ZmnSCPxj » Activity » 2020-01-16 Weekly Log

2020-01-10 to 2020-01-16

Mah Fullnode

Fullnode is up and running and is now also behind a Tor .onion address, and is not accessible over the open IPv4 or IPv6 networks.

Setting up the Tor .onion address is easy, but confirming you are set up safely reachable behind the .onion is surprisingly difficult. In particular, bitnodes does not reliably detect .onion nodes: it claims my .onion node is down. With some assistance from Matt Corallo, I determined that my .onion node is actually quite up and reachable.

Since revealing your IP increases the probability of nasty people attacking you and your node, I believe that running over .onion only is a basic precaution that every fullnode operator must do. Setting up Bitcoin Core to run over Tor is easy and a lot of guides exist for that, but checking that you did it correctly is hard: as mentioned bitnodes is not reliable when dealing with .onion-only fullnodes, and you might not get a lot of inbound connections until a good bit later, so you will be waiting a long time trying to catch an inbound connection on getpeerinfo just to assuage yourself that you have it set up correctly. So here is some other ways to confirm you have been set up:

According to Matt .onion addresses are at a disadvantage, since nodes will generally avoid gossiping about remote peers that they have not actually tried to connect to, and obviously those nodes can only try .onion addresses if they have Tor installed, and not a lot of people actually install Tor. So .onion addresses will propagate over the network much more slowly than IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. In any case inbound connections will arrive eventually, just longer, and now that I have been running my fullnode continuously for about a week I have two inboud connections.

As well, I have installed and running a JoinMarket maker for a few days already. No takers yet, sadly, probably I need to earn more money in other ways first before I can see some takers coming to me. JoinMarket maker supposedly only does outgoing connections, and the sample configuration file guides you on how to connect over Tor. Hopefully this means my maker is just out there waiting for somebody to take its offer, but so far profits have been 0.

I also set up Electrum Personal Server for my hardware wallet, which gives me good privacy for my hardware wallet finally. Installing for my hardware wallet involved installing some drivers, and necessitated a reboot. I am still trying to figure out how to update the firmware without connecting to the manufacturer web-wallet though.

Next step is to get some funds that I can put into a Lightning node and actually start running C-Lightning.

I observe as well that the location I have installed my hardware suffers from power interruptions once every one or two weeks, so acquiring some kind of uninterruptible power supply may be a good idea.


As well, 0 or more people have been asking advice regarding topics related to Bitcoin, Lightning, consensus, scaling, and so on. Again, a good part of my time that cannot be seen as activity on-list or on-github is spent on such informal mentoring activities.

At least one person in particular asked about thermodynamics-based consensus and how to easily explain it to e.g. elementary school level humans. I thereby came up with a fable.

Preparations for Bitcoin Core Dev and 2020

Steve Lee offerred to have Square Crypto sponsor a trip to the USA to attend Bitcoin Core Dev and Bitcoin 2020 conference. Thus, at least part of my time was spent studying the requirements to get my current meat puppet a visa to the USA.

The USA has relatively draconian policies for granting visas, thus there is a chance that my current meat puppet will be unable to acquire one. However, I do intend to make a best-effort attempt to acquire a visa and attend these events.

Hardware Signers for Lightning

0 or more people have brought up hardware signers in various venues recently, so I decided to take some time to actually figure out how a hardware signers can work with Lightning, resulting in this spam article on lightning-dev.

The reply from Devrandom is quite helpful for this topic as well, and is arguably more relevant, since Devrandom and Ken Sedgwick are both actively working on these.

multifundchannel for C-Lightning

I.e. #1936.

I have implemented a “spark” system already to allow concurrent execution of commands from within a -based plugin. As well, I have implemented a “step” system to allow easily specifying tasks to be done in sequence for a command.

You can view my work-in-progress branch, though if you are reading this log entry long after the date I post this log, note that I have a habit of deleting branches once their pull requests have been closed.

Tamas Blummer

Tamas Blummer died a few days ago. Though I have not worked closely with him for long, we did plan out part of defiads together prior to its public announcement. I am saddened by this loss.

In any case, I hope to advance the development of defiads, which of course requires me to learn Rust in earnest.