Square Crypto Funds Pseudonymous Bitcoin Lightning Network Developer

Francisco Memoria

The cryptocurrency development arm of payments firm Square, Square Crypto, has funded a pseudonymous Bitcoin developer, ZmnSCPxj, known for his work on BTC’s layer-two scaling solution, the Lightning Network.

The amount of the grant wasn’t disclosed, but Square Crypto’s tweets implied ZmnSCPxj had been working on Bitcoin’s scaling solution part-time and will now be able to “leave behind his day job of 14 years” to work full-time on both Bitcoin and Lightning.

The developers is well known for his work on both Lightning Labs and c-Lighting implementations over the past two years, and Square added that it isn’t clear where he lives exactly, only that it’s “somewhere in the GMT +8 timezone, which includes China, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.”

While most claim ZmnSCPxj has managed to remain anonymous and only be known through his code, some point out Lightning developers know who he is as he attended October’s Lightning Conference in Berlin, giving a presentation during the conference.

Via his website, he has also been accepting bitcoin donations since 2018. Square Crypto has, as CryptoGlobe covered, hired legendary Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo earlier this year, and revealed Square was looking to hire 3-4 cryptocurrency engineers to work “full-time on open source contributions to the bitcoin/crypto ecosystem.”

Square has also been a significant on-ramp to the cryptocurrency space. In November it was revealed that during the third quarter of this year first-time bitcoin buyers on its Cash app “approximately doubled”, partly thanks to an improved layout.

Featured image by Jason Appleton from Pexels.

'Big Spender' Bitcoin Wallet Exploit Is an 'Issue With BTC Itself', Says BCH Supporter

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto security firm ZenGo has identified a double-spend exploit dubbed "BigSpender" which affected popular bitcoin wallets.
  • Exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction without the receiving user knowing. 

A crypto security firm has identified a double-spend exploit targeting popular bitcoin wallet providers. 

According to a report by ZenGo, the security firm has discovered a double and multiple spend wallet exploit for bitcoin dubbed “BigSpender.” The report claims the exploit allows an attacker to cancel a bitcoin transaction but still have it appear in a victim’s vulnerable wallet. 

The report reads, 

The core issue at the heart of the BigSpender vulnerability is that vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.

As CryptoGlobe reported, ZenGo found that a user’s balance would be increased following an unconfirmed incoming transaction, without a subsequent decrease in the event the transaction being double-spent. The firm outlined how an attacker could use the exploit to cancel transactions of sent bitcoin while still receiving goods and services in return. 

The security firm tested nine popular cryptocurrency wallets and found BRD, Ledger Live and Edge to be vulnerable to the exploit. All three companies were notified by ZenGo of the threat and subsequently updated their products. However, the firm noted that “millions” of crypto users may have been exposed to the attack prior to the update. 

Bitcoin Cash supporter Hayden Otto told Cointelegraph the exploit is particularly concerning for bitcoin-accepting merchants. 

He said, 

The technique is facilitated by RBF (replace by fee), a so-called ‘feature’ added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers.The issue exists if you use BTC. Wallet software can only make some trade off, which results in a worse BTC user experience, in order to try to protect BTC users.

Otto claimed the exploit was derived from “an issue with BTC itself” and had little to do with wallet software. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com