Running Bitcoin

you need to run a full node: why?

How frequently do you access your Bitcoin wallet?

Sometimes you do it from “light clients” on your smartphone, maybe connecting trough your home-WiFi, or your 5G plan, or even some public network.

Doing so, you may have exposed your most sensitive financial information to several entities: maybe the company providing you the relevant blockchain data (it could be your hardware wallet manufacturer, including their employees and contractors), maybe the organization running the random Electrum Server instance you connected too, maybe even your Internet Service Provider!

Also, if you can’t validate transactions yourself, you could receive fake payments, or end up in a malicious “chain fork”.

Finally, without a node of your own you will not be able to use the Lightning Network, or the best chain-privacy tools (CoinJoin, PayJoin, CoinSwap, etc.), in a sovereign and trust-minimized way.

What are you going to BRING HOME FROM this workshop?

With some luck, you’ll learn to build and use a real Bitcoin FULL NODE.

Here’s the complete (but extremely optimistic) program. Expect that we may not finish it all, if any technical problem arises. 🙂

Day 1 (August 10th):

    • Preparing for Bitcoin (10:00-12:00 approximately):
      • Raspberry Pi hardware assembling
      • OS flashing, SSH and WiFi configuration
      • IP address discovery and SSH access
      • basic notions of shell commands and password management
      • Pi configuration and update
      • Tor installation
      • Bitcoin Core installation and configuration
      • external (preloaded) drive and swap file configuration
      • final sync
    • Buying Bitcoin (14:00-16:00 approximately):
      • theoretical introduction
      • JoinMarket installation and configuration (JoininBox)
      • real-time “purchase” of actual sats (coming from your own subscription fee, you are welcome!)
      • tumbler schedule launch
      • illustration of non-KYC methods (Bisq purchase demo)
    • Hodling Bitcoin (17:00-19:00 approximately)
      • theoretical introduction
      • Electrs installation and configuration
      • Sparrow installation and configuration (laptop-side)
      • HWW-based multisig wallet creation
      • PayJoin from JoinMarket to the storage
      • Q/A and support session

Day 2 (August 11th):

    • Spending Bitcoin (10:00-12:00 approximately):
      • theoretical introduction
      • c-lightning installation and configuration
      • channel creation (from cold storage)
      • mobile apps overview (Zeus, Spark, BlueWallet, Phoenix, Muun, Breez)
      • spending experiments (Bitrefill)
    • Earning Bitcoin (14:00-16:00 approximately):
      • theoretical introduction
      • BTCPay Server installation and setup
      • Tor to IP bridging
      • simple web-commerce setup (WordPress Woocommerce)
      • BTCPay Server pairing
      • self-purchase experiment
    • Theoretical overview of Advanced Topics (17:00-19:00 approximately):
      • Mining Bitcoin (amateurish mining)
      • Routing Bitcoin (optimization of channels and liquidity)
      • Mixing Bitcoin (market-making in JM and “yield generating”)
      • Connecting Bitcoin (mesh networks and Blockstream satellite
      • Building on Bitcoin (Opentimestamps and Zeronet)

What DO I NEED TO BRING?

This time around you will need to bring some hardware with you, both for security reasons (you shouldn’t trust the hardware I give you) and for logistical convenience (I won’t know exactly how much hardware to ship until registrations are closed).

Here’s the complete list:

    • your own laptop (any mainstream operative system is good)
    • a >8 GB micro-SD-card and a micro-SD-card reader for your laptop (internal or external)
    • a >4 GB Raspberry Pi 4 with a strong USB-C/5V/3A power adapter (case, keyboard and screen are optional)
    • your own mobile hotspot (hotel connections may be unreliable, especially with many people connecting via Tor)
    • up to 3 of your own favorite hardware wallets (Coldcard, Trezor, Leger, etc.)

I will bring some spare items and provide an additional hotspot, but it likely won’t be enough for all the attendees. If you don’t bring all of the above with you, you will probably still be able to follow the workshop, but you may miss some hands-on experiences, which you will have to replicate on your own later on (with the recording of the workshop that I will provide).

You will not need an external hard disk: I will provide everybody with one, containing a reckless pre-validated blockchain (regardless of security or logistics, this will be necessary to avoid long waiting times during the workshop: you will be instructed to sync your node over again, at home, on your own, after formatting the disk).

WhERE IS THIS HAPPENING?

The workshop will take place in Valle de Guadalupe, close to Ensenada, Mexico, in the larger context of the first Bitcoin Standard Conference (registration here). See you there.

 

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