John Cantrell Profile picture
I'm a software engineer and entrepreneur working to accelerate the adoption of Bitcoin. Explains Bitcoin concepts simply.
Sean Lloyd Profile picture Libertad Lanarke Profile picture kxdemon Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
Feb 8 8 tweets 3 min read
Introducing Sensei: A lightning node implementation focused on making Bitcoin accessible to the entire world.

Sensei combines the utility of the @bitcoindevkit with the flexibility of the @lightningdevkit to produce a node ready to take on the world. Sensei offers all the functionality you’d expect from a lightning node:

- creating and paying lightning invoices
- opening and closing channels
- on-chain transactions and utxo management
- authenticated http and grpc apis
- a cli tool

and so much more.
Jan 31 25 tweets 6 min read
I’ve been studying Bitcoin for a decade.

I distill what I've learned into threads that explain Bitcoin using simple language.

I’ve covered the lightning network, supply schedule, mining, game theory, difficulty adjustment, proof of work, keys, utxos, htlcs, and so much more 👇 Onboarding 7.753 Billion People to Lightning
Jan 30 11 tweets 2 min read
Today is day 30 of my journey to develop a writing habit. It was successful then I ever imagined it could be.

Threads I wrote were viewed over 2.5 million times and over 7K new people decided to follow along.

Let me break down my process and what I learned on this journey 👇 You must make the habit a priority.

Schedule time on your calendar for it and don’t let it be interrupted.

For me I chose to write early in the morning. I would set my alarm for 6am, grab a cup of coffee, and go write uninterrupted for an hour.
Jan 29 14 tweets 3 min read
The adoption and therefore price of Bitcoin might accelerate faster than most people realize.

What is game theory?
How does it apply to Bitcoin?

You probably heard the ideas thrown around but let me break it down for you 👇 Game theory is the study and analysis of the strategy used by rational actors within some environment.

In its simplest form you can think of as analyzing how each player should play in a board game.

The ideas can be applied more broadly to all types of ‘games’.
Jan 28 14 tweets 3 min read
I’m sure you’re aware that the main purpose of the lightning network is to help Bitcoin scale by enabling faster and cheaper payments.

Did you know it’s possible to use it to send arbitrary data along with a payment?

Why might you do that?

Should you?

Let me break it down 👇 Normally when you make a payment using the lightning network the receiver has to create an invoice for the specific amount and then get that invoice to you somehow.

You then instruct your wallet or node to pay that specific invoice and the money is routed to the recipient.
Jan 27 19 tweets 4 min read
To truly understand why we need Bitcoin it’s important to understand money itself.

What is money?
Why do we need it?
Why Bitcoin?

There’s many books written on these topics but let me try to break it down for you: At the core of any economy are people who perform work that produces value for other people.

A farmer grows food for us to eat.
A painter creates art for us to enjoy.
A mechanic fixes our car so we can travel.
A teacher educates our children so they can prosper.
Jan 26 14 tweets 3 min read
Did you know that Bitcoin maintains a 10 min avg time between blocks regardless of the amount of hash power that on the network?

It’s possible because of a mechanism called the difficulty adjustment and it’s incredibly important to understand.

Let me break it down for you 👇 The difficulty refers to how hard it is for a miner to find a hash that would be considered a valid block on the network.

A higher difficulty translates to more hashes needing to be calculated on average whereas a lower difficulty means less hashes are needed on average.
Jan 25 13 tweets 3 min read
You’ve done your homework on Bitcoin and are learning about Lightning or just set up a node. You aren’t sure how it works and are nervous about losing funds

What’s involved in backing up a lightning node?

I’ve been using lightning for years, let me break it down for you 👇 Your Bitcoin is in cold storage. You stamped your mnemonic into a piece of solid steel.

It won’t be destroyed in a flood, fire, or acid bath.

You can finally sleep at night knowing your Bitcoin are safe.

With Bitcoin covered, you are excited to experiment with Lightning.
Jan 24 15 tweets 3 min read
While we all now know what a Bitcoin price halving is 😂, I’m sure you’ve heard about Bitcoin’s other less brutal halving.

What is being cut in half?
How often does it happen?
Why should I care?

I’ve been working with Bitcoin for almost a decade, let me break it down for you 👇 When you hear the word halving you probably wonder what exactly is being cut in half.

Is it the price?
The number of coins?
The number of coins I own?
The mining hash rate?

Luckily it’s none of those things. It’s referring to the rate at which new Bitcoins are produced.
Jan 23 10 tweets 2 min read
My thread about the security of 12 vs 24 word mnemonic phrases surfaced some good discussion and some confusion. To clarify it further it’s important to understand the answers to:

What is a seed?
How’s it different from a private key?

Let me further break it down for you 👇 A seed is a set of random data that is used as the starting point for wallets to generate an endless supply of public and private keys for you.

If someone has your seed they can use it to generate the private keys for ALL of the addresses you use and ever will use.
Jan 22 12 tweets 2 min read
Something bitcoiners can forget is that it is challenging for the avg person to realize modern, govt issued currencies are a social construct and not a force of nature.

The illusion of fiat is completely pervasive and is reinforced constantly from our very first allowance 👇 A helpful discussion to wake others up to the injustice of fiat comes from the “The bitcoin standard” by @saifedean.

By simply asking the question:

“what makes for a good form of money?”

the perception of our local fiat currency as inherent and necessary can be broken.
Jan 22 10 tweets 2 min read
Did you know that both 12 and 24 word mnemonic phrases offer the same level of security in terms of protecting your private keys?

It’s hard to believe, I know. Let me break down why 👇 It depends how you define ‘level of security’.

I am referring to the amount of time or resources required by an attacker to get your keys.

If protocol A takes an attacker 4hrs to get your keys and protocol B takes 24hrs to access your keys then protocol B is more secure.
Jan 20 17 tweets 3 min read
You’ve heard Bitcoin is a decentralized p2p system for transferring value anywhere on earth. That sounds awesome but you might be wondering:

How changes are made?
What is the process?
Who decides?

I’ve been working on Bitcoin for almost a decade, I'll break it down for you 👇 Bitcoin is free and open source software meaning that anyone can view. download, review, and run the source code.

Just like any open source project it also means anyone is welcome to propose changes as long as they follow the guidelines that the project's community defines.
Jan 19 13 tweets 2 min read
If you self custody your Bitcoin then you almost certainly have come across a mnemonic phrase of 12 or 24 words.

What is a mnemonic?
Why do I have one?
How does it work?

I’ve been working on Bitcoin for almost a decade, let me break it down for you 👇 A mnemonic is a tool that makes it easier to remember something.

You’ve probably used them in school to help you learn the planets (My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets) or for biological classification (King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti).
Jan 18 10 tweets 2 min read
Did you know that it is possible to swap your on-chain Bitcoin with someone else’s lightning funds or the other way around without any trust or risk?

How does that work?
Why might you do it?

I’ve been working with lightning for years, let me break it down for you 👇 These swaps are called submarine swaps and use similar concepts to those used with regular lightning payments.

If you need a quick refresher on how HTLCs work, what hash locks are, and what time locks are then see my earlier thread here:
Jan 17 8 tweets 2 min read
A lot of people think that Bitcoin is “too expensive” for them to get involved. That it’s a tool for the already wealthy. This is not true. You might be wondering:

Do I need to buy a whole coin?
How should I value Bitcoin?

Let me explain a bit about how I think about it 👇 First and foremost, no, you do not need to buy a whole coin.

A Bitcoin is divisible into 100M units called Satoshis (yes, after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin).

You can buy ANY amount you’re comfortable with. As little as $0.25 on the @ln_strike app!
Jan 16 12 tweets 3 min read
If you’ve done any research on the lightning network you’ve probably heard about Hash Time Locked Contracts (HTLCs):

What exactly are they?
Why do we need them?
How do they enable trustless payments?

I’ve been working with lightning for years, let me break it down for you 👇 Hash Time Locked Contracts are a way of doing conditional payments using smart contracts on Bitcoin.

As the name implies they use both a hashlock and a timelock to enable this functionality.

So what exactly are hashlocks and timelocks?
Jan 15 9 tweets 2 min read
Bitcoin is designed to emit a total of 21,000,000 coins with the last bits of coin to be mined in the year 2140.

What exactly is the supply schedule?
What happens after 2140?

The supply schedule is one of the most important aspects of Bitcoin, let me break it down for you 👇 Every block that is mined is allowed to produce a certain amount of bitcoin.

This amount is called the block reward and it started at 50 bitcoin per block.

Every 210,000 blocks (roughly every 4 years) this reward halves. From 50 to 25 to 12.5 to 6.25 and so on.
Jan 14 9 tweets 4 min read
What an exciting week it’s been in Bitcoin. Is it ever boring? Definitely not.

I hope you learned a lot from my educational threads this week.

In no particular order, here’s what I found most important or interesting this week 👇 @adamcurry explains to @joerogan why he believes his money is safer in Bitcoin, why it will be a huge part of our future, and why to stay away from shitcoins.

A must listen.

Jan 14 11 tweets 3 min read
If you’ve done any research into Bitcoin you’ve heard people talk about private key storage.

What are keys?
What’s the difference between hot and cold storage?
Which should I use?

Keys are one of the most important topics in Bitcoin. Let me break it down for you 👇 To understand keys you need to know a little bit about cryptography.

Keys generally come as a pair of public and private keys.

The most common use of keys is to encrypt and decrypt messages.

However, in Bitcoin they are primarily used to generate and verify signatures.
Jan 13 16 tweets 3 min read
You probably saw the news this week that two people have solo mined a Bitcoin block and earned 6.25 BTC worth over $250,000. You’re probably wondering

What is solo mining?
How much does it cost?
What are the odds?
Should you be mining?

Let me break it down for you 👇 Solo mining is exactly what it sounds like. It’s what you probably think of when you think of mining. It means someone is mining all by themselves.

So why is it explicitly called out as “solo mining”? It’s because the norm these days is to mine as part of a pool.