S13 E1: Eric Sirion & Obi Nwosu on Fedimint & Fedi

Eric Sirion and Obi Nwosu are responsible for bringing to life and popularizing the idea of increasing Bitcoin adoption through federated Chaumian mints. These community banks are called Fedimints and serve the purpose of onboarding people to Bitcoin in a simple, user-friendly, and privacy-centric manner. Thanks to these Fedimints, families, local communities, clubs, groups of friends, and other forms of human association can leverage their trust in each other in order to create their own Bitcoin-powered banks.

The Fedimint design is simple and elegant: creators of the mint can set up a multi-party and geographically-distributed multisig which protects the funds, then onboard their friends and family to Bitcoin with nothing but a mobile application. New and lesser technical members of this Chaumian mint benefit from instant, scalable, and private BTC transactions – as well as bridges to the Lightning network for payments outside of the mint. Their login can be something as basic as a face scan, a fingerprint, or a password. And as members of this mint, they can’t see how much money is being sent and to whom – the only available statistic concerns the total amount of bitcoin available in the mint.

This Fedimint design targets people who otherwise keep their coins on exchanges, are afraid to embrace self-custody, and need a way to make payments which make them part of the global economy. Unfortunately, the tradeoff is the trust requirement: the Fedimint creators can coordinate to liquidate the mint (which comes at a reputational cost within the community, but is still an attack vector) and governments can stop poorly distributed mints by confiscating the hardware so nobody can make payments anymore.

Eric Sirion is the creator of the Fedimint open source project, while Obi Nwosu is the biggest advocate and investor. The two of them, alongside Bitcoin educator Justin Moon, created a company which pays for the development of mobile applications and other types of infrastructure which enable easy BTC adoption via Fedimint.

It was a pleasure to have Eric Sirion and Obi Nwosu on the Bitcoin Takeover podcast, as I’ve had the opportunity to learn more and understand the use cases of their Chaumian mint model. Our interview was recorded at Paralelni Polis during the 2022 edition of the Hackers Congress – and I must thank Mario Havel, Katka, Tereza, and Sodomak for letting me use their recording studio. If you walk by Paralelni Polis in Prague, make sure you stop to grab a limited edition copy of the BTCTKVR magazine (which they also sell in their online store).

Listen to Eric Sirion and Obi Nwosu on Apple Podcasts, Spotify & YouTube!

Ideally, you should use a podcast player which doesn’t track you. Something like this native player, which you can open in the Tor browser and benefit from all the features you find in fancy big tech apps. You can play at a faster speed, you can download the file for offline listening, and you can also skip a few seconds ahead or behind.

On the other hand, if you prefer the convenience of Spotify or the interface of Apple Podcasts, then it would really help if you subscribed and left feedback (a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts and some feedback in a comment can make a huge difference in terms of ranking the content and helping it get discovered more easily).

If you can, please subscribe and leave likes/comments/star ratings. It will help others find the Bitcoin Takeover podcast more easily.

Bitcoin Takeover Podcast Season 13 is sponsored by Wasabi wallet, Cryptosteel, Bumbee & ShopInBit!

Wasabi offers a free and open source private-centric wallet which makes use of mega CoinJoins in order to provide excellent plausible deniability and obfuscation. If you don’t want your KYC exchange to know what you’re doing with your bitcoins after you withdraw them, join a Wasabi CoinJoin round and reclaim your freedom to do whatever you want with your money without being tracked – exchanges such as Coinbase and Crypto.com are interested to know where their users spend their BTC after withdrawing them.

Also, if you’re concerned that someone else you know in real life has access to your public addresses and knows how much BTC you own, Wasabi wallet has got you covered. For amounts lower than 0.01 BTC, you pay no coordination fee – but if you’re wealthier, the fee is 0.3%.

Download Wasabi wallet 2.0 for free today and reclaim your privacy!

Cryptosteel are innovators in Bitcoin cold storage. Back in 2013, they launched the Cryptosteel Cassette, which made it easy to back up your seed phrase, passphrase, or any other form of private key on the sturdy metal which resists water, fire, and earthquakes. 

Today, Cryptosteel offers the MotherLode: an all-in one box which endows you with everything you need to become financially sovereign. Inside the ModerLode, you get a Cryptosteel Capsule and a hardware wallet of your choice.

All Cryptosteel products are engineered and manufactured in Poland. Order your Cryptosteel metal backup system today on Cryptosteel.com and use promo code BTCTKVR at checkout for a 10% discount on your order. Cryptosteel – secure your wallet seed phrase!

Are you a writer, photographer, musician, or video creator who’s trying to generate some revenue? Bumbee is the Bitcoin way to monetize your content. It’s more censorship resistant than any other platform of its kind, with a low and flat one-time fee of 10%. 

Bumbee is as easy to use as any social media mobile app. Sign up today at bumbee.com and subscribe for free to the Bitcoin Takeover account to get access to some time-exclusive content. If you’re monetizing your creativity, why not get paid in bitcoin for it? Bumbee.com – the Bitcoin way to monetize your content.

Online shopping with Bitcoin is easy. ShopinBit is Europe’s biggest Bitcoin Store with over 800 thousand products. Ranging from Bitcoin books, toothpaste, mobile phones, computers, and watches. This month, I bought a Nintendo Game & Watch console with the classic Legend of Zelda – and it arrived in only 5 working days.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ShopInBit’s got you covered. Their concierge service will get you anything and ship it worldwide. Additionally they also have a Travel HACKING Service to get you the best deals on all things travel: Flights, Hotels and more, for business and for vacations.

Bitcoin Takeover listeners get a nice discount,  of course:

Use code BTCTKVR on your first order for a one-time 5 euro discount.

For more details, go to ShopinBit.com. ShopinBit – Europe’s biggest Bitcoin store

Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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