[Bitcoin-development] RFC: MERGE transaction/script/process for forked chains

Troy Benjegerdes hozer at hozed.org
Tue Dec 17 22:41:30 UTC 2013

I want to get some feedback.. I've used distributed version control 
systems for a long time, and the most useful feature is to be able
to merge two different forks.

So what's the equivalent of this for Bitcoin or other crypto-currencies?

Let's suppose that me and my friends get 'islanded' from the rest of
the internet for a week, but we still want to trade bitcoin. It would
work if there are local miners, until we reconnect.

Suppose we have the main chain (Alice), while bob is on a boat, trading
with some friends, but has no network connectivity.

When bob reconnects with Alice, a 'Merge' transaction happens where a 
miner looks at bob's forked blockchain, sees no double-spends, and 
includes BOTH chains.

Now suppose someone on bob's boat has a buggy client, or sent a 
transaction before disconnect that results in a double-spend on the 

So we have a merge conflict, which generally requires human interaction,
so bob and his friends broadcast a MERGE request with a transaction fee
sufficient to cover reconciling the double-spends, AND incentivize a 
miner to do some extra work to merge.

Thoughts everyone?

-- Troy

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