[Bitcoin-development] F2Pool has enabled full replace-by-fee

Eric Lombrozo elombrozo at gmail.com
Fri Jun 19 15:37:10 UTC 2015

OK, a few things here:

The Bitcoin network was designed (or should be designed) with the requirement that it can withstand deliberate double-spend attacks that can come from anywhere at any time…and relaxing this assumption without adequately assessing the risk (i.e. I’ve never been hacked before so I can assume it’s safe) is extremely dangerous at best and just horrid security practice at worst. Your users might not thank you for not getting hacked - but they surely will not like it when you DO get hacked…and lack a proper recovery plan.

Furthermore, the protocol itself makes no assumptions regarding the intentions behind someone signing two conflicting transactions. There are many potential use cases where doing so could make a lot of sense. Had the protocol been designed along the lines of, say, tendermint…where signing multiple conflicting blocks results in loss of one’s funds…then the protocol itself disincentivizes the behavior without requiring any sort of altruistic, moralistic assumptions. That would also mean we’d need a different mechanism for the use cases that things like RBF address.

Thirdly, taken to the extreme, the viewpoint of “signing a conflicting transaction is fraud and vandalism” means that if for whatever reason you attempt to propagate a transaction and nobody mines it for a very long time, you’re not entitled to immediately reclaim those funds…they must remain in limbo forever.

- Eric Lombrozo

> On Jun 19, 2015, at 8:11 AM, Peter Todd <pete at petertodd.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 03:00:57PM +0000, justusranvier at riseup.net wrote:
>> On 2015-06-19 10:39, Peter Todd wrote:
>>     Yesterday F2Pool, currently the largest pool with 21% of the hashing
>>     power, enabled full replace-by-fee (RBF) support after discussions
>> with
>>     me. This means that transactions that F2Pool has will be replaced if
>> a
>>     conflicting transaction pays a higher fee. There are no requirements
>> for
>>     the replacement transaction to pay addresses that were paid by the
>>     previous transaction.
>> Intentional fraud is a bad thing to add to a financial protocol.
>> A user who creates conflicting transactions, one that pays someone else
>> and another which does not pay them, and broadcasts both of them, has
>> just self-incriminated themselves by producing prima facie evidence of
>> fraud.
> Depends.
> If you ask me to pay you 1BTC at address A and I create tx1 that pays
> 1BTC to A1 and 2BTC of chain to C, what's wrong with me creating tx2
> that still pays 1BTC to A, but now only pays 1.999BTC to C? I'm not
> defrauding you, I'm just reducing the value of my change address to pay
> a higher fee. Similarly if I now need to pay Bob 0.5BTC, I can create
> tx3 paying 1BTC to A, 0.5BTC to B, and 1.498BTC to C.
> Yet from the point of view of an external observer they have no idea why
> the transaction outputs reduced in size, nor any way of knowing if fraud
> did or did not occur.
> Equally, maybe you tell me "Actually, just give me 0.5BTC to cancel out
> that debt", in which case I'm not breaking any contract at all by giving
> you less money than I first promised - the contract has changed.
> Again, none of this can or should be observable to anyone other than the
> parties directly involved.
>> It may be the case that since Bitcoin spans multiple legal jurisdictions
>> and can be use anonymously that the victims of such fraud can not rely
>> on legal recourse, and it may also be the case that proof of work is how
>> Bitcoin deals with the aforementioned factors, but regardless
>> un-prosecutable fraud is still fraud and anyone who encourages it should
>> be recognied as a bad actors.
>> Committing vandalism and encouraging fraud to prove a point may be
>> something the network can't stop on a technical level, but there's no
>> reason not to call it out for what it is.
> What do you think of Bitcoin XT then? It relays double-spends, which
> makes it much easier to get double-spends to miners than before. In
> particular you see a lot of zero-fee transactions being replaced by
> fee-paying transactions, relayed through Bitcoin XT nodes and then
> mined. Is that encouraging fraud?
> --
> 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
> 000000000000000003932458055c68d4ee2b6d68441c4764efbdf6b0b1683717
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