[Bitcoin-development] BIP 33 - Stratized Nodes

Amir Taaki zgenjix at yahoo.com
Wed May 16 17:32:51 UTC 2012

A bloom filter seems like an interesting idea. However this proposal is concerned mainly with the initialisation stage, whereas this bloom filter is for pushed blocks.

This proposal still updates new transactions and blocks in the same way, and it's not inconceivable to later use a bloom filter to make that part more efficient (although it's questionable if pushing this server side would be a good idea as it would now need to track an additional client state).

From: Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net>
To: Amir Taaki <zgenjix at yahoo.com> 
Cc: "bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net" <bitcoin-development at lists.sourceforge.net> 
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 5:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Bitcoin-development] BIP 33 - Stratized Nodes

Thanks for getting this started. 

With regards to the specific proposal, I don't believe it's the best option and still plan to eventually implement the original design outlined more than a year ago in this thread:


Namely that you use a new protocol command to set a Bloom filter on a connection. Only transactions matching that filter will appear in relayed inventory. Blocks that are requested will arrive as a header plus transaction/merkle branch pairs. Clients are expected to maintain and track the block chain as per usual, but instead of downloading the whole chain and then dropping the irrelevant transactions, that filtering is done server side. By strengthening or weakening the Bloom filters you can choose your preferred point on the privacy/bandwidth-usage spectrum. It is a fairly simple change to the Satoshi and BitcoinJ codebases but still allows clients to gain confidence in their balance by examining the chain, and this is true even in the presence of a hijacked internet connection (you can't trust pending transactions that way, but you can still trust confirmed transactions).

The filters would be applied to each data block in each script rather than having a specific knowledge of addresses. In this way you can select for things like multisig outputs or outputs which don't use addresses / pubkeys to authenticate.

I could write a BIP for this alternative protocol if somebody else wants to implement it. I was going to wait until I had time to do both BIP and implementation, but I think some simple optimizations to BitcoinJ can keep its performance good enough for the short term.  

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