[Bitcoin-development] [RFC] Canonical input and output ordering in transactions

Rusty Russell rusty at rustcorp.com.au
Mon Jun 15 02:29:11 UTC 2015


Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> writes:
> I'm not a great fan of this proposal for two reasons: The first is
> that the strict ordering requirements is incompatible with future
> soft-forks that may expose additional ordering constraints. Today we
> have _SINGLE, which as noted this interacts with poorly, but there
> have been other constraints proposed that this would also interact
> with poorly.

Yes, I hit this when I implemented an IsStandard change; upon input
evaluation the scriptsigs which used _SINGLE get disregarded from
ordering.  

> The second is that even absent consensus rules there may be invisible
> constraints in systems-- e.g. hardware wallets that sign top down,

I think that one's pretty easy to fix (and they should fix it anyway, to
avoid leaking information due to ordering): they can receive an
unordered tx and sign it as if it were ordered canonically.

> or
> future transaction covenants that have constraints about ordering,  or
> proof systems that use (yuck) midstate compression for efficiency.

The softfork argument I find the most compelling, though it's tempting
to argue that every ordering use (including SIGHASH_SINGLE) is likely
a mistake.

> I think perhaps the motivations here are understated. We have not seen
> any massive deployments of accidentally broken ordering that I'm aware
> of-- and an implementation that got this wrong in a harmful way would
> likely make far more fatal mistakes (e.g. non random private keys).

I was prompted to propose something by this:

https://blog.blocktrail.com/2015/05/getting-your-change-in-order/

If that's the only one though, it's less compelling.

> As an alternative to this proposal the ordering can be privately
> derandomized in the same way DSA is, to avoid the need for an actual
> number source.  If getting the randomness right were really the only
> motivation, I'd suggest we propose a simple derandomized randomization
> algorithm--- e.g. take the order from (H(input ids||client secret)).
>
> I think there is actually an unstated motivation also driving this
> (and the other) proposal related to collaborative transaction systems
> like coinjoins or micropayment channels; where multiple clients need
> to agree on the same ordering. Is this the case? If so we should
> probably talk through some of the requirements there and see if there
> isn't a better way to address it.

Indeed.  I was implementing deterministic permutations for lightning
(signature exchange requires both sides agree on ordering).

Cheers,
Rusty.




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