I just joined Riot, a bitcoin miner, after three years at Kraken, an exchange.

You can ask me about any topic!

What convinced you to turn from atheism?

There were a lot of precursors, but having children really prompted me to reflect on innocence, guilt, and the love between Creator and created.

Correct me if I'm off, but this answer makes it sound like you came to recognize the utility of a belief in god rather than became convinced through evidence that there actually is one.

In other words, do you believe that even if there actually is no god, the belief itself is simply a useful delusion to subject yourself to? A fantasy that you choose to engage in (faith) that helps a person manage the extreme difficulty of life.

That's a good point, I tried to be concise in my answer but I was indeed convinced both by the utility of belief and by logical + empirical evidence. The clearest evidence to me was introspective observation of the existence of my own soul, its relationships, and its reactions.

As an atheist, I think that's perfectly fine.

Although I think that standard of evidence can equally support any of the thousands of varieties of religious beliefs that currently exist throughout the world.

To each their own. Freedom of religious expression and consequently from religious laws that are not your own is a critical part of what makes America great.

I’m a little confused as to what “standard of evidence” you are using. By what standard are you standing on to make that claim?

10 sats \ 1 replies \ @oli 3 Aug

They probably meant introspection. It is usually considered poor evidence in science and is therefore seldom used.


The clearest evidence to me was introspective observation of the existence of my own soul, its relationships, and its reactions.

This is a statement that someone of literally any religious or spiritual belief can make. Because it can be used to support any belief, it makes it a worthless piece of 'evidence' for anyone who exists outside your own head.

100 sats \ 4 replies \ @allark 2 Aug

Childlessness is a big cause of Atheism and Hedonism today. :)

Might be the other way around.

112 sats \ 2 replies \ @kobie 2 Aug

Yeah, it might very well be the other way around.

11 sats \ 1 replies \ @GRIN 3 Aug

Or the other way 'round, again.

Yeah, definitely. Do beliefs follow behavior? Or behavior follow beliefs? Both probably.

I honestly don't understand how more bitcoiner's aren't atheists. We like proof of work, not faith or trust.

That's fair, I see God's creation as the absolute ultimate proof of work.

So you saw God create the earth and the universe?

Did you see Satoshi create bitcoin ? Every single keystroke?

I believe that’s an illogical statement. You’ve obviously put your faith in bitcoin and trust it’s systems. Why would you put your faith and trust in it? I believe bitcoin is the most moral and ethical monetary system there has ever been created which is completely in line with God’s word and the Bible.

The code can be independently verified. The BTC blockchain can be audited all the way back to the genesis block. That's the whole point of it: any individual can verify, not trust.

There's nothing verifiable in the Bible, or any other religious scripture.

577 sats \ 5 replies \ @C_Otto 2 Aug

How do businesses like Kraken deal with the "burden" of operating a LN node, e.g. paying on-chain fees, unexpected force-closes, off-chain fee configuration, implementation bugs, ...?

  1. Bitcoin businesses already have to pay on-chain fees
  2. With chain fees being so low, the difference between a coop close and a force close is just the tied up capacity, which is a very small amount of value for a large business.
  3. Just speaking for myself, I think using the one reasonable routing fee for all your channels makes the most sense. Actively managing which peers you open channels with seems more impactful than actively managing the routing fee rates.
  4. Opening a GitHub issue, or ideally contributing a fix!
31 sats \ 3 replies \ @C_Otto 2 Aug

..., liquidity allocation, peer selection, hardware resource usage, private channels, offline peers, tor connectivity issues, ...

  1. Putting more capacity towards peers that "prove" themselves great routers, closing channels that are "unproductive".
  2. Running experiments with peer selection, especially using betweenness centrality measures.
  3. Hardware resource usage is negligible, personally I had a node with hundreds of channel on a retail i5 laptop. Any mid-range server could probably do thousands of channels.
  4. Private channels can be expensive for a routing node to have, I think they're really best for full-fledged LSPs who are charging the end-user wallet for the private channel.
  5. IMO a day offline is too long, close the channel.
  6. I think it would make sense to have both a clearnet and a tor node.

When we're already at it ... I would like to hear Pierre Rochards thoughts on fractional banking in custodial Lightning nodes. Spicy topic, I know.

Not your keys, not your bitcoin. Using a custodial Lightning node with a small amount of value is low risk, but don't use it as your long term savings solution.

160 sats \ 1 replies \ @C_Otto 2 Aug

From Kraken's PoV, what makes a node a good peer to Kraken's node?

I'm no longer at Kraken, but in general I see the litmus test of a good peer as how much the channel routes when routing fees are reasonable (hundreds of ppm).

172 sats \ 1 replies \ @C_Otto 2 Aug

What's the next big step to having a circular economy using the LN?

I've seen data suggest that the capital gains tax issue is a major problem, so getting a de minimis exemption in every jurisdiction would be the next big step.

But I also think there is no "next big step", in the sense that we're at the "1 to N" stage of adoption, lots of small iterative steps.

117 sats \ 1 replies \ @sagaz 2 Aug

Hi, Pierre! Could you please share with us your history with bitcoin? Ty!

Before bitcoin I was a gold bug (though I only owned a couple of silver coins because I was a broke college student). When I heard about bitcoin's 21 million supply cap at the end of 2012, a light bulb went off and I started going down the rabbit hole, reading and writing about bitcoin: https://nakamotoinstitute.org/authors/pierre-rochard/

251 sats \ 1 replies \ @uco 2 Aug

Does Riot plan to generate their own power (solar, wind, gas, etc) or draw from local power providers?

Because Riot is publicly traded, anything like this would be officially communicated by the company directly.

How do you envision the world of 2030-2040 ?

More prosperous and free than today's world, thanks to bitcoin!

131 sats \ 2 replies \ @apleroy 2 Aug

Thanks for all of your work to drive bitcoin and lightning adoption, share your work and insight on podcasts and writings, and take time for an AMA.

Throughout your time at Kraken, what were the biggest challenges of adopting Lightning and driving its success? Is there anything you would do differently if you had to do everything again?

Great question. I learned that it's really important to thoroughly specify and align on the exact role and resources you'll have before joining a company. Don't just meet with the hiring manager and a peer, also meet with the major stakeholders you'll be working with to make sure they're all exactly on the same page with regards to mission and culture.

Thanks, this makes a lot of sense

Congrats on the new role! What research topics are you most excited to dig into?

Proof of work versus proof of stake Transaction fee predictions Block subsidy purpose Long term security Hashprice history Supply audit follow-up Data-usage audit SegWit and Taproot adoption Reorgs Output value, spending amount Velocity of outputs Mempool competition RBF and CPFP usage Softforks Tracking "blocks needed to close all open Lightning channels"

10 sats \ 1 replies \ @felix 2 Aug

What's the reasoning behind a Bitcoin Miner building up a non-hardware Research department?

Riot already has excellent hardware research! Just covering all the bases

What do you think about fiatjaf latest "toys" he released, Cliche (client for hosted channels) and Poncho (hosted channels for CLN)?

Oh yeah, let me pull out my popcorn first

120 sats \ 1 replies \ @sagaz 2 Aug

What was the your path to be interesting in mining and able to reach Riot? Ty ❤

I had been an advisor for Riot for the past 3 years, they approached me at a conference in NYC after I spoke about what bitcoin maximalism is. I've been impressed by their urgency in execution and laser focus on bitcoin mining!

140 sats \ 0 replies \ @pk3000 2 Aug

So many Lightning questions:

  • can you break down the components of channel ID?
  • pros/cons of having one channel of X size vs two channels of X/2 size (same peer)
  • wtf is timelockdelta and what’s a good number
  • why do some channels appear to go offline when both peers appear to be online?
120 sats \ 1 replies \ @kr 2 Aug

i’m curious to learn more about your new role at kraken, what kind of research will you be doing?

is there a specific mining industry topic you’re particularly excited about studying?

Lots of bitcoin and mining topics I'm excited to dig into:

Proof of work versus proof of stake Transaction fee predictions Block subsidy purpose Long term security Hashprice history Supply audit follow-up Data-usage audit SegWit and Taproot adoption Reorgs Output value, spending amount Velocity of outputs Mempool competition RBF and CPFP usage Softforks Tracking "blocks needed to close all open Lightning channels"

Does Riot pay their salaries in bitcoin? If so, do you live on bitcoin only?

111 sats \ 1 replies \ @kr 2 Aug

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from Bitcoin?

Macro trends take decades, not months or years, to come to fruition.

Is node-launcher dead?

Not dead! Though it is certainly due for a refresh.

Nice to hear!

I'd love to use node launcher because I do everything on desktop and I am used to getting the best of the best experience on desktop. Not so in Lightning - the community focused on small systems in server-style like e.g. raspberry pis.

Hi Pierre, thanks for doing this AMA! In the early days of the Austin scene, what lessons did you learn around bitcoin adoption in your community? if any…

Greed motivates people to learn more than any other factor, but if left unchecked greed turns into avarice and leads to scamming.

interesting, def something to keep in front…thanks for answering Pierre🙏

112 sats \ 1 replies \ @k00b 2 Aug

What's one thing you disagree with most Bitcoiners on?

  1. Transaction fees are often seen by bitcoiners as important for finality ("security"), replacing the block subsidy, or censorship resistance. But in my view empirically they've been most important for congestion control and incentivizing Lightning development.

  2. Most bitcoiners are proponents of "protocol ossification", whereas I look at protocol changes with many questions in mind:

a. Is it a softfork? b. How many lines of code or how much engineering complexity is it adding to implementations? c. What is the impact on node operator cost? d. What is the end-user value of the change? e. What other changes is this competing with in priority?

102 sats \ 0 replies \ @ken 2 Aug

Here's Pierre, coming straight from Riot His rigs are heavy, ain't on a diet ASICs are roaring, no peace and quiet If you don't mine, well maybe you should try it

Which twitter handle do you control. Heard somewhere that an intern at kraken is wielding the @bitcoinissaving handle. True or nah? @bitcoinissaving or the @bitcoinpierre

I've been a systems administrator for my entire career. I'd love to work in Bitcoin. Is Riot hiring high level systems administrators?

110 sats \ 1 replies \ @davidw 2 Aug

If you were looking to learn more about a particular area of Bitcoin/Lightning in order to build a business, which area would you focus most of your attention on?

Developer tooling

wen hyperbitcoinization?

hyperbitcoinization started October 2008, change my mind

No lies detected

If you had to predict, which currency will be the first victim of the speculative attack?

Why did you leave Kraken? It is one of the most reliable centralized exchanges.

What made you join Riot and leave lightning R&D?

Seems odd to leave that and get into mining..

I'll still be doing a wide range of bitcoin R&D, including Lightning!

What’s the most commonly misunderstood thing about Bitcoin mining among Bitcoiners?

110 sats \ 2 replies \ @apleroy 2 Aug

I am curious how you think the business model for exchanges evolves over time? If any of the fees and trading models for altcoins that have historically funded many new operations go away with time, what do you see as the main profit drivers for offering bitcoin and lightning services?

I think it's generically true of any business that long term profits get compressed due to competition and technological innovation, so all companies are constantly having to refresh and reinvent themselves.

Thanks, I'm curious if you have any predictions for how this plays out or evolves? Especially if altcoins (and their fees) trend away in favor of Bitcoin/LN?

Do you give candy to your children? What do they eat? Are you putting them in schools?

10 sats \ 0 replies \ @k00b 2 Aug

Was the chair thing purely economic or were you "hip" to how poor chairs are for biomechanics?

10 sats \ 0 replies \ @koiora 2 Aug

Riot, what a luck!!! i m living in Spain and as the electricity is expensive, it s not worth to mine btc :(

As employee in Riot: Do you earn fees or bitcoin rewards ? Do Riot pay you in BTC ?

How to start mining ?

10 sats \ 0 replies \ @k00b 2 Aug

I found the bitcoinissaving twitter account more engaging when you were the agent, in Daniel Kahneman terms, behind the account. What made you change it?