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Issue #732: Bitcoin is changing how we interact with the Internet

Issue #732: Bitcoin is changing how we interact with the Internet

May 6, 2020
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #732: Bitcoin is changing how we interact with the Internet

If you watch the video tutorial above you may be witnessing the future of user authentication on the web being built using Bitcoin. Your Uncle Marty is under the impression that something big is happening right now that few people have noticed to date. Slowly but surely bitcoiners are building tools that could potentially lead to tectonic shifts in how we interact with the Internet.

The particular innovation I'm talking about today is lnurl-auth, which allows individuals to sign in to websites and services using public keys derived from wallets they control. Completely flipping the table and reversing the current model of how usernames and passwords work for most of the Internet. Instead of having the website or service you are interacting with store your information on a centralized database that is susceptible to being hacked, users instead use the information they control on their personal devices to authenticate themselves so they can access their associated accounts.

The way it works, from what I understand, is that when you go to set up an account on a domain that is compatible with lnurl-auth the site sends your a QR code with a special message that allows you to use a public key associated with your wallet to derive a unique key that is only compatible with the domain you're interacting with. This key is how you authenticate that you are the owner of the account on that particular site. No more remembering unique passwords for separate sites. No more creating unique email addresses for different services. No more having to worry about the site you are interacting with having your data stolen from them. Pure, self-sovereign control of your accounts across the Internet. No usernames, passwords, or identifying information other than the public key that is derived upon sign up.

Now, of course this type of interaction will come with more responsibility. Mainly, making sure you do not lose the keys you use to access the websites and services you've created accounts with using lnurl-auth. It isn't clear to me how this risk will be severely reduced in the near-term, but I'm confident the market will find a solution to this over time. All of this is still very raw at the moment.

Even though it's very raw at the moment, kudos to teams like for pushing the ball forward and experimenting with the cutting edge. Speaking of cutting edge, LN Markets is a cutting edge derivatives exchange that is allowing individuals to margin trade bitcoin via the Lightning Network without usernames or accounts. Simply deposit sats via the Lightning Network, start trading, and withdraw instantly to a wallet you control via the Lightning Network. A relatively new product that is still in alpha, but is garnering some material volume in the first couple months of its existence.

The future is bright, freaks!

Final thought...

Breaking down cardboard boxes is a real chore.


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