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Foundation Updates: February 2024

Hello Friends: Welcome Back to Our Monthly Updates!

It’s been a while, but we’re back with our monthly newsletter. We’re thrilled to have you join us again. Curious about what’s been going on behind the scenes? We’ve got all the details waiting for you below. So, let’s catch up and dive into what’s been happening at Foundation HQ. 🫡

This month at Foundation

Since our last update we’ve been busy, pushing out a flurry of releases for both Passport and Envoy. Notable additions include features like coin control in Envoy and restore seed QR support on Passport. In case you missed any of the updates, you can swing by our GitHub page for both Passport and Envoy and stay up to date.

Now, let’s see how February treated us in terms of our latest releases. 👇🏻

Product Updates 🔥

Passport v2.3.0

  • Say hello to proper send and receive support for Taproot in Passport 🥕
  • You can now export Passport’s master seed phrase via SeedQR, if desired.
  • Passport now allows the creation of 12 word seed phrases, and defaults to 12 word seed phrases during onboarding.
  • Advanced users can now generate 11 or 23 words offline, import into Passport, and Passport will automatically calculate the checksum 12th or 24th word when importing the new seed.

Read more:

https://foundationdevices.com/2024/02/passport-version-2-3-0-is-now-live/

Envoy v1.6.0 (beta)

We give our community a sneak peak and chance to contribute with beta releases of each version of Passport firmware and Envoy release, but if that sounds scary for you we have an official release planned for next week for Envoy 1.6!

  • Full “replace-by-fee (RBF)” control is here!
  • Drastically improved address and amount display per the Bitcoin Design standards. Sexy and intuitive.
  • When you set a custom name for your Passport, now that name will show up automatically in the Devices tab on Envoy.
  • Envoy translated to Catalan thanks to our friends over at @bcnbitcoinonly! Special thanks to @insatwetrust, in particular!!

Read more 👉 Envoy beta version 1.6.0 is now live!

DID YOU KNOW? We have an exclusive beta program at Foundation, offering you the opportunity to be among the first to test and experience any new releases for Passport or Envoy. Gain access to our Telegram group and be among the first to test-drive any new releases. You’ll have the chance to provide valuable feedback and even earn sats for any bugs you may find.

Learn more here.

Meet the Foundation Team 👥

Discover where our team has been making waves in the public eye this February! We’ve recently joined a few podcasts – take a look below!

Product Review and Photo of the Month

Each month, we’ll be selecting one of our users’ reviews and one photo from social media to feature in our newsletter. Your experiences and stories are what keeps us building, and we’re grateful for your ongoing support. Keep sharing your moments with us, and you could be the next one in our newsletter!

Our first photo is from BitcoinExpert on X:

Our review of the month is from a customer over at Hey Apollo:

What we’re working on

March is just around the corner, and we’re getting ready to kick things off with a bang! We’ve been hard at work on something new for Foundation, and we’re also planning a fantastic community event on X to go alongside the launch. 🤫 We can’t wait for you to see. March is going to be HUGE for our community.

Alongside this our amazing developers are hard at work on your favorite Bitcoin products, Passport and Envoy. Keep the feedback coming no matter how big or small we love it all.

Where can you find us in March? Some of our team will be hitting the scene at the Pub Key event in NYC, Tuesday 5th March, ready to connect, educate, and dive into all things Self Custody.

We’ll also be sponsoring and speaking at the inaugural Finney Forum in Dallas, Texas on March 15-16th, with Seth For Privacy speaking on the dangers of privacy puritanism.

See you all there!

Conclusion

That wraps up our February edition of Foundation Updates – thank you for joining us, stay tuned for more next month. In the meantime, for daily updates and insightful content you can:

🐦Follow us on Twitter

🟣 Follow us on Nostr

🌐 Subscribe to our newsletter

💬 Join our community support group on Telegram

With Love from all at Team Foundation 🧡

This Month in Sovereignty: May 2023

While we already had a lot slated for the month of May, the combination of big releases, the Bitcoin conference in Miami, and the drama around Ledger’s new “Recover” service made for an explosive few weeks! We’ll get you all caught up with the latest at Foundation and in the space in this month’s newsletter ????

Dive into the latest updates below, and be sure to subscribe if you want to stay informed on all things sovereignty moving forward!

This month at Foundation

With the rush to safety in open-source software and hardware in the wake of Ledger’s debacle, we’ve seen an unprecedented month of sales for Passport! As a result we sold out of all of our current stock, but were already ramping up production and have begun shipping pending orders. We’re expecting to have Passport back in stock for new orders in the next 2 weeks, and will keep you all up to date along the way.

Now onto the updates we have for you all this month!

Updates

We announced a groundbreaking release of Envoy, our mobile companion app for Passport, just in time for Bitcoin Miami. This new update transforms Envoy into a standalone Bitcoin mobile wallet with powerful account management and privacy features.

  • Announcing Envoy Wallet: Bitcoin Simplified
  • “Notably, Envoy Magic Backups take the pain and worry out of setting up and backing up a mobile wallet, allowing you to get up and running in 60 seconds and restore your wallet anytime, on any device, in just two taps. It’s time you experienced Bitcoin, simplified.”
    • Learn how Magic Backups work in less than 40 seconds!
  • “We expect Envoy Magic Backups will lead to a massive increase in self custody, with easier onboarding than you’d find at any Bitcoin exchange or custodian.”
  • Download Envoy today

In the first week of May we debuted a massive new update to Passport to our fantastic community in Passport’s new firmware, v2.1.1:

  • Passport version 2.1.1 is now live!
  • “In version 2.1, we’ve leveraged all of the background work in recent versions to build out some amazing new features for you, including backporting v2.1 firmware to Founder’s Edition, sending to Taproot addresses, a Key Manager Extension for BIP-85 and Nostr key support and export, and BIP-85 SeedQR exports. Features, features everywhere.”
  • This version of Passport firmware brings a wealth of new features, all securely backed up via encrypted microSD backups. Bringing the ability to manage all of your hot and cold wallets, all of your Nostr keys, and all of your friends and families wallets (if you choose to act as an “Uncle Jim”) under a single encrypted backup or seed phrase is a powerful thing. Peace of mind + powerful features.
  • You can read more about our new Key Manager extension that enables all of these incredible features here.

Blog posts

Due to our approach with Envoy as a mobile wallet being so different from other wallets out there, we took the time to walk through every detail of Envoy as a mobile wallet, including the new Magic Backups feature that enables <60s onboarding and 3-tap recovery:

  • Announcing Envoy Wallet: Bitcoin Simplified
  • “Envoy introduces a new seed-less onboarding experience called Magic Backups. While Envoy users can of course manually handle seed words if desired, we aimed to engineer a solution that enables 60-second onboarding and automatic encrypted backups of Envoy’s private key and application data (such as settings and labels), with a full restore taking just three taps.”

With the release of our latest Passport firmware we debuted two major new features in BIP 85 (or “deterministic child seeds”) and Nostr key support. Because of the changes these bring and the possibilities they open up, we highlighted them in a special blog post:

Journey to Sovereignty

In May, we got the chance to sit down with Czino and Steph from Peach Bitcoin and learn what they’ve been building, why P2P Bitcoin exchanges are vital, and much more. We also used the latest episode to unpack all of the happenings at Foundation.

  • EP #10 – Make Bitcoin P2P again w/ Peach Bitcoin
    • If you’ve been hearing the hype around Peach Bitcoin or simply starting to look into acquiring Bitcoin via a P2P exchange, today’s episode is for you! We’ll be diving into why Peach exists, how it’s different from the other P2P exchanges out there, and answering all your questions.
  • EP #11 – Open source is winning
    • It’s been a crazy last few weeks here at Foundation, so we wanted to focus this episode on chatting about all that we’ve launched, how the Ledger Recover fiasco has played out, and what we’re working on next.
    • We cover Passport’s new Key Manager extension, Envoy as a standalone mobile wallet, its new Magic Backups 60s onboarding and 3-tap recovery, and more on this episode of Journey to Sovereignty.

You can follow the podcast on your favorite platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Fountain, a Bitcoin-powered podcast platform where you can support content creators directly with your sats.

If you listen and boost Journey to Sovereignty on Fountain, we forward 100% of the sats you send us to other free and open-source projects we love in the Bitcoin space:

What we’re following

If you’ve been following Foundation for any length of time, you’ll surely know that we’re huge fans of decentralized and peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchanges as an immensely valuable tool. This month our Head of Customer Experience, BitcoinQnA, put together a guide on using Robosats on his site, bitcoiner.guide:

In the wake of the Ledger “Recover” fiasco, we’ve compiled some of the best resources on the topic so far to get you up to speed:

This month in digital sovereignty

We were thrilled to see that the Federal court system in the US finally codified protections for those coming into the US when it comes to warrantless phone searches:

A fantastic organization focused on incentivizing and organizing the funding of open-source projects, OpenSats, announced that they received a $10m grant to drive open-source contributions to Bitcoin, Nostr, and more.

  • OpenSats Receives Additional Funding of $10m from #startsmall
  • “We are delighted to announce that OpenSats has received a generous donation of $10 million from Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative, #startsmall, which will be used to support the development of free and open-source software and projects focusing on bitcoin, nostr, and related technologies.”

In the same vein, the Human Rights Foundation donated $450,000 in grants from its Bitcoin Development Fund towards Bitcoin development in May, focusing on “improving Bitcoin scaling, privacy, decentralization, supporting global education, censorship-resistant communication, and building communities worldwide. Areas of focus include Africa and Asia”:

  • HRF Bitcoin Development Fund Grants $455,000 to 12 Projects Worldwide
  • “In 2020, the Human Rights Foundation launched a fund to support software developers who are making the Bitcoin network more private, decentralized, and resilient so that it can better serve as a financial tool for human rights activists, civil society organizations, and journalists around the world.

This month’s step towards personal privacy and security

Properly securing accounts can lead to much better privacy by reducing the amount of data leaks and hacks you experience as a result of stolen or leaked credentials. Password managers make it extremely simple to manage usernames and passwords across all of the sites and apps you use, without needing to re-use passwords (or username or email!) in order to remember them. This has drastic implications on security, and is a huge step forward in your journey.

Migrating to a password manager is also a great chance to think twice about which accounts you actually need, and close those that you don’t need in the process.

  • Bitwarden
    • Bitwarden has become the gold standard for open-source password managers, as it has rich features, a generous free plan, and excellent clients on all platforms along with fantastic browser extensions.

What we’re working on

Our focus this month is around iterating on Envoy as a mobile wallet, building out full Taproot support for Passport, and supporting the Oslo Freedom Forum by donating 15 Passports to activists attending the event.

We’re excited to continue helping bring freedom via Bitcoin to people across the globe, and supporting such a critical event is a key way we can help to do that. Keep an eye out for more on the freedom front, as we’re working on big things behind the scenes!

To keep up with what we’re building, you can follow us on Twitter, on Nostr, or subscribe to our newsletter on our website so you can stay in the loop.

This Month in Sovereignty: April 2023

Our team has been busy throughout the month of April with major new releases of Envoy and Passport firmware along with preparations for a busy conference season, kicking off with Bitcoin Miami.

Dive into the latest updates below, and be sure to subscribe if you want to stay informed on all things sovereignty moving forward!

This month at Foundation

Updates

In the first week of May we debuted a massive new update to Passport for our fantastic community in Passport’s new firmware, v2.1.1:

  • Passport version 2.1.1 is now live!
  • “In version 2.1, we’ve leveraged all of the background work in recent versions to build out some amazing new features for you, including backporting v2.1 firmware to Founder’s Edition, sending to Taproot addresses, a Key Manager Extension for BIP-85 and Nostr key support and export, and BIP-85 SeedQR exports. Features, features everywhere.”
  • This version of Passport firmware brings a wealth of new features, all securely backed up via encrypted microSD backups. Bringing the ability to manage all of your hot and cold wallets, all of your Nostr keys, and all of your friends and families wallets (if you choose to act as an “Uncle Jim”) under a single encrypted backup or seed phrase is a powerful thing. Peace of mind + powerful features.
  • You can read more about our new Key Manager extension that enables all of these incredible features in our latest blog post, or in our support docs here.

April was also a month filled with major amounts of internal testing and multiple public betas as we continued to test Envoy as a standalone wallet before public release:

  • Envoy Wallet Open Beta
    • With this open beta we’re greatly expanding what Envoy is capable of, making it a feature-rich Bitcoin hot wallet in addition to its existing role as a watch-only wallet and management app for Passport.

Blog posts

April was a quieter month from us on the blog side as we focused heavily on software and firmware releases internally while preparing for a busy season of conferences and big announcements around Bitcoin Miami 2023.

With the release of our latest Passport firmware we debuted two major new features in BIP 85 (or “deterministic child seeds”) and Nostr key support. Because of the changes these bring and the possibilities they open up, we highlighted them in a special blog post:

Last month we published the first edition of “This Month in Sovereignty,” kicking off this outlet to keep up with what we’re doing here at Foundation, what we’re reading, and what we’re following in the space:

Journey to Sovereignty

In April, we walked through what VPNs are and why they’re an immensely valuable tool for Bitcoiners, and then sat down with Ivan from Breez to learn about how they’re building an open-source toolkit to enable easier self-sovereign Lightning apps moving forward.

  • EP #8 – Let’s make (good) VPNs the standard
    • If you’ve heard the term “VPN” from a sketchy ad during a YouTube video or a shadowy super coder, you might have been turned off to the concept. Today we’re going to break down what a VPN is, how one works, and why they’re actually amazing tools for your every-day-carry digital toolkit. Let’s make (good) VPNs the standard.
  • EP #9 – Making self-custodial Lightning easier w/ Ivan from Breez
    • If it’s seemed too daunting to use Lightning without sacrificing custody of your Bitcoin, what Breez is building might be just the solution you need. On this week’s episode we sit down with Ivan from Breez to talk about the future of self-custodial Lightning and how we can beat fiat at it’s own game.

You can follow the podcast on your favorite platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Fountain, a Bitcoin-powered podcast platform where you can support content creators directly with your sats.

If you listen and boost Journey to Sovereignty on Fountain, we forward 100% of the sats you send us to other free and open-source projects we love in the Bitcoin space:

What we’re following

Matt Odell released a fantastic and deeply important episode of Citadel Dispatch this month on the shocking use of Chainalysis closed-source data and tooling to prosecute a seemingly innocent person for running the Bitcoin Fog centralized mixer.

One of the best educators in the space, Econoalchemist, put out a detailed review and guide around using Passport this past month in Bitcoin Magazine. He walks through initial setup, comparisons to Founder’s Edition, and how to use Passport to reclaim your privacy in Bitcoin via Sparrow Wallet.

As the Tor network continues to undergo a concerted DDoS attack by an unknown entity, they have narrowed down potential solutions and are focusing on implementing a novel proof-of-work algorithm to the connection flow for Tor users.

This month in digital sovereignty

Our very own BitcoinQnA released a major update and expansion of his open-source educational website and resource, bitcoiner.guide, this month. It now features a beginner, intermediate, and advanced track, a new look, Nostr live chat and lots more content!

Blue Wallet, a fantastic mobile wallet with excellent support for Passport, released a major new update that includes a fixed Payjoin implementation and an initial release of BIP 47 “PayNym” support (receive only for now)

The U.S. government continued their push against encryption and personal privacy this month with three new or renewed bills to restrict our freedom online. The EFF has done a fantastic job covering these new developments below:

This month’s step towards personal privacy and security

As we covered the topic at length in one of this month’s Journey to Sovereignty episodes, we figured it would make sense to focus this month’s actionable step towards personal privacy on using a privacy-preserving and non-logging VPN provider.

While a VPN provider isn’t a perfect solution to network privacy issues, it does allow you to shift the trust from your network provider (home ISP, mobile carrier, etc.) to a 3rd-party you trust more than them (and one that doesn’t have your personal information or address). Once you’re using a VPN, you’re actively preventing the sites, apps, and tools you interact with online from learning your home IP address and connecting all of your activities back to you.

Our team is a big fan and many of us are users of two well-known VPN providers in the space which we’ve linked below for easy reference. Both IVPN and Mullvad accept Bitcoin (on-chain and Lightning) for subscriptions and require no information from you to create an account, not even an email address!

Please note that we have no direct affiliation with either provider and don’t profit off of your use of either, we just love their approaches and use them ourselves.

What we’re working on

In May we’ll be attending Bitcoin Miami with a large portion of our team, and can’t wait to meet some of you all there! We’ll also be selling Passport directly from our booth, making conferences the best way to buy Passport without disclosing any information (even shipping address) to us or anyone else.

We also can’t wait to get Envoy as a standalone wallet out to the general public, and will be releasing it ahead of the conference so keep an eye out for that.

To keep up with what we’re building, you can follow us on Twitter, on Nostr, or subscribe to our newsletter on our website so you can stay in the loop.

This Month in Sovereignty: March 2023

Welcome to This Month in Sovereignty, a new monthly newsletter from Foundation. 

With all that we have going on here at Foundation, the exciting news among our ecosystem partners, and the rapid pace of innovation around Bitcoin and self-sovereignty tools, we wanted to create a one-stop place for you to keep up with everything happening in the space.

We’ll use this newsletter to highlight development and content at Foundation, give you insight into what we’re loving this month as a team, and help you keep up with the ever evolving world of self-sovereignty, privacy, and Bitcoin. Let’s dive in.

This month at Foundation

Updates

It’s been a very busy month for us as we’ve finished squashing a few key bugs and have been able to focus more on building out new features for Passport and Envoy by the handful. We shipped two firmware updates for Passport, drastically improving QR and transaction signing performance, and shipped a major new open beta for Envoy featuring complete hot wallet support.

  • Passport version 2.0.7 is now live!
    • We focused on rebuilding transaction signing and QR scanning from the ground up, bringing you a faster and more seamless experience when sending Bitcoin using your Passport.
  • Envoy Wallet Open Beta
    • With this open beta we’re greatly expanding what Envoy is capable of, making it a feature-rich Bitcoin hot wallet in addition to its existing role as a watch-only wallet and management app for Passport.​

Blog posts

Our broad focus on content this month was around equipping you with the tools you need to gain financial sovereignty through Bitcoin privacy, and to approach Nostr in a privacy-preserving way as a new and powerful social media platform.

  • Privacy on Nostr
    • “Nostr has been taking the Bitcoin world by storm over the past few months, and with it comes a chance to correct the mistakes of the current social media paradigm… Nostr takes a novel approach to its network design, and we want to be sure that Nostr users like yourself are well-equipped to use Nostr in a way that preserves your privacy and security from the start.”
    • We believe Nostr is social media as it should be.
    • You can follow us on Nostr here: @Foundation
  • Bitcoin doesn’t need banks
    • We expanded on the concepts discussed on Journey to Sovereignty in our special “Bitcoin doesn’t need banks” in a standalone blog post, walking through our favorite no-KYC P2P exchanges, how they work, and how you can get started.
    • “You just traded fiat for Bitcoin directly with another human without involving any intermediaries, without sacrificing your personal privacy, and without giving up custody of funds to an exchange for a prolonged period of time. P2P exchanges are the future.

Journey to Sovereignty

We started a new podcast and Twitter Space this year called “Journey to Sovereignty” as a place for us to chat about all things sovereignty, the why and how of reclaiming your digital sovereignty, and to give you all a chance to chime in, ask questions, and join the conversation. We’ve had a great time diving deeply into the concepts of sovereignty, personal privacy, and Bitcoin’s power to provide financial freedom.

In March, we walked through on-chain privacy in Bitcoin, discussed how we can free ourselves from banks and middle-men as we acquire Bitcoin, and how an ongoing attack against Bitcoin nodes works and how you can protect yourself against it.

  • EP #6 – Protecting our privacy on Bitcoin (Part 1)
    • In this episode we took a more technical deep dive into all things Bitcoin privacy, starting with why Bitcoin transactions reveal the information they do, and what information we must protect to preserve our privacy while using Bitcoin.
  • SPECIAL – Bitcoin doesn’t need banks
    • In this episode we talk through how Bitcoin was built from the ground up to stand on its own and how you can acquire and use Bitcoin without ever touching your bank account.
  • EP #7 – Who’s spying on your Bitcoin node?
    • If you’ve heard about ways that Bitcoin nodes can track you or theoretical attacks against Bitcoin nodes, we’ve got you covered in this episode. We dive into how network privacy works in Bitcoin, what nodes learn about you, and discuss an active attack against your node that’s been going on for the past few months.
    • Our conversation was based on the excellent research published by 0xB10C here:

You can follow the podcast on your favorite platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Fountain, a Bitcoin-powered podcast platform where you can support content creators directly with your sats.

If you listen and boost Journey to Sovereignty on Fountain, we forward 100% of the sats you send us to other free and open-source projects we love in the Bitcoin space:

What we’re following


In this segment of the newsletter we share what our team has been loving in the space, be it podcast, blog posts, media, etc. Get to know the Foundation team a bit better and hopefully find some content you’ve been missing!

This month in digital sovereignty

March ended up being an absolutely shocking month of news from every angle, including bank collapses, harsh proposed regulations, and big news in the privacy ecosystem.

This month’s step towards personal privacy and security

Still stuck on Google Chrome or default Firefox but looking to improve your privacy while browsing? Our focus this month is to help you make the jump to a browser that cares about your privacy from the start, providing you a strong base and a jumpstart towards better online privacy.

  • Firefox
    • One of our favorite hardening guides for Firefox is made by an excellent content creator in the privacy space, TechLore. This guide goes step by step with very simple instructions and walks you through the process. Don’t let it scare you! It’s very straightforward, and only needs to be done once per computer.
  • Brave Browser
    • Brave has some excellent defaults, but certainly takes some odd approaches (like cryptocurrency ads all over the place and built-in cryptocurrency wallets which aren’t helpful to most people). This guide will help you harden its defaults, disable all of the Brave cryptocurrency integration, etc.
  • Mullvad Browser
    • Mullvad’s browser was just announced this month, but provides a great entry-point for the more hardcore among you. It takes strong steps towards reducing browser fingerprinting and bundles an excellent set of defaults for you out of the box.

What we’re working on

We’re excited to release a swath of updates for Passport and Envoy in April, including an open beta for Passport v2.1.0 that will include lots of exciting new features that we’ve been building out for you. This might just be our biggest month of software releases ever.

To keep up with what we’re building, you can follow us on Twitter, on Nostr, or subscribe to our newsletter below so you can stay in the loop.