The experts have spoken. Opensats gave a partial verdict and The Human Rights Foundation announced that Cashu and LNlink will receive bounties. Certain conditions apply, as we’ll explain. And other projects and Lightning Network developers might still claim the last available bounty, the competition is still valid until the end of the year. Let’s learn about the winning projects and explore what the story’s main players said about the announcement.
Opensats And The Human Rights Foundation Tweet
To be precise, one and a half of the three announced bounties are locked in. The Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein tweeted, “LNlink by William Casarin qualifies for the “tip jar” bounty and will receive the 1 BTC reward.” Also, and this is where it gets tricky, “Cashu by Calle partially qualifies for the “ecash” bounty and will receive .5 BTC of the reward.” However, there’s still time, “If Calle can improve the Cashu design to protect user IP addresses by Dec 31, then he will qualify for the remaining .5 BTC of the reward.”
UPDATE: the @OpenSats board has determined that
— Alex Gladstein (@gladstein) October 28, 2022
Controversially, Gladstein and Opensats also announced that “to date, no submissions for the “stable Bitcoin” bounty have qualified.” When we first wrote about the bounties, we described the prompt as: “The HRF and Strike want a wallet that enables “anyone to “peg” an amount of bitcoin to U.S. dollars without needing an exchange or another token.” That’s right, without a centralized entity. And relying only on sats and bitcoin.”
Did Galoy submit their Stablesats solution? And what about Kollider Synthetic Stablecoins? Did Opensats not approve of the way they accomplished the peg to the dollar or did the institutions just not participate?
— ODELL (@ODELL) October 29, 2022
In any case, Opensats’ Matt Odell commented on the results. “Proud of this, appreciate Strike for funding the bounties, HRF for setting it up, and our team at Opensats for processing them. Grateful to William Casarin and Calle for their open source contributions, the FOSS movement grows stronger every day, and we are just getting started!”
What Do We Know About LNlink?
What did Opensats see in LNlink? We summarized the prompt as, “Can you create a Lightning tip jar that doesn’t reveal any information about the parties involved? That’s the first task. How to receive completely anonymous donations.” In his submission to Opensats, William Casarin claims to have solved the puzzle by doing this:
“I have created a non-custodial iOS lightning wallet called LNLink that can connect to a c-lightning node from anywhere to send and receive lightning payments. LNLink is completely free and opensource (FOSS). It can:
* Generate bolt12 invoices
* Generate bolt11 invoices
* Pay bolt12 invoices
* Pay bolt11 invoices
* Pay lnurls
* Pay lnaddresses”
The project’s website puts the same information in a more direct way, “LNLink (lightninglink) is an iOS application that allows you to control a c-lightning node over the lightning network itself. This means that you can connect directly to your c-lightning node to control it. No additional software, VPNs, or Tor is needed for remote access.”
The project’s creator, William Casarin tweeted, “WHOA WHAT. time to make LNlink even better now. My mind is blown.”
BTC price chart for 11/01/2022 on Bitstamp | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
What Do We Know About Cashu?
The prompt said something along the lines of, “The third bounty has to do with e-cash. It “aims to tackle a need for transactional privacy through a Chaumian e-cash arrangement to enable anonymous bitcoin usage for users.” In a very simple explanatory thread, the company explains: “Cashu makes Bitcoin custody more private. You don’t have an account with the mint, it doesn’t know your balance or who you’re transacting with. You hold your own tokens.”
The way it works it through a cryptographic scheme called blind signatures first described by cypherpunk and cryptographer David Chaum.
Think of it like this: you produce a secret message and wrap it into an envelope made of carbon paper that you then send to the mint. pic.twitter.com/5zkdCvsHVO
— Cashu (@CashuBTC) September 25, 2022
When asked if this was a custodial service, Calle responded, “All ecash designs I’m aware of are custodial (on a Bitcoin level, with varying degrees of distributing trust) while the ecash tokens you hold are under your own control.” When notified of the win, the developer tweeted, “Wow, this caught me off-guard yesterday night. Thank you to the Opensats board, you’re doing incredible work supporting devs. The world needs more like you.”