Mentor Monday, February 01, 2016_ Ask all your bitcoin questions! _ Bitcoin bitcoin at

Bitcoin is the currency of the internet: a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of bitcoin. As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks. With bitcoin, you can be your own bank.

If you are new to bitcoin, check out we use coins and bitcoin.Org. You can also explore the bitcoin wiki:

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Bitcoin core is the backbone of the bitcoin network. Almost all bitcoin wallets rely on bitcoin core in one way or another. If you have a fairly powerful computer that is almost always online, you can help the network by running bitcoin core. You can also use bitcoin core as a very secure bitcoin wallet.

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We previously collected donations to fund bitcoin advertising efforts, but we no longer accept donations. The funds already donated will be spent on some sort of advertising, as intended. As of now, 10.35799117 BTC was spent out of 22.51357574. If you have ideas for the remaining BTC, see here for more info.

If you have more money than you could stomach losing in bitcoin, I highly recommend learning about the many different ways of storing bitcoin. Test each one out with small amounts and see which ones you are most comfortable with.Bitcoin at

If your attitude is I just want to do one thing and then forget about having to deal with it then there are a plethora of ways to store your bitcoin securely.

Just ALWAYS TEST FIRST.

Just curious, have you tested actually withdrawing from your electrum wallet???

If you haven’t, make a new wallet, buy a small amount and PRETEND it’s your big wallet, then try actually sending it somewhere as if you were sending your huge wad somewhere.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve had to calm down someone who panicked because they never withdrew before and were scared for their life about screwing it up, I’d be a millionaire.

Practice the whole routine, deposit, hodl, withdraw, repeat… Over and over until you are a master at all aspects of your method.

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1 – what are the technical differences, if any, between the lightning network and sidechain technology?Bitcoin at

The lightning network is a layer-2 ‘write-cache’ scheme that works directly on top of bitcoin. You’re creating actual bitcoin transactions that represent payment channels with peers that you can broadcast whenever you want, which, through some clever economic tricks, allows participants to navigate money through a network to another peer without having to broadcast the transactions, so long as everyone plays nice.

If someone tries to cheat you, you broadcast a transaction to the bitcoin network, which will settle a refund transaction back to you; the cheater loses all his money, and you will be given all funds in the channel.

So long as everyone is honest, it works swimmingly and peers can send funds instantly and securely in a decentralized network, without every moving away from bitcoin-the-network.Bitcoin at

Http://lightning.Network/lightning-network-paper.Pdf

Http://www.Bitcoin.Kn/2015/09/dr-back-on-lightning/

Sidechains are separate blockchain that allow coins to be ‘pegged’ to the bitcoin blockchain. To secure them, they are merge-mined using bitcoin pow proofs. Put simply. You can send money from the mainnet blockchain to a sidechain by, essentially, ‘locking’ the coins on the bitcoin blockchain. You can send money from the sidechain back to the bitcoin blockchain by submitting an SPV proof that ‘unlocks’ them. Sort of.

Http://www.Bitcoin.Kn/2015/09/dr-back-on-sidechains/

Http://blockstream.Com/sidechains.Pdf

They are completely different, and serve different purposes.

The lightning network is (primarily) a scalability solution that increases transactional capacity on the bitcoin network arbitrarily high; peers can communicate money to one another however often they so desire (given they have coins) without permanently imposing cost on independent validators of the bitcoin network.Bitcoin at

Sidechains can be used to do pretty much anything. So far they are interesting because they allow for a permissionless testbed of innovation on top of the blockchain. The barrier to innovating on top of the bitcoin mainnet chain is typically quite high, which sidechains could potentially solve. Sidechains obsolete many altcoins that need to bootstrap an entirely new coin just to test some new feature/direction, and allows development of those altcoins to happen with an already-bootstrapped currency.

Whether sidechains are a practical scaling solution; not really. They suffer the same fundamental scaling problems any blockchain does.

2 – how can alt coins integrated into the main bank when blockchain using the lighting network or sidechains?

Don’t really understand this question..?

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The best (probably not 100% accurate) comparison for lightning is that it is similar to a gift card, only the balance is refundable at the end of a predefined period (days, weeks, …), and the gift card might be usable at several merchants. These are still bitcoin transactions, only they don’t hit the bitcoin blockchain for every transaction (only to send bitcoin to the payment channel and to close it). This allows for more microtransactions, where any individual transaction might be for an amount smaller than the bitcoin transaction fees. When accumulated over the period, these small amounts aggregate into a payment worthy of the bitcoin transaction fees.

A sidechain is a conversion into some other unit of value, that has a constant exchange rate to/from bitcoin. So, you might be able to buy 1500 units of X-coin per bitcoin, and transact in those outside the bitcoin network.Bitcoin at when you want to redeem them back into bitcoin, the same 1500 units/bitcoin rate still applies (bitcoin are neither created or destroyed by the exchange). These allow other characteristics and behaviors than might be feasible in the bitcoin protocol, such as fast confirmations or some such. At this time, my understanding is that the mechanism to ensure the fixed exchange rate is not ready (failure to do so means bitcoin might be created from nothing).

Hope this helps!

Edit: riplin is correct that litecoin or dogecoin can’t run on a sidechain (as they mine new coins), but there could be a sidechain with similar characteristics to those that simply doesn’t create new coins.

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