[Bitcoin-development] BIP - Hash Locked Transaction

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Fri Apr 25 21:14:26 UTC 2014

On Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 01:19:48PM -0700, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 1:14 PM, Peter Todd <pete at petertodd.org> wrote:
> > Actually I did some work looking at this problem a few months ago and
> > other than somewhat larger transactions it looks like implementing
> > oracles by having the oracle reveal ECC secret keys works better in
> > every case. Notably the oracle can prove they really do have the key by
> > signing a challenge message, and with some ECC math the transaction can
> > include keys that have been derived from the oracle keys, blinding what
> > purposes the oracle is being used for from the oracle itself.
> I think the hash-locked transactions are very useful, and I think
> Peter agrees (no?)

Yup. Revealing EC points is *not* a replacement for the hash-locked

> But I agree with him that that for the oracle case the EC public
> points are superior. (Also: Reality keys works like this.)

Same again, and on top of that the EC public point method still works
better in many circumstances with what are currently non-standard
transactions rather than trying to shoe-horn everything into one big

Along those lines, rather than doing up yet another format specific type
as Tier Nolan is doing with his BIP, why not write a BIP looking at how
the IsStandard() rules could be removed? Last year John Dillon proposed
it be replaced by a P2SH opcode whitelist(1) and I proposed some
extensions(2) to the idea to make sure the whitelist didn't pose
transaction mutability issues; very similar to Pieter Wuille's proposed
soft-fork to stamp-out mutability.(3)

The key reasons to have IsStandard() right now are the following:

1) Mitigate transaction mutability.

Pieter's soft-fork mitigates mutability well, and can be applied even
more easily as an IsStandard() rule.

2) Reduce the potential for scripting bugs to impact the ecosystem.

The scripting system has had a lot more testing since IsStandard() was
implemented. Additionally we have a large pool mining non-standard
transactions anyway, mostly negating the value of IsStandard() for this

3) Ensure that after a soft-fork upgrade transactions considered
   IsStandard() by the the remaining non-upgraded hashing power continue
   to be valid.

We don't want that hashing power to be able to be tricked into mining
invalid blocks. Future soft-forks for transactions will most likely be
done by either incrementing the transaction version number, or by
redefining one of the OP_NOPx opcodes with new functionality. We just
need to ignore transactions with version numbers that we are not
familiar with and additionally not include any of the OP_NOPx opcodes in
the whitelist.

One last detail is that sigops should be taken into account when
calculating fees; Luke-Jr's accept non-standard patch has code to do
this already.

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/bitcoin-development%40lists.sourceforge.net/msg02606.html
2) http://www.mail-archive.com/bitcoin-development%40lists.sourceforge.net/msg02611.html
3) https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0062.mediawiki

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