Understanding Address Balances for UTXO Blockchains

Overview When you open your Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Litecoin wallet, you’ll see a balance just like you do when you open your bank app. At the end of the day, you just want to know how much currency you own, right? You may be curious, however, how your total balance is calculated in the

(Bitcoin) Script Kiddies – Understanding Basic Transaction Scripts

Overview In the Bitcoin world, money is not just digital – money is programmable! When transactions between users on the network are created and broadcast, miners and nodes independently verify that these transactions are valid. But this verification is not just checking some basic data points – it involves the execution of special scripts specified

EZ-Pay – Full Node vs. SPV Wallets

Overview When discussing digital currencies, the question is often asked “where is the ‘money’ actually stored?” In the world of fiat currency (US dollars, Euros, etc.), cash stored in your physical wallet is the money. You give a $20 bill to a cashier, and they now have $20. With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the actual currency

What’s in Your Wallet? Understanding Private Key Control

Overview Just like your cash, cards, and ID, your cryptocurrency assets live in something called a “wallet”. Most all forms of digital money implement this concept in some form, and understanding wallets is critical to safely storing and using your favorite digital currency. Much like your physical wallet, your Bitcoin, Monero, or Ethereum wallet gives

BIP39 Mnemonics Made Easy (Part 1 – Backups, Simplified!)

Overview A critical component of cryptocurrency security is the ability for users to easily and efficiently backup the private keys that control access to their funds on the blockchain. Without one’s private keys, any funds in a user’s addresses are irrecoverably lost. However, the nature of early wallets made backing up one’s private keys a

Proof of Work, Explained (Part 2 – A Hash Bash for Techies)

Overview In the last article, we looked at the overall idea of proof of work and its applications. That article covered the origins of this concept, how it works at a high level, and some of its applications. Now, let’s take a look at the technical inner workings of these algorithms. In a nutshell, proof