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How do Bitcoin payment channels work?

I would like to know how payment channel mechanic works in practice. What do the involved parties need to do, which information they exchange and how is the security ensured.

Bonus question: What different types of payment channels exist?

Only answers that actually explain channels will qualify for the bounty. While linking to 3rd party sources is encouraged and desired, answers that solely do that won’t count.

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What is Miner ID, how it works and what can it be used for?

There has been a lot of discussion going on about Miner ID lately. What is Miner ID and how does it work? Is it optional for miners to use and what would be their incentive for or against it?

Which cool new possibilities does it enable?

Note: Only answers that properly answer questions on BitQ&A will qualify for the bounty. Links to external resources are more than welcome, while answers with links only won’t qualify.

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How do I create a counter like bitqa.app uses that increases the “Answer: 0” count and stays?

I’m a programming noob trying to build a website using Money Button and BSV blockchain. I need help (or a visual of code) writing code that increases a number on the page after the Money Button is swiped. Just how “Answers: 0” gets increased by +1 on bitqa.app after paying. I hope $5 bounty for best answer is enough. Thanks in advance!

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Provide examples of multi-sig scripts

What are the possible Bitcoin scripts to create a multi-sig transaction? Please provide the script code with explanations.

I would like to see at least two types of such scripts explained (OP_CHECKMULTISIG and the one with conditional OP_IF statements that Steve Shadders showed at this CoinGeek Seoul presentation). If there are more options, please list them as well.

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How to broadcast a transaction to the Bitcoin Peer-to-peer network?

Let’s say a developer wants to broadcast transactions from their app directly to the P2P network (not using RPC calls). How would this be done? I assume a TCP/IP connection needs to be established to one of the active nodes. What follows after that? Which messages need to be exchanged (examples would be very welcome)? Can connection be closed after the broadcast or should the app maintain its connection?

Bonus question: How to discover other nodes and broadcast the transaction to multiple peers in parallel?

Is there any curated list of the IP addresses of the nodes that belong to major miners?

EDIT: It is true that Merchant API will be the way to go when available (it is not at the moment) and that using APIs such as Matter Cloud or What’s on chain is the easiest way to do it right now. But this question is more about understanding how Bitcoin’s server network works. It is an interesting piece of technology. It might also be useful for someone - API providers need to deliver transactions to miners at some point after all.

With that said; this question remains open and bounty still waiting for the right response.

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