[bitcoin-dev] We need to fix the block withholding attack

Tier Nolan tier.nolan at gmail.com
Sat Dec 26 16:09:18 UTC 2015

On Sat, Dec 26, 2015 at 8:23 AM, Eric Lombrozo via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Unfortunately, this also means longer confirmation times, lower
> throughput, and lower miner revenue. Note, however, that confirmations
> would (on average) represent more PoW, so fewer confirmations would be
> required to achieve the same level of security.

No, the re-target compensates so that the number of blocks in the last two
weeks is 2016.  If a soft fork forces miners to throw away 25% of their
blocks, then the difficulty will drop by 75% to keep things balanced.
Throwing away 75% of blocks has the same effect on difficulty as destroying
75% of mining hardware.

The block interval will only increase until the next re-target.

Slowly increasing the fraction of blocks which are thrown away gives the
re-target algorithm time to adjust, so it is another advantage.

If the rule was instantly changed so that 95% of blocks were thrown away,
then there could be up to 40 weeks until the next retarget and that would
give 200 minute block times until the adjustment.
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