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

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Thu Apr 10 09:17:28 UTC 2014

> I find it is odd that we who hold the key to instant machine to machine
> micro payments do not use it to incentivise committing resources to the
> network.

It's not a new idea, obviously, but there are some practical consequences:

1) To pay a node for serving, you have to have bitcoins. To get bitcoins,
you need to sync with the network via a node. Catch 22.

2) If some nodes choose to charge and others choose to not charge, a smart
wallet will always use the free nodes. In the absence of any global load
balancing algorithms, this would lead to the free nodes getting overloaded
and collapsing whilst the for-pay nodes remain silent.

3) The only payment channel implementations today are bitcoinj's (Java) and
one written by Jeff in Javascript. There are no C++ implementations. And as
Matt and I can attest to, doing a real, solid, fully debugged
implementation that's integrated into a real app is .... a lot of work.

I still think the lowest hanging fruit is basic, boring optimisations
rather than architectural rethinks.
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