[bitcoin-dev] BIP numbers

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Thu Dec 31 23:14:40 UTC 2015

On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 05:42:47PM +0100, Marco Pontello via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> Sorry to ask again but... what's up with the BIP number assignments?
> I thought that it was just more or less a formality, to avoid conflicts and
> BIP spamming. And that would be perfectly fine.
> But since I see that it's a process that can take months (just looking at
> the PR request list), it seems that something different is going on. Maybe
> it's considered something that give an aura of officiality of sorts? But
> that would make little sense, since that should come eventually with
> subsequents steps (like adding a BIP to the main repo, and eventual
> approvation).
> Having # 333 assigned to a BIP, should just mean that's easy to refer to a
> particular BIP.
> That seems something that could be done quick and easily.
> What I'm missing? Probably some historic context?

You ever noticed how actually getting a BIP # assigned is the *last*
thing the better known Bitcoin Core devs do? For instance, look at the
segregated witness draft BIPs.

I think we have problem with peoples' understanding of the Bitcoin
consensus protocol development process being backwards: first write your
protocol specification - the code - and then write the human readable
reference explaining it - the BIP.

Equally, without people actually using that protocol, who cares about
the BIP?

Personally if I were assigning BIP numbers I'd be inclined to say "fuck
it" and only assign BIP numbers to BIPs after they've had significant
adoption... It'd might just cause a lot less headache than the current

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