As we approach Bitcoin's third block subsidy halving, it is incredible to take a step back, scan the horizon, and review all of the incredible things that have been built to aid the network since the last halving in July of 2016. More specifically, the progress that has been made since the bull market mania of late 2017.
We've seen the emergence of the Lightning Network and its subsequent build out. Providing bitcoiners with the ability to send instant transactions of very small value. Allowing game designers to natively integrate bitcoin payments and payouts into their games. Enabling the creation of P2P chatting apps with native invoicing functionalities that pave the way for self-sovereign alternatives to surveillance apps like WeChat and WhatsApp. Establishing a strong base for bringing scalable smart contracting capabilities to the Bitcoin stack in the form of discreet log contracts. Making Bitcoin more useful overall.
We've seen the proliferation of high quality hardware that makes it easier for individuals to run their own full nodes so they can verify the bitcoin they are receiving. Projects like Nodl, myNode, and RaspiBlitz have really pushed the ball forward to make the hardware revolution a reality. As I've said many times in the past, I believe Bitcoin will be as much as a self-sovereign hardware revolution as well as a software revolution. This includes miners, nodes, and hardware wallets like Coldcard.
Bitcoin's privacy assurances since inception have been sub-par if we're being honest. Luckily, teams like Samourai, JoinMarket and Wasabi have been hard at work to provide and improve software that coordinates Chaumian CoinJoins. Their efforts are helping bitcoiners attain better privacy while destroying heuristics used by chain surveillance companies that are working hard to make sure governments know your bitcoin transaction history. On top of this, implementations of pay-to-endpoint have begun to proliferate, which provide even more tools for bitcoiners to achieve better privacy.
If all this wasn't good enough, BTCPay Server was created, providing an open-source alternative to companies like Bitpay. The software allows users to create a self-sovereign bitcoin-enabled business stack. The attention around this project alone is something that creates extreme optimism for your Uncle Marty. Important tools are being built to make it easy for anyone who wants to accept bitcoin as payment in a self-sovereign way to do so. The onramps are becoming plentiful.
Speaking of onramps, we've seen an explosion of Bitcoin-only onramps that do not try to scam their users with altcoins. Companies like Cash App, River Financial, Coinfloor, and Swan Bitcoin have burst onto the scene. Giving individuals the opportunity to auto-buy bitcoin on a set cadence. Helping to provide the tools needed to establish a stronger price floor than has existed to date.
Blockstream launched a satellite and has only been improving upon it so that individuals the world over can download the bitcoin blockchain and relay transactions without the Internet. Bringing the revolution to individuals in areas where Internet connections are subpar.
Last but not least on this list of things that just popped to the top of my head, we've seen the financial support of developers working to build out the protocol increase significantly. Companies like Chaincode Labs, Blockstream, MIT DCI, and Digital Garage have been joined by others like Square Crypto, BitMex, Coincards, Lightning Labs, Acinq, Bitfinex, Xapo, Hardcore Fund, BTSE, OKCoin and Bull Bitcoin in providing some of the open-source devs who are working to fortify Bitcoin at every part of the stack with salaries so they can focus on Bitcoin without worrying about a paycheck.
Looking at all of these disparate improvements combined, it is hard not to be bullish on Bitcoin's future. And when you combine the above combination with the macro landscape at the moment, it is irresponsible to not have skin in the Bitcoin game.
Last night's quarantine dream involved me stealing a car.