Welcome to Built on Bitcoin - Your home for innovation happening in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Jan. 23, 2023

E104: This Week in Bitcoin for January 23rd, 2023 (Bitcoin, Lightning, Stacks, RSK, Liquid)

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Links to everything mentioned inside the link below!

Follow Built on Bitcoin on Twitter: @JakeBlockchain
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Big thank you to our sponsor, The Stacks Foundation.
If you want to get started building on Stacks and push the mission forward of a user-owned internet with Bitcoin as the base layer. Check the links below.

Learn Clarity: https://start.stacks.org/
Learn more about Stacks: https://stacks.co/
Apply for a grant: https://stacks.org/grants


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See you in the next episode.

TWIB 1/23/23

[00:00:00] What is up you beautiful people. Welcome back to the Built on Bitcoin podcast, where we cover everything going on in the Bitcoin ecosystem. I'm your host, Jacob Brown. Nia Brown, Des Jake, blockchain, and this is, uh, this week in Bitcoin episode. So we're talking about all the interesting things I saw across lightning stacks, Bitcoin main chain, R s k, liquid, if I saw some stuff.

getting increasingly rare. They're kind of more of like a research team. We're talking about Bitcoin and stuff I saw. So without further ado, let's jump right in with Bitcoin main chain. So first and foremost, I hate talking about price cuz there's an entire YouTube subsection about trading and number go up.

So I'm not gonna talk about it besides the fact that the price is doing some stuff over the past week, which is notable. . That's it. So in more [00:01:00] important terms, uh, some things I saw on Bitcoin main chain is Marco Falk, who is one of the six people who has access to Bitcoin core gi GitHub. He's one of the maintainers that's one of the guys that can, if someone submits a code request to be merged in, he's one of the people that can confirm and pull in those requests.

It's typically a volunteer job. They don't make a ton of money, and he just received a grant from Okay, coin and Paradigm Capital, which is founded by one of the co-founders of Coinbase. Just received a grant to work, continue full-time maintaining Bitcoin core for at least. two years it looks like. So that's exciting.

I mean, for how big Bitcoin is. It's pretty crazy to think that some of the most important people in the world for this job are volunteers, but maybe it should [00:02:00] be, cuz it's almost like a social good at this point. So if you're doing it for the money or your incentives aligned, but interesting thought so.

That was interesting. Next up, electric Capital, which is an investment firm, but they also do a yearly developer report. So they look across the entire ecosystem. They track hundreds of thousands of GitHub repositories, and they track what is the most active developer ecosystems in crypto. and so they looked at bitcoin stacks eth, like they look at almost all the, all the big chains.

Some notable, uh, stats about half of developers are building inside the top 200, but not on Bitcoin and eth. So pretty interesting. That shows that the three to the 200th, there's a lot of people building. Talking about Bitcoin though, they have some stats. They reported that there is 300 [00:03:00] full-time Bitcoin devs.

That probably includes lightning because lightning is not a distinctly tracked its own category. and I'd be a little shocked if there's 300 Bitcoin main chain devs, but I could be wrong. So that might include lightning, it might not. They also tracked that there was about three, 900, little over 900 monthly active developers building on Bitcoin.

So those are pretty good numbers, although still very low compared to how big an impact Bitcoin is making. . More importantly, there was a stat that tracked how, what was the number a year ago to today, and that number is mostly flat. So in the bear market, Bitcoin's told to steady, but it's not gaining market share at this time.

And then last for the Bitcoin main chain ecosystem. Bisk, which is a peer-to-peer exchange, allowing you to trade your fiat dollars [00:04:00] for Bitcoin in a decentralized way. Upgraded its, uh, release to 1.9 0.9. So very close to what many companies always treat as a, a pivotal move from point something to 1.0 or 2.0 3.0.

So next Bisk upgrade might be a big one. All right, moving on, we'll jump into stacks, but first a quick word from your sponsor.

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Thank you to the Stacks Foundation as always. So without further ado, let's jump into stacks. The first big thing I saw is Alex, which is the Defi platform, and Arca Dico, which is the stablecoin backed by stacks, and soon to be Bitcoin here. Stablecoin with a mid U S D A. They announced a partnership where they have a stable swap on Alex that allows you to [00:06:00] trade against X U S D, which is the wrapped U S D C version on stacks and U S D A.

So, . The idea here is that if you allow stablecoin to swap against each other, it gives them a higher chance to remain in their peg. And depending on how you use that, you can build primitives on top of those stable swaps. So for example, on eighth, there's a platform called Curve, and it's absolutely massive.

It has like 6 billion in deposits and does like 10 or 11 billion in swap volume. and the way it's mainly used is as a middle layer. So if you wanna swap from one token to a second one and there's no a direct pair or liquidity in there, you can bridge between that token, a stablecoin, another stablecoin potentially, and then that third or fourth token there opens up a ton.

This is something that Bit flow on Sachs is working on. But these are are really good primitives to make defi on stack and [00:07:00] Bitcoin much more fluid. So exciting to see a stable swap come online. It's also helped to regain the PEG for U S D A, which has been down for a few months. All right, next up speaking on the developer report.

The stacks numbers were somewhat like Bitcoin, where they're largely flat. The actual number was something like, there was 130 developers last year and there's like 110 now. So small numbers down by 10, 20 people overall. So there was 41 full-time devs, 112 monthly active dev. Yeah, stacks is still very early, still having a hard time trying to maintain and attract devs consistently.

Um, which I put a poll out and asked, is this bearish or bullish? And the overwhelming majority said, this is bearish, which, Totally understand, like it's not a good sign. But given the market dynamics of [00:08:00] crypto right now, it's not clear to me at all that Stacks has any very unique value proposition. The Bitcoin connection is not clear.

It's stronger than R s K. The Bitcoin being able to utilize Bitcoin doesn't really work right now. So most of the things that people can tout as it's better than there's better use cases somewhere. On Bitcoin or on in crypto. So to me, I think it makes total sense. I'm not, I'm not bearish at all on this.

I think that between Sbtc subnets, uh, but really SB TC and more of the abstractions coming online where you can use X verse maybe, and you could deposit your BTC directly into a defi protocol like Alex, and it feels very native. Until that happens, I see stacks having a tough. . But once that happens, it's value prop will be so much more clear compared to its competition.[00:09:00]

And we'll have the, the developers to build out cool things, which r s k, which has a better Bitcoin connection. It's at least in your mind. They have no developers besides one or two main apps. So to me, I think it's hard to build on stacks right now. This report is not good. , but going into where Stacks is heading and everything being built right now, I think it's super, super bullish.

Time to learn clarity or be building on stacks. Okay. Next up cycle, the decentralized blogging app released their newsletter feature. So now instead of just blogging, you can send out that article directly to people's inboxes. Big, big release. If you're a Explorer, N F T holder, you get free access to this.

So go pick one up. And then last but not least, for the Stacks ecosystem. Uh, kind of going back to learning clarity if you want to, there's [00:10:00] two good resources. One is the Clarity Camp hosted by Maria and Deb Supernova on Twitter. Great course. They'll run you through everything you need to know to learn why blockchain, why stacks, and the clarity programming language.

But there's a new one on the block, which I've been going through, uh, made by set. And he calls it a hundred Days of Clarity and breaks it down into simple videos that get you straight into coding in every video. So you'll be installing software on day one, and you'll be writing Clarity code on day two.

I've been loving this video, loving this format. I like the small wins mentality where don't gimme so much theory on the front end. Let me just type in some things and see how it works and, uh, it's pretty cool cuz all you need is two pieces of software. Really all you need is a code editor. Which you could do a notepad and you need your [00:11:00] terminal, which every computer has, and just with those two things, you can do a ton of testing when it comes to clarity.

So if you're interested how they recommend, I'll drop the link below, or you can search a hundred days of clarity on YouTube. The first 20 videos are available. Then after that, you gotta pay the man for his hard work. So highly recommend. All right, next up, jumping into lightning, uh, quite a few options and stuff happened this week.

So the podcast App Fountain, which is a, a podcasting app that lets you do two cool things. One, you can create clips from podcasts and share them easily to your friends on social media, but two, it is lightning enabled so you can tip your favorite podcaster. or you can stream sets where for every minute you listen to an episode, you can give that.

you know, I fresh have a penny and exchange value for value. So [00:12:00] they just dropped 0.6 version of their podcasting app, which brings a whole new ui, and most importantly allows you to fund your account with a debit card. So now you don't have to be crypto native for sure, and maybe buy from an exchange and bridge it in.

You can just type in your fee out credit card, get some stats and share 'em with your favorite creators. So super. Next up, there's something called lightning.movie, which allows you to stream movies, uh, rent movies, and you pay it with a simple lightning invoice for a thousand sets. So, pretty seamless, easy experience.

Uh, not sure if I would use it, but people are continuing to test different ways to implement lightning in, uh, more and more use cases. . All right. Next up, there's an app called Fair ai. This is a version of Chat G P T that uses Open AI's api, [00:13:00] and what you do is you pay a Lightning invoice and you'll get tokens.

and then with those tokens you can do your regular chat G P T things. So instead of having to have an open AI, a P I key and pay with your credit card, if you want to keep it fully decentralized, you can pay a lightning invoice and be plugged into all the AI goodness that's been going on. . All right. Next up, there's a app called Wave Lake, which is trying to become a new kind of music streaming platform with lightning built in so that artists can get paid through from their fans.

Uh, they just officially launched, so they've been in, in private beta for a while and now they're fully live. And the two big things they're pushing is open publishing standards, trying to remove gatekeeper. and lightning integrated so that, uh, as many or as few frictions between the artist and the listener exist as possible.

[00:14:00] So if you like a song and you want to buy it for your collection, or maybe it's Token Gate, you can put a tiny, tiny payment behind that paywall and unlock that song.

All right, next up, Mr. Jack Dorsey, uh, who's obviously been bullish on Bitcoin for quite some time now. He's kind of moved some of his focus to Naster, which is the decentralized, uh, messaging protocol. That a lot of people were talking about, we're trying to build Twitter clones, things like that. He put up 120 million SAT bounty for the best noster GitHub replacement that, uh, comes across this table.

I'm not sure if there's a deadline. Um, it's voted on by the community, not just his own say. But, uh, yeah, it's some big money if you can build a, a GitHub replacement. So he's, he's really pushing hard on decentralizing as much as possible for, uh, a better [00:15:00] world, which you'd just love to see. All right. And speaking.

Jack Dorsey and his company's cash app continues its Bitcoin integration. So they fully have lightning enabled across the entire I app now, uh, deaf in the us it's coming to more countries and globally soon. But, uh, yeah, a amazing to see his commitment to putting lightning and Bitcoin into as much things as possible.

So very, very focused. . All right, last for Lightning Fold, which is the Bitcoin Rewards app on the app store and the Android Google Store. Just please an api. So now you can easily bring in Bitcoin rewards into your app. Just do an API call. All right, so that's it for Lightning. Last but not least, we have R S K, which.

They released an upgrade [00:16:00] called Hop 4.0 0.1, and this is a big one because their Bitcoin peg out has been down for a couple months now due to Bitcoin core, changing the way that it tracks certain transactions. And it was flagging the one, the out process from R S K. Has unauthorized and they wouldn't go through.

So that service has been down for a couple months now, you can still peg out from R S K in different ways, but you couldn't use the official main one, which is called their pal peg. So this upgrade is the first step to bring that back online. So it's currently live on may net, and as soon as a large enough mining pool accepts their new transactions, then the peg out should be back online.

Good on them to get that done. That's super frustrating. Um, yeah, it did, it did cross my mind that could that happen to something like Stacks? I have no idea. I [00:17:00] mean, they ride on regular Bitcoin transactions, so I'm not exactly sure. But yeah, so that's it. That's it for rsk and that's it for this week in Bitcoin.

So I love y'all. I'll see you in next episode. Peace.

Welcome to Built on Bitcoin. I know the things going on with, I'll be right. Wait now trying to figure out a way to make it out. Make it out. Cause I don't think about everything going.