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

Tier Nolan tier.nolan at gmail.com
Thu Apr 10 17:30:32 UTC 2014

Error correction is an interesting suggestion.

If there was 10000 nodes and each stored 0.1% of the blocks, at random,
then the odds of a block not being stored is 45 in a million.

Blocks are stored on average 10 times, so there is already reasonable

With 1 million blocks, 45 would be lost in that case, even though most are
stored multiple times.

With error correction codes, the chances of blocks going missing is much

For example, if there was 32 out of 34 Reed-Solomon-like system, then 2
blocks out of 34 could be lost without any actual data loss for the network.

As a back of the envelop check, the odds of 2 missing blocks landing within
34 of another is 68/1000000.  That means that the odds of 2 missing blocks
falling in the same correction section is 45 * 34 / 1000000 = 0.153%.  Even
in that case, the missing blocks could be reconstructed, as long as you
know that they are missing.

The error correction code has taken it from being a near certainty that
some blocks would be lost to less than 0.153%.

A simple error correction system would just take 32 blocks in sequence and
then compute 2 extra blocks.

The extra blocks would have to be the same length as the longest block in
the 32 being corrected.

The shorter blocks would be padded with zeroes so everything is the same

For each byte position in the blocks you compute the polynomial that goes
through byte (x, data(x)), for x = 0 to 31.  This could be a finite field,
or just mod 257.

You can then compute the value for x=32 and x = 33.  Those are the values
for the 2 extra blocks.

If mod 257 is used, then only the 2 extra blocks have to deal with symbols
from 0 to 256.

If you have 32 of the 34 blocks, you can compute the polynomial and thus
generate the 32 actual blocks.

This could be achieved by a soft fork by having a commitment every 32
blocks in the coinbase.

It makes the header chain much longer though.

Longer sections are more efficient, but need more calculations to recover
everything.  You could also do interleaving to handle the case where entire
sections are missing.

On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM, Peter Todd <pete at petertodd.org> wrote:

> Hash: SHA512
> On 10 April 2014 07:50:55 GMT-04:00, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >(Just be glad I'm not suggesting coding the entire blockchain with an
> >error correcting code so that it doesn't matter which subset you're
> >holding)
> I forgot to ask last night: if you do that, can you add new blocks to the
> chain with the encoding incrementally?
> Version: APG v1.1.1
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> =CWql
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