Trang Chủ Tài Chính “The triad that matters is self-custody/privacy/scalability”

“The triad that matters is self-custody/privacy/scalability”

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For Bitcoiners in Vietnam and around the wider South-East Asian region, Salvatore is no unknown face.

As an attendant of the legendary Five Years party of the Saigonese Bitcoin community in 2019 or the Indonesian Bitcoin Conference in Bali in fall 2023 many Bitcoiners in the region had the opportunity to discuss with Salvatore all things Bitcoin engineering face-to-face.

After his last visit in Vietnam, Salvatore joined the team of Ledger in France, the originator of the world’s best-selling hardware signing device.

Ledger has also dominated the market once more in Vietnam in 2023 as recently published sales data by BitcoinVN Shop, authorized supplier of Ledger devices in Vietnam, revealed.

BitcoinVN News: The usual question first: When did you first get interested in Bitcoin and why? At what point in time did you know that you want to dedicate your career to it?

Salvatore: I started following and learning about bitcoin in 2017. At the time, I was about to complete my PhD in Algorithms, and I was uncertain on what to do next – except that I wanted to move from academic research to engineering. As a technical person, reading the whitepaper and understanding the technicalities was the easy part. Once I fell into the bitcoin rabbit hole, its political and financial implications, and how broken our money system is… the career choice made itself!

BitcoinVN News: In early 2021 you decided to join the team of Ledger – the world’s leading supplier of hardware signing devices. What made you decide to join their team and what has been the focus of your work since then?

Salvatore: When I joined Ledger, I was looking for a “bitcoin job”, so a crypto-focused company was not necessarily my first choice. However, since the beginning, I have focused almost exclusively on bitcoin. I am thankful for the opportunity to work on what matters both to me and to the wider bitcoin community. My project quickly became that of bringing the most impactful technologies to the Ledger bitcoin app: Ledger was the first hardware signer to support taproot, and spearheaded the support for miniscript.

BitcoinVN News: Over the course of 2023 Ledger has repeatedly been the target of harsh criticism, last but not least around the controversial launch of the “Ledger Recover” service. What is your response to the concerns people might have about the security of their Ledger devices moving forward?

Salvatore: Recover is not a product for everyone. I wouldn’t use it! Liana from Wizardsardine solves much of the same problem for bitcoiners. Liana wouldn’t have been possible without miniscript support in hardware signers, a feature pioneered by Ledger. Probably you didn’t hear this from your favorite bitcoin influencer, though. Miniscript is also the key to make multi-key policies accessible to beginners. That’s something that – among other things – can be used to reduce the amount of trust towards the vendors that is required today with single-signature wallets.

BitcoinVN News: Which upcoming developments in the hardware signing devices space are you the most excited about? Any promising advancements on the horizon which lower the threshold to self-custody even further?

Salvatore: With support of miniscript on taproot (and MuSig2 coming this year), wallet developers will have an extremely powerful toolkit to build new approaches to storing your coins. We’re still at the very beginning of the exploration of what they can bring to bitcoin self custody. The mistake people still make is mistaking these new technologies as “advanced tools” for experienced users. No, these are advanced tools for developers, with the potential to make life a lot easier for users! Of course, there is still lots of work to improve UX when using these features, but what’s left to do is good old engineering and a product mindset.

BitcoinVN News: What are in your point of view the current biggest challenges and risks Bitcoin faces? And how do we overcome them?

Salvatore: To me, the triad that matters is self-custody / privacy / scalability. Using bitcoin with good privacy practices is still too hard, and the scalability challenges (with fees rising to levels not manageable for newcomers as soon as there is an uptick in network usage) pushes people towards custodial systems. I am optimistic, however, that the ongoing research can bring substantial improvements to all of the above. The keyword for the curious is: covenants.

BitcoinVN News: Why should people really get over themselves and take self-custody into their own hands? And what has been your most successful pitch to convert them over to take action?

Salvatore: I’m more of a builder – other people are better suited to do the talking 😀  However, when I talk about bitcoin with friends, I focus on why bitcoin matters for the world. If the moment comes that they are convinced about that, they will already get why self-custody is important. Speculators don’t care, unfortunately.

BitcoinVN News: You have been around the community-powered Bitcoin events in Vietnam and Bali in recent years. Are we going to see you again in South East Asia in 2024 – and if so, where?
Bitcoin Bull at Bali 2023Bitcoin Bull at Bali 2023
Bitcoin Bull at Bali 2023

Salvatore: My wife is Indonesian, so we’re hoping to be in Bali in September for the second Indonesia Bitcoin Conference! As I’ve had ties with Bali for years, it’s amazing to witness the growing local community of Bitcoiners. I would love to spend more time in South East Asia, though currently, it’s a bit challenging.

BitcoinVN News: Thank you for your time and we wish you much success with your work at Ledger!

Based in Vietnam and looking to acquire a Ledger device?

BitcoinVN Shop serves as authorized supplier of Ledger devices in Vietnam – with direct delivery from our Ho Chi Minh City warehouse.

No customs hassle and fast delivery – and an optional free 1 hour consulting session included to get you started the right way on your path to self-custody.

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