[Bitcoin-development] Fee drop

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Tue Feb 25 17:13:34 UTC 2014

On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 10:25:58PM +0530, Mike Hearn wrote:

Well, I've done my responsible disclosure, and I've got better things to
do than argue with wishful thinking.

> There are two possibilities.
> One is that the value of transactions with the new lower fee is outweighed
> by increased orphan costs and miners refuse to include them en-masse.
> Wallet authors lose the staring match and go back to setting higher fees
> until such a time as block propagation is optimised and the orphan costs go
> down. Nodes that are encountering memory pressure can increase their min
> relay fee locally until their usage fits inside their resources. It's
> annoying to do this by hand but by no means infeasible.
> The other is that the total value of transactions even with the lower fee
> is not outweighed by orphan costs. The value of a transaction is higher
> than its simple monetary value - the fact that Bitcoin is useful, growing
> and considered cheap also has a value which is impossible to calculate, but
> we know it's there (because Bitcoin does not exist in a vacuum and has
> competitors). In this case miners stop including lots of useful
> transactions that represent desired economic activity and are put under
> pressure by the community to change their policies. If all miners do this
> and making small blocks is considered errant behaviour, then we're back to
> the same situation we're in today.
> The possibility you're worried about - that someone does a DoS attack by
> flooding the network with small transactions - is only an issue in the
> first situation, and it is by no means the easiest or cheapest way to DoS
> Bitcoin. We all want to see more DoS resistance but basically any change to
> Bitcoin can be objected to on anti-DoS grounds at the moment, and this will
> remain the case until someone steps up to spend significant time on
> resource scheduling and code audits.

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