[Bitcoin-development] Proposal: soft-fork to make anyone-can-spend outputs unspendable for 100 blocks

Luke-Jr luke at dashjr.org
Thu Jun 6 20:07:38 UTC 2013

On Thursday, June 06, 2013 7:59:16 PM Andreas M. Antonopoulos wrote:
> Is there any consideration given to the fact that bitcoin can operate as a
> platform for many other services, if it is able to be neutral to payload,
> as long as the fee is paid for the transaction size?

This doesn't work like you might think: first of all, the fees today are 
greatly subsidized - the actual cost to store data in the blockchain is much 
higher than most storage solutions. Secondly, only the miner receives the 
fees, not the majority of nodes which have to bear the burden of the data.
That is, the fee system is setup as an antispam/deterrant, not as payment for 

> Unless I have misunderstood this discussion, it seems to me that this is a
> bit like saying in 1990 "IP Is only for email, the majority of users want
> email, we shouldn't allow video, voice or images". Ooops, there goes the
> web.

Not the same thing at all; nobody is forced to store/relay video/voice/images 
without reimbursement. On the other hand, any full Bitcoin node is required to 
at least download the entire blockchain once. And the network as a whole 
suffers if nodes decide to start not-storing parts of the blockchain they 
don't want to deal with.

> Is it possible to solve this by solving the issue of provably un-spendable
> outputs without foreclosing on the possibility of other types of
> transaction payloads (ie, not money), that would open the possibility for a
> myriad of layered apps above? For example, hashes of content that is
> external to bitcoin, that people want to pay to have timestamped in the
> blockchain, as provably unspendable outputs.

This is how merged mining solves the problem. A single extra hash in the 
coinbase can link the bitcoin blockchain up with unlimited other data.

> The social compact is to accept transaction for fee. I think it is a major
> mistake to make decisions that discriminate on the content of the
> transaction, saying that some uses are not appropriate. If the fee is paid
> and it covers the size of the transaction, why would it matter if it is not
> a payment?

See above.

> I could be totally misreading this thread, too, so please allow me some
> slack if I have!
> On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 12:14 PM, Luke-Jr <luke at dashjr.org> wrote:
> > On Saturday, June 01, 2013 7:30:36 PM Peter Todd wrote:
> > > scriptPubKey: <data> OP_TRUE
> > > 
> > > ...
> > > Along with that change anyone-can-spend outputs should be make
> > 
> > IsStandard()
> > 
> > > so they will be relayed.
> > 
> > Data does not belong in the blockchain. People running nodes have all
> > implicitly agreed to store the blocks for financial purposes, and storing
> > data
> > is a violation of that social contract. Proof-of-stake may be arguably
> > financial, but I'm sure there must be a way to do it without spamming
> > people
> > against their consent.
> > 
> > > The alternative is sacrifices to unspendable outputs, which is very
> > > undesirable compared to sending the money to miners to further
> > > strengthen the security of the network.
> > 
> > The alternative is to make other standard outputs unable to store data as
> > well.
> > 
> > Luke
> > 
> > 
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