[Bitcoin-development] Coinbase reallocation to discourage Finney attacks

Christophe Biocca christophe.biocca at gmail.com
Wed Apr 23 16:04:13 UTC 2014

It's not necessary that this "coinbase retribution" be either
profitable or risk-free for this scheme to work. I think we should
separate out the different layers of the proposal:

1. Attacking the coinbase instead of orphaning allows for 100 blocks'
time for a consensus to be reached, rather than 10 minutes. This
allows for human verification/intervention if needed (orphaning
decisions would almost always need to be automated, due to the short
timeframe). This is a useful insight, and I don't think it's been
brought up before.

2. The original specification of how it's done (redistribution, no
cost to voting) does seem exploitable. This can be fixed by reducing
the incentive (burning instead of redistributing) and/or adding a risk
to the orphaning attempts (a vote that fails destroys X bitcoins'
worth from each voting block's own coinbase). The incentives can be
tailored to mirror those of orphaning a block, to reduce the risk of
abuse. Then the only difference from orphaning are 1) More limited
rewriting of history (only the coinbase, vs all transactions in the
block), and 2) More time to coordinate a response.

3. This proposal may be used for things other than punishing
double-spend pools. In fact it might be used to punish miners for
doing anything a significant percentage of hashpower dislikes (large
OP_RETURNs, large blocks, gambling transactions, transactions banned
by a government). But we can make the threshold higher than 51%, so
that this doesn't turn into a significant risk (if 75% of hashpower is
willing to enforce a rule, we're already likely to see it enforced
through orphaning).

On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM, Alex Mizrahi <alex.mizrahi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> And it still would. Non-collusive miners cast votes based on the outcome
>> of their own attempts to double spend.
> Individually rational strategy is to vote for coinbase reallocation on every
> block.
> Yes, in that case nobody will get reward. It is similar to prisoner's
> dilemma: equilibrium has worst pay-off.
> In practice that would mean that simple game-theoretic models are no longer
> applicable, as they lead to absurd results.
>> I'm using it in the same sense Satoshi used it. Honest miners work to
>> prevent double spends. That's the entire justification for their existence.
>> Miners that are deliberately trying to double spend are worse than useless.
> Miners work to get rewards.
> It absolutely doesn't matter whether they are deliberately trying to
> double-spend or not: they won't be able to double-spend without a collusion.
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