Ep. 19 Dear Customers, We Don't Know Where Your Coins Are


In this episode of The Unhashed Podcast: Charlie Lee wants to add confidential transactions to Litecoin. Is this just Litecoin further acting as a test bed for Bitcoin or are they trying to distinguish themselves by attempting to one up their big brother? Canadian Exchange Quadriga is never ending source of news and drama as of late. Is the CEO pulling an Elvis and faking his death to exit scam with the money or were they just another shoddily run exchange that had everyone fooled? And...has Pieter Wuille come up with Esperanto equivalent of bitcoin scripting?

Topic times:

0:00:00 Introduction

0:04:05 Litecoin To Add Confidential Transactions?

0:18:10 Difference between Coinjoin and Confidential Transactions Explained

0:21:21 QuadrigaCX "Liquidity Issues"

0:49:50 NEM Foundation on brink of Insolvency

1:05:33 Miniscript

1:12:23 ICO, My God They're Serious - XYO

1:25:50 Lightning Round

Weekly News Wrap Up:

  1. Charlie wants to add CT to litecoin. This brings up a few interesting points:

    • Proponents of CT will likely be happy to see it in action on another blockchain (after liquid).

    • The fact that it seems one dev just says “we’re doing this”, highlights centralized LTC development, especially compared to Bitcoin’s proceedings.

    • Is Litecoin just another shitcoin, or is there real value in being a genuine testing environment for Bitcoin?

    • Further diverging codebases may undermine testnet usecase over time, but it may cause Litecoin to migrate toward a fungibility usecase to compete with grin/monero

    • Hot takes from Peter and Nicolas

  2. Last week QuadrigaCX’s site was taken offline, and replaced with a message that they can’t find their bitcoins:

    • “Message from QuadrigaCX Board of Directors
      January 31, 2019

      Dear Customers,

      An application for creditor protection in accordance with the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) was filed today in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to allow us the opportunity to address the significant financial issues that have affected our ability to serve our customers. The Court is being asked at a preliminary hearing on Tuesday February 5 to appoint a monitor, Ernst & Young Inc., as an independent third party to oversee these proceedings.

      For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us. Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful. Further updates will be issued after the hearing.”

    • Quadriga started having serious banking trouble back in early October when their bank froze 28million CAD (22m USD) of their and their customers funds. Some people are still waiting on large fiat transfers owed to them.

    • CEO apparently died of Crohn’s disease on December 9th.

    • In mid January, they declared that withdrawals were being “delayed” by about two weeks.

    • They owe customers $190 million, apparently.

    • Some have been assuming they were running fractional reserve.

    • Some redditors claim that their LTC cold wallets were being drained! (Clarifications and corrections coming next week on this!)

    • Others have asserted that they simply have no cold storage, and were effectively running a ponzi.

  3. The NEM foundation, the development team behind the popular cryptocurrency project XEM, has one month left of solvency before they will have to file for bankruptcy. According to Alex Tinsman, NEM Foundation president, the troubles the foundation has faced are the result of mismanagement of funds from the previous council.Tinsman had this to say about the previous council: “Basically we realized we had a month to operate, due to the is management of the previous governance council. We saw very little accountability for funds and questionable ROI, leading to a burn rate of 9 million XEM per month. In terms of running an effective organization, the existing structure failed. Maybe that didn’t seem like a big problem when the XEM price was high, but it’s a very big problem as we seek to sustain a viable organization in the ‘Crypto Winter.’” Tinsman intends lay off much of the existing staff in or to cut costs while also submitting a funding request for 160 million tokens (~$7.3 million) from the NEM community, all of which, if granted, would help the foundation stay above water for a little while longer.

  4. Pieter Wuille, whose beard is almost as impressive as his intellect, presented about a new subset of Bitcoin’s scripting language called Miniscript at the Stanford Blockchain Conference. Miniscript is designed to make it easier for users to create custom scripts and make sharing scripts between multiple devices and software more simple.

    ICO My God, They’re Serious:

    Xyo Network

    Shout Outs:

    Colin: The Beef & Bitcoin Podcast

    Ruben: Anything Pieter Wuille  

    Mario: ZeroNonCense Blog Post on the Quadriga Drama

    One Final Note:

    Make sure you are storing your crypto on something secure like a Ledger and backing it up on something sturdy like a Billfodl. If you buy these items through the links above, we do take a cut of the profits but it also helps support the show - a win/win for all involved.

Colin aulds