Pettycoin: Towards 1.0
Pettycoin is an adjunct network for tiny bitcoin transactions. It was first unveiled in slightly vaporous form at LCA2014, but since then I've taken a 6 month sabbatical and spent much more time on it.
The bitcoin network is powered by "miners" who compete to work on proofs. This infrastructure is expensive, and places a lower limit on how cheap transactions on the bitcoin network can become. For genuinely tiny microtransactions, various schemes have been proposed to operate off-network temporarily; pettycoin aims to do this in a general and open way, using the same work the bitcoin miners are already doing.
The talk has two parts: the first part is about the technology itself, and the second part is about founding and managing a "for fun" FOSS project in a space which is crowded with many good ideas and even more VC money chasing them.
Rusty Russell has been developing Free Software full time since 1998. He's founded various projects over those years: ipchains, iptables, module-init-tools, ccan, lguest, nfsim, ntdb and pettycoin. And he's hacked on many other people's projects, mainly in C. He has two delightful children and one delightful wife.