Hello everyone! I am Pavol Rusnak (@pavolrusnak), also known as Stick in the community.

I am the Co-Founder of SatoshiLabs Group - a group of companies that share a common vision: "Strengthening the power and independence of an individual".

The SatoshiLabs Group consists of:

  • Trezor, the company that created the first hardware wallet
  • Tropic Square, the company developing the first open-source secure chip
  • Invity, the company that will introduce a million new people to Bitcoin
  • and two other efforts that are currently in stealth mode and have not yet been officially announced ...

In addition to working on open-source software and hardware projects at SatoshiLabs, I also love contributing to other open-source projects, such as Bitcoin Core and NixOS+Nixpkgs+Nix-Bitcoin, and collaborating with artists on new media art projects.

I will be answering the questions starting at 10am CT / 3pm UTC / 5pm CEST.

Topics we can talk about, but of course feel free to ask anything:

  • Bitcoin
  • Lightning
  • Hardware and Software Wallets
  • Open-Source Software and Hardware
  • Open Standards (BIPs/SLIPs)
  • NixOS, Nixpkgs, Nix-Bitcoin
  • Privacy
  • Hacker Culture
  • Cognitive Science

LET'S GO! πŸš€

73 sats \ 1 replies \ @k00b 22 Jun

What's something you believe about Bitcoin that few people agree with you on?

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If we want Bitcoin to succeed, we need to be nice and patient with newcomers, not toxic and arrogant.

There is always a way to express the same maximalist views in a polite way.

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Can you add a feature that if by say, year 2029, if no funds in the device move at all, then all the funds are to be sent to so and so person or heir of that person by a lawyer?

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This could be implemented for example by Miniscript which is slowly making its way into Bitcoin. I suppose if there is enough demand for this, it will make its way into hardware wallets too.

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101 sats \ 0 replies \ @nout 22 Jun

+1 ... this is imho a big new space to explore. Every wallet should support something like this. I'd be willing to pay a small fee to have inheritance service.

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0 sats \ 0 replies \ @om 22 Jun

Something like that is achievable with a presigned timelocked transaction, no lawyers involved. Of course the heir has to be able to publish a presigned transaction. The UI around all this could be better.

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I wonder what's your take on cryptocurrencies other than BTC.

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2223 sats \ 0 replies \ @stick OP 22 Jun

As a cypherpunk and cryptography nerd, I am watching the privacy coins space currently occupied by Monero and Zcash. Very interesting lessons can be learned from this. Maybe some of the findings can be applied later in the Bitcoin space (not necessarily in L1). That said, I have my holdings only in Bitcoin since these two are not a good store-of-value IMO. Everything else is just noise.

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131 sats \ 1 replies \ @kr 22 Jun

what lightning network use cases are you most optimistic about?

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I'm especially excited about use cases that haven't really manifested yet. Recurring payments, microtransactions, machine-to-machine payments, etc.

Already I'm very optimistic that people already use LN payments to transfer value between peers instead of fiat.

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173 sats \ 5 replies \ @kr 22 Jun

What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to secure their own Bitcoin?

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The biggest mistake is keeping your Bitcoins with an exchange. NYK-NYC

When it comes to self-custody, some people don't pay enough attention when creating a recovery seed, or try to be creative ("I write the words in reverse order and completely forget about this a year later"). The same goes for passphrases, where people don't realize how crucial it is to remember them, and after some time they ask for the link to recover the passphrase.

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0 sats \ 3 replies \ @kr 22 Jun

what is the biggest roadblock holding people back from taking control of their keys today? what objections do potential customers have?

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The biggest hurdle is convenience. People have gotten used to the idea that they don't have to be responsible for themselves because the state and the banks will take care of them. That's especially true in Europe.

For some people, it's scary as hell to be completely self-sovereign.

With Trezor, we try to make the experience of self-custody as convenient as possible, but for some, the paradigm shift is just too big to handle.

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100 sats \ 1 replies \ @kr 22 Jun

do you see a future where everyone is self-sovereign? or will there always be a cohort that wants to pass on responsibility to third-parties?

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I think there will always be people who don't want to be completely self-sovereign. But at least they will have the option of handing over responsibility to a party they know personally.

LndHub, LNBank, Galoy and Fedimint are all examples of a project that is custodial but at least they can be deployed and managed by friends/people you trust.

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42 sats \ 1 replies \ @k00b 22 Jun

Do you have any generic advice for Bitcoin founders?

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Always scratch your own itch - in another word, always try to solve the problem you have. There are lots of founders, who have a solution and are looking for a problem, or they are solving problem that it's not theirs. Everything else will come very naturally if you stick to this rule.

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170 sats \ 8 replies \ @Jel 22 Jun

Lightning has in my opinion a better user experience then on chain payments. In most cases the fee is lower and the payments are almost instant settled. One of the downsides of lightning, a specially compered to on chain, is the security.

Do you think the security of lightning will increase to a level where it will become more common to also use lightning for storage? Or even to use lightning to make some profit form stored bitcoin (stored in channels) in a safe way?

Are you working on security products for lightning?

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We are currently working on a concept that will bring a "send-only" LN channels to Trezor. That way, you can have a LN channel fully protected by a hardware wallet but at the same time completely secure while being offline.

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110 sats \ 1 replies \ @Jel 22 Jun

Will this be a channel that you can have next to other LN channels? So that you can also have a β€˜hot’ LN channel to receive payments and make small transactions.

Are this β€˜send-only’ channels meant to be build in to existing LN clients or will this require a special app?

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This will be implemented in Trezor and Trezor Suite first.

But since our implementation will be open-source as always, any LN client could integrate this if they want and other HW wallets might pick-up the idea as well.

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110 sats \ 2 replies \ @kr 22 Jun

whoa, need to learn more about this concept.

can you elaborate or share any blog posts that explain how send-only LN channels work?

will users still need to operate a lightning node for send-only LN channels to work?

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There is nothing to share yet, because this is still a work in progress. But essentially Trezor acts like a LN node which never receives a payment. I promise to share more once we have more details.

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21 sats \ 0 replies \ @kr 22 Jun

can’t wait to see the product launch announcement on stacker news when it’s ready!

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0 sats \ 1 replies \ @om 22 Jun

So the idea is that if you never receive on a channel then you don't need a watchtower, right?

Could this be used without internet access but having network connection to the recipient (assuming the recipient is the other end of the channel of course)?

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Yeah, right, you don't need a watchtower while being offline.

could this be used without internet access but having network connection to the recipient

That's the general idea, but we need to examine this further, whether there are some issues with that.

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Hi, I'd made an ad on speculation for a Trezor Ad / Social Post / Banner at Point Of Sale, like 6 months ago, just wanted to share it, in case there is any offer like Buy1Get1

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That's a nice graphics! :-)

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Thank you for making such a great product!

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Thanks!

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Thank you so much @stick for doing this. Some answers were incredibly eye-opening.

Another q: Are you worried at all about the fact that the majority of Bitcoin's hashing power has been in Bitmain's hands for years? All machines are naturally connected to the internet, so Bitmain could reach them at any point. Since the hardware is not transparent, we can't assume there are no remote control mechanisms. We can all agree that Bitmain would instantly chop off a branch under them if they ever used anything like this, but this could be exploited by a malicious employee for example.

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This is the issue our friends at Braiins are trying to solve with Braiins OS - an open-source firmware for the Bitcoin mining hardware. With this you can be sure your mining hardware is doing what it's supposed to do and nothing else.

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IIRC there was early correspondence between Satoshi and Julian Assange, some comments made by Satoshi that Wikileaks shouldn't adopt bitcoin at that time because it would cause issues for the chain.

At the time it was stated as payments for whistleblowing, but my thinking is Assange meant to have an immutable source of binary information he could use for steganography, etc. The equivalent of everyone having the same copy of the Bible to use for ciphers etc..

What do you think of Bitcoin's potential role as a medium to resist tyranny and censorship?

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I think Bitcoin will definitely play a big role in the fight against tyranny and censorship. Alex Gladstein of Human Rights Foundation has shown many examples where Bitcoin can help, for example in Africa, but other countries have the same problems.

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I'll be honest, I am wary of associations with the UN, but I do respect Gladstein in his ability to communicate the despotism problem and recently his ability to keep his cool in that Twitter spaces chat with the techie non-crypto guys who sent a letter to Congress.

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Thank you for your reply.

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Are you able to criticize Bitcoin at all? If yes, what are the worst flaws it has?

A follow-up question: Do you honestly think Bitcoin will survive on Pow? Let's say, in 20 years.

By the way, thanks for doing this. It's very cool.

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I can't think of any flaws at the moment. Maybe there are some trade-offs but these are there for very good reasons.

And yes, I do think Bitcoin will survive on PoW in 20 years.

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Do you conduct checks on your official resellers, whether they pass on the device as is to end users or they modify them? Because everyone advises to buy directly from manufacturer.

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100 sats \ 1 replies \ @nout 22 Jun

What is the most promising solution for privacy onchain? Do you see any notable/exciting cryptography developments that could be applied?

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It's much easier to achieve privacy on L2 and there are interesting projects doing this already: Liquid Network, Fedimint/Minimint to name a few. Also Lightning Network can act as a privacy layer too.

I am not 100% convinced yet it's worth complicating Bitcoin L1 by introducing hard-core cryptography for this. Plus this space is already explored by Zcash and its Halo2 zero-knowledge-proofs.

Of course, there are coinjoins too and for that I find the WabiSabi method (implemented in the Wasabi Wallet 2.0) quite elegant.

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What's the best spot for safely storing my Trezor?

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If I answered this publicly it wouldn't be the best spot anymore :-)

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I was serious because I struggle to understand the self-custody approach.

Isn't it just foolish to think that one's wardrobe or one's mom's wardrobe is safer than a regular bank? And I don't mean just safe from burglars, but from "the state". Local authorities can walk into my house as easily as they can walk into a bank, and surely they'll get the seed. Transferring the trust to a third party seems way more secure and efficient than trying to handle any sort of wealth by myself.

What am I missing? I'd love to join the self-custody train, but I don't see any option for how to do it.

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10 sats \ 0 replies \ @om 22 Jun

Here's a sample setup without Trezor. Learn your 12 words by heart. Boot a diskless machine from a Tails CD (not USB). Tails has Electrum out of the box but you have to enter your 12 words every time you boot. Power off the machine if anything moves around your door.

This does not have quite the security of Trezor though. Check out Glacier Protocol for ways to crank up paranoia.

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You can protect your Trezor with a PIN and a passphrase. Even if local authorities walk into your house and confiscate the device, they will not be able to confiscate the coins.

And for the backups - if you are not satisfied with a single recovery seed, you can use Shamir Backup where you split the recovery seeds into several pieces that can be hidden in several geographically separated locations. When your device is confiscated, you can recover your funds by going through these locations. (Shamir is m-of-n where you control the value of m and n).

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100 sats \ 2 replies \ @nout 22 Jun

Are you considering Bitcoin only product? I know that there are currently hacky ways to sideload btc firmware into Trezors, but that's not what I mean - I mean truly end-to-end Bitcoin product.

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Plan is to improve the Trezor Suite so it will offer you the Bitcoin-only firmware at the beginning during the on-boarding. Otherwise everything else is set already and when you don't enable other coins (these are disabled by default), you'll never see anything else in the Suite.

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100 sats \ 0 replies \ @nout 22 Jun

That sounds great! I also can appreciate that there are market demands coming from shitcoins, but leading in the right direction is what will make you stand out! So I'm happy to hear that you are thinking in that direction.

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100 sats \ 1 replies \ @nout 22 Jun

You have been one of the OGs in the space, what is the most surprising development that you experienced over the years?

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I guess everything was quite surprising for me when it happened for the first time.

  • FOMO driven bull-markets
  • exchanges hacked
  • crashes
  • block size wars
  • rage quits
  • emergence of layer 2 protocols

But then you'll get used to that particular thing and it won't surprise you anymore.

All these things make Bitcoin more and more resilient and anti-fragile!

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21 sats \ 1 replies \ @k00b 22 Jun

What are the top 3 things you'd recommend someone do to increase their privacy?

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  1. use pseudonymous identities, each used for different purposes
  2. don't use social networks that track you on the web, or at least use browsers that block tracking
  3. check out the great privacy guides by Sun Knudsen
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21 sats \ 1 replies \ @k00b 22 Jun

What's most surprising thing you learned building Trezor?

ps I hadn't seen Invity until now - such a great idea.

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  1. In hardware development, things you think are difficult usually turn out to be easy, and things you think are easy usually turn out to be difficult.

  2. No matter how serious the thing you do, it's always about the friends you make along the way 😊.

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1 sats \ 1 replies \ @om 22 Jun

I love strengthening the power and independence of an individual. But there is an obvious problem: we're captured by criminal organizations commonly referred to as governments. How do you see our struggle in the near future against the gov's pushback (esp. in EU) and all that CBDC shit?

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This is hard to predict as the outcome also depends on the individual countries' governments. However, I do feel this won't be an easy fight.

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What do you think the general public (long crypto owners and newcomers) can do, within a normal person's possibilities, to push for the adoption of bitcoin on day to day transactions? Which one do you think is the biggest corporate or government stopper in this regard? BTW, I'm a fan of Model T.

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Is the mobile app still coming? Will it have feature parity with desktop Suite or have a reduced featureset? Will it connect to custom electrum servers?

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  1. Yes!
  2. We try to keep parity where it makes sense
  3. I don't see a reason why not
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What do you think about the combination of long term hodling, and the theoretical QC vulnerability of Taproot? With this in mind, will Taproot ever be made the default in the Suite client?

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The same theoretical QC vulnerability applies to P2PK keys, used by early Bitcoin client where Satoshi's coins are held. I think these are better target than Taproot keys.

Taproot is not default in the Trezor Suite because rest of the ecosystem (exchanges, wallets) are slow in adopting Taproot making it hard for people using Suite to accept payments. QC is not the reason why Taproot is not default.

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What features and improvements will the Trezor model R have?

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Hardware-wise this will be just a refresh of Trezor Model One. Software-wise it will run the same firmware as Trezor Model T.

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Bitcoin core is almost a complete mystery to me.

I get most of the more innovation is happening on L2 in order to keep L1 more "pure", but if L2 like LN gets more centralized and there's more demand for L1 scaling and privacy, is there no concern that there will be conflict of interest between L1 and L2 devs?

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