[Bitcoin-development] Presenting a BIP for Shamir's Secret Sharing of Bitcoin private keys

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 18:46:18 UTC 2014

On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM, Tamas Blummer <tamas at bitsofproof.com> wrote:
> Yes, it is current norm. I am questioning if we should hang on to it in
> BIPs.
> I see testnet as a tool for a certain type of testing. Its existence is
> likely a consequence of Satoshi not writing unit tests and having automated
> integration tests, but creating a shadow chain to try things out, mostly
> manually.

Satoshi didn't create testnet.  Testnet exists so you can do public
tests involving multiple people and services, so you can have shadow
versions of sites and services interacting with each other and trading
worthless tokens. Importantly, testnet also creates a public live fire
environment where grey hats can try out their attacks while minimizing
damage (and it's been very successful at this).  Testnet is not an
alternative to the unit and integration tests that exist in Bitcoin
core but exists for more or less completely different reasons.

> Above leads me thinking that testnet is far less important than to be
> addressed in every future BIP.

Testnet is not normally addressed in BIPs at all, except for soft fork
bips that had compressed deployment schedules on testnet.  For address
like specification we have always used a version byte and there is a
common encoding for version bytes that flags the network ID in the

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