa early 2020 to research the use of Bitcoin through interviews and spread the word through talks in Zimbabwe.

Back then the trading volume was so low, that the P2P trading platform LocalBitcoins didn’t have any numbers. Now things have changed. High inflation, currency controls and a broken banking system are the reasons why Zimbabweans start using bitcoin. In a 2020 survey by LocalBitcoins a third of all participants said, that they buy and hold bitcoin as an investment for long term price increase, 25% are trading to make profit, 15% purchased bitcoin to learn, and 7 percent use it for payments.

In the first quarter of 2021 there was a 125% increase in trading volume on LocalBitcoins and Bitcoin worth $ 850,000 were traded.

5 Inflation is under control”

You think that the central banks and governments of the 10% of countries that are full democracies have inflation under control? Well, think again. The inflation rate is calculated on basis of a basket of consumer goods and services. While they might include rent, they don’t measure house prices. Here are the winning countries with the highest price rises from 2020 to 2021. Countries with Highest Housing Price Growthh/t

According to the Financial Times global food prices have surged by the biggest margin in a decade. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s monthly index showed the largest jump since 2011. The higher inflation will hit poorer countries reliant on imports for staple goods. In West Africa, the price of staples is up 40% over a five-year average, with countries like Nigeria, experiencing food inflation of 23%. Even worse is the situation in Lebanon, Syria and Sudan with food price inflation of more than 200%. In the UK and Europe the prices could rise in the second half of the year. Global food prices post biggest jump in decade Source: FT

6 China stays in the Bitcoin news

China does this, China does that. Whenever China banned Bitcoin, the price went up. Now as part of the roll-out of their digital surveillance currency, the digital yuan is handed out to citizens of Beijing in form of a lottery. Residents can use two banking apps to apply to win 200 yuan each, in total 40 million renminbi ($6.2 million). Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said in April that the central bank would expand the scope of its pilot projects and could even allow foreign visitors at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to use it, he also stated that the digital yuan was for domestic use and doesn’t attempt to challenge the dominance of the US dollar. Li said: I think our goal is to allow the market to choose and to facilitate international trade and investment.” Isn’t that a contradiction? I’d say, yes, they are challenging the US dollar.

7 India’s Reserve Bank Statement

Two months ago rumor had it that the Indian government wants to ban Bitcoin. Nonetheless the trading volume was surging in the country. This week the Reserve Bank of India is directing Indian banks to stop deplatforming crypto customers. The ruling these risk-averse banks were referencing is now officially set aside” and no longer valid”.

8 Bitcoin was on the moon

While you are maybe waiting for bitcoin’s price to go to the moon, one Bitcoin transaction was already on the moon. On April 24th 2021 a group of radio amateurs in Brazil sent a transaction from Belo Horizonte to the Moon and back to Campinas.

And that’s how it worked: A Bitcoin transaction is like a small text file, this text file was morsed and transmitted over radio signals to the moon, where the signal was mirrored and sent back on earth to 600km away Campinas. This is the transaction, you can look it up in a blockchain explorer.

{ "txid": "e9a2b9fbd3f8d9e95381bb41766e213b53eb908869b0c361adac4741f46b7e82", "hash": "eeeff2cb2139df8094113c5ed8e929f234930abc5ae9491c301dea03140f2b78", "version": 2, "size": 302, "vsize": 137, "weight": 548, "locktime": 681166, "vin": [ { "txid": "10a2ed1e76254f0ea98465a18f12ff3429b2dc76c20b6efc56f57cbd6c975b52", "vout": 0, "scriptSig": { "asm": "", "hex": "" }, "txinwitness": [ "", "3044022053f2cc95e47d33f31a381c8cb007cc401945053eb6e531890a8bae155dcedb9902202432f1729987991e01603c5f4bd1812dce325f3c1c01a96cc33f93a82a1557e401", "3044022037fd2792c6c01351369e33ffc59e8da4ac18d6243177428057a61b4ba8668d6c02202c02a30de5589d54250051275037e4d070582b4ab8b6879e6f47deb5b0b501ed01", "5221021c76d902880119b7ba1c248b20dc485ac2302a298a2f5f83d13f371e392de85a21036392853d6bb6e9f8f5632b024e8c54887bebd5a8e4a53a1cd5a79ca2674784f852ae" ], "sequence": 4294967293 } ], "vout": [ { "value": 0.00018546, "n": 0, "scriptPubKey": { "asm": "0 d40df9a990a16a076460f8fa4b3db265f6550c69", "hex": "0014d40df9a990a16a076460f8fa4b3db265f6550c69", "reqSigs": 1, "type": "witness_v0_keyhash", "addresses": [ "bc1q6sxln2vs594qwerqlrayk0djvhm92rrfcn3t67" ] } } ] }

There the recipient decoded it from morse, signed the transaction and sent it to the Bitcoin network to be mined. After being included in the blockchain it reached the final recipient.

It took 3 months of intense preparation to accomplish the feat. From testing and obtaining the license for amateur radio, through studies of electronics, radio waves, acquisition of equipment, construction of antennas, to encoding, decoding, reception and transmission in morse code, in an experiment known as Moon Bounce” or Lunar reflection. The next experiment, which will be broadcasted live, the group will make a payment over the Lightning Network from the state of Minas Gerais to the Amazon region.

In addition, the group did a second broadcast playing the lunar solo teasing Elon Musk, where it was said: Elon, we did it first!” to show that you don’t have to be some eccentric billionaire to push the boundaries of the earth in search of freedom.

9 Imagine a permissionless future

This week’s interview guest is exiledsurfer, who was a participant on the Cypherpunk’s mailinglist where Satoshi Nakamoto first presented Bitcoin. Exiledsurfer’s stories about Bitcoin’s roots and development in the first years are fascinating as well as his perspectives on building the future of finance and the societal impact of cryptography.

Listen to it in your podcast player or watch it on YouTube

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