[Bitcoin-development] Bitcoind-in-background mode for SPV wallets

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Wed Apr 9 16:03:08 UTC 2014

Hash: SHA512

Two talking points for said developers yo their user re: "Why use a full node?":

1) It's more private. Bloom filters gives away quite accurate statistical information about what coins you own to whom ever you happen to be connected too. An attacker can easily use this to deanonymize you even if you don't reuse addresses; Tor does not help much against this attack.

2) It's more secure. SPV means you are trusting miners to do validation for you. With the extremely high degree of mining centralisation we currently have it would only take one or two pools getting hacked for an attacker to be able to get enough hashing power to easily fool your SPV wallet into accepting a fake transaction.

As for what we can offer those developers, partial UTXO set mode would be a great long term goal.

On 9 April 2014 11:29:32 GMT-04:00, Wladimir <laanwj at gmail.com> wrote:
>This is primarily aimed at developers of SPV wallets.
>The recently reported decrease in number of full nodes could have
>reasons, one of them that less people are running Bitcoin Core for the
>wallet because the other wallets are getting ahead in both features and
>It's great to see innovation in wallets, but it's worrying that the
>of full nodes decreases.
>It may be that lots of people would support the network by running a
>node, but don't want to go through the trouble of installing bitcoin
>separately (and get confused because it's a wallet, too).
>Hence I'd like to explore the idea of adding an option to popular SPV
>wallets, to spin a bitcoind process in the background. This could be
>much transparent to the user - it would sync in the background, the
>could show statistics about the node, but is not dependent on it.
>In exchange the user would get increased (full node level) security, as
>SPV wallet would have a local trusted node.
>Does this sound like a good idea?
>Is there any way that Bitcoin Core can help to accomedate this
>usage? Specific Interfaces, special builds - maybe add a walletless
>bitcoind build to gitian - bindings, dlls, etc?
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