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The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado - The Technical Side of Bitcoin


Jul 16, 2021

A Bitcoin Beach special! In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado host Aaron van Wirdum speaks with Bitcoin Beach Wallet developer Nicolas Burtey — without cohost Sjors Provoost this time. Aaron and Nicolas met up in El Zonte, El Salvador — which has been dubbed Bitcoin Beach — to discuss the Bitcoin Beach Wallet, a Bitcoin and Lightning wallet specifically designed for use in the small Central American coastal town frequented by surfers and, now, bitcoiners.

Aaron and Nicolas discuss the pros and cons of custodial and non-custodial Lightning wallets, and Nicolas explains why he opted to make the Bitcoin Beach Wallet a shared-custodial wallet, and what that means exactly.

They go one to discuss some of the design decisions and tradeoffs that the Bitcoin Beach Wallet has made, which include ledger-based payments between Bitcoin Beach Wallet users as well as the webpage-based zero invoice payments to facilitate payments from other Lightning wallets. while Nicolas speculates about a potential cross-wallet user account system to further improve the Lightning user experience over time.

Aaron and Nicolas also discuss some of the subtle incompatibilities between different Lightning wallets that use different techniques for routing payments, privacy considerations versus user experience in a community like El Zonte’s, and more.