Apr 4, 2022

Quarterly Update Q1 2022

Quarterly Update Q1 2022.

We have a lot going on, and tweets weren’t cutting it. So here’s a new kind of update that we’ll be releasing quarterly to cover what we’re working on, where we’re speaking, who we’re funding, etc.

Lightning Development Kit (LDK)

The LDK Blog
We’re about to launch a blog covering LDK-specific engineering updates at length. However, since there are many updates and we don’t want this post to reach the floor, here are a few quick updates that should be relevant to you even if you don’t write code.

Adoption
This quarter saw Cash App adopt LDK in order to reach its own Lightning Network goals. This is a massive deal for Lightning and us since Cash App boasts tens and tens of millions of users. In addition, the always Lightning-friendly dev team at BlueWallet also adopted LDK into their massively popular open-source wallet. These adoptions are just for starters. We are also talking with dozens of other wallet developers who are considering adopting LDK. They range in scale from individual wallets projects to major exchanges.

Talking LDK
Spiral PM Conor Okus (@conorokus) recently kicked off a video series with bitcoin developers, designers, and other contributors. These include LDK-centric walkthroughs with Spiral developers Val Wallace and Jeff Czyz.

Creating a Sample Lightning Node with LDK:
Val walks us through what’s needed to create a lightning node.

Connecting Blockchain Data with LDK:
Jeff explains how to get blockchain data from a full node.

Want even more LDK right now?
We all do. BlueWallet developer Overtorment recently spoke about LDK at Advancing Bitcoin. Here’s a link to the slide deck that he presented. Video coming soon. We’ll tweet the video once it’s live.

Bitcoin Development Kit (BDK)

If you haven’t been paying attention to us on Twitter because you have a healthy brain, the Bitcoin Development Kit is an open-source developer library focused on simplifying how developers build bitcoin on-chain wallets across platforms. Sound familiar? BDK is a sibling project to our own LDK and is supported by several Spiral and Brink grant recipients, such as Steve Myers, Rajarshi Maitra, and Alekos Filini. They were building separate projects along these lines until Spiral director Steve Lee helped them join forces.

You can check out interviews that Conor did with them and two other very important BDK developers in the links below:

Talking BDK
Learning BDK from the Command Line:
BDK co-founder Steve Myers @notmandatory helps us use bdk-cli to create a wallet with two spending policies.

Previewing Taproot Transactions in BDK:
See how Alekos Filini @afilini uses BDK to make Taproot transactions.

Build a Bitcoin Wallet Backed by a Core Node:
Raj @RajarshiMaitra shows us how to build a wallet backed by a BDK core node.

Android Development: Make Your First App with BDK:
Thunderbiscuit @thunderB__ explains creating a basic bitcoin wallet on Android.

The Bitcoin Design Community (BDC)

Spiral supports the Bitcoin Design Guide, the most significant resource ever created for anyone looking to design bitcoin applications. We also helped kick-off and support the Bitcoin Design Community, the largest community for designers working on bitcoin, which now boasts well over 2,500 members on Slack.

At this point of the post, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Conor has also been conducting walkthroughs with members of the Bitcoin Design Community.

Talking BDC
Adding BIP21 Support for Bitcoin and Lightning Payment Requests:
Stephen DeLorme @StephenDeLorme explains how to implement BIP21 support, manage UI considerations for a single QR code, and test support for hardware/software.

Designing with Bitcoin UI Kit:
Christoph Ono @GBKS gives us our first look at the Bitcoin UI Kit, which provides a foundation for prototypes and concept explorations.

Shock the Web 7-Day Virtual Hackathon:
Spiral grantee alumni Johns Beharry @JohnsBeharry led a 7-day virtual hackathon called Shock the Web @boltfun_btc from March 22–28. Shock the Web occurs quarterly and makes building on bitcoin and lightning more accessible, fun, and collaborative for developers and designers. The first Shock the Web ended last week and successfully brought many new members to the Bitcoin Design Community. Watch all 13 project submissions here.

The Bitcoin Design Newsletter
Don’t forget to check out and subscribe to the Bitcoin Design Newsletter. It highlights relevant updates about bitcoin and the community, publishes educational content, and provides case studies of work produced by Spiral grantees and other community members.

Spiral Grants Milestone Updates

Spiral contributes to bitcoin by writing code and supplying grants to projects/individuals working to improve bitcoin. Here are major milestone updates about projects that we’re funding. We’ve also included GitHub links if you’re into that, or you can check out what new grants we’ve issued over at our Twitter feed.

The Eye of Satoshi @sr_gi
Eye of Satoshi released the alpha version of rust-teos, the reworked (Rust) version of @eyeofsatoshi. Rust-teos is built on top of our @lightningdevkit, which, according to Eye of Satoshi developer Sergi Delgado, managed to “offset a big chunk of the heavy lifting” while “heavily simplifying” their design, resulting in code that runs “soooo smooth.” Speaking of code.

Stratum V2 @StratumV2
The first demo of the StratumV2 mining protocol is out. This is huge not only for miners but for the entire bitcoin ecosystem. Here’s why: StratumV2 greatly improves decentralization and security. A proper website for StratumV2 is in the works, but until it’s up and running, check it out on Discord, GitHub, and on good ole Twitter.

CoinSwap by Chris Belcher @chris_belcher_
An alpha version of Spiral grantee Chris Belcher’s much-anticipated project is now out (see link below). What’s so anticipated about it? CoinSwap sets a new privacy standard for bitcoin that prevents CoinSwap transactions from being blocked by making them look the same as regular transactions. This release is an alpha, so keep in mind that all the features aren’t available yet. However, it still works on signet, mainnet, and retest. Lots more info here.

Summer of Bitcoin @summerofbitcoin
Summer of bitcoin provides internships to young developers and designers looking to break into the bitcoin space full-time. In addition to supplying payments in bitcoin to those interns, members of our team and Spiral grantee and alumni will mentor interns interested in working on LDK. To learn more and see who will be mentoring, check out our wildly elaborate tweet thread.

Bitcoin 2022 Agenda

Spiral team members will be speaking at Bitcoin 2022 in Miami from April 7–9. Current Spiral grantees and program alumni will also speak.

STEVE LEE, SPIRAL LEAD @moneyball

Thursday, April 7 3:00 PM / Stratum v2 Deep Dive

Friday, April 8 11:30 AM / Annual State of Bitcoin

VALENTINE WALLACE, SPIRAL DEVELOPER
@vallywal

Wednesday, April 6 11 AM / The Future of Lightning Development

MATT CORALLO, SPIRAL DEVELOPER
@TheBlueMatt

Wednesday, April 6 11 AM / The Future of Lightning Development 1 PM / Tradeoffs of Lightning Implementations

Thursday, April 7 11:30 AM / 10X-ing Bitcoin Development

CONOR OKUS, SPIRAL PRODUCT MANAGER
@ConorOkus

Thursday, April 7 11:30 AM / 10X-ing Bitcoin Development

Friday, April 8 11 AM / Funding Open Source Bitcoin Developers

SPIRAL GRANTEES
The following Spiral grantees and alumni are also scheduled to speak:

Johns Beharry @johnsBeharry, Gloria Zhao @glozow, Steve Myers @notmandatory, Stephen DeLorme @StephenDeLorme, Adi Shankara from Summer of Bitcoin @adibitcoin. Wiz from @mempool.

Apply for a Grant

Know someone interested in contributing to the future of money, whether through code, design, or something else? Put them in touch at grants@spiral.xyz.

Bits and stuff,
The Spiral Team