[Bitcoin-development] A suggestion for reducing the size of the UTXO database

Jim Phillips jim at ergophobia.org
Sat May 9 19:28:12 UTC 2015


On Sat, May 9, 2015 at 2:12 PM, Patrick Mccorry (PGR) <
patrick.mccorry at newcastle.ac.uk> wrote:

>   Not necessarily. If you want to ensure privacy, you could limit the
> selection of UTXOs to a single address, and even go so far as to send
> change back to that same address. This wouldn't be as effective as
> combining the UTXOs from multiple addresses, but it would help. The key is
> to do everything that can be done when building a transaction to ensure
> that as many inputs as possible are consolidated into as few outputs as
> possible.
>
>
>  I would agree if you have multiple utxo for a single address then it
> makes sense since there is no privacy loss. However sending the change back
> to the same address would damage privacy (Hive does this) as it is then
> obvious from looking at the transaction which output is change and which
> output is sending funds.
>

I tend to agree with you here. But the change output could just as easily
be sent to a new change address.

>  Also not everyone is concerned with their own privacy, and I'm not aware
> of any HD-wallet implementations that won't already combine inputs from
> multiple addresses within that wallet without user input.
>
>
>  For people who do not care for privacy then it would work fine. But
> adding it into the wallet as default behaviour would deter those who do
> care for privacy - and making it a customisable option just adds complexity
> for the users. Wallets do need to combine utxo at times to spend bitcoins
> which is how people can be tracked today, using the minimum set of utxo
> tries to reduce the risk.
>
> Different wallets are targeted at different demographics. Some are geared
towards more mainstream users (for whom the privacy issue is less a
concern) and some (such as DarkWallet) are geared more towards the privacy
advocates. These wallets may choose to set their defaults at oposite ends
of the spectrum as to how they choose to select and link addresses and
UTXOs, but they can all improve on their current algorithms and promote
some degree of consolidation.

>   Additionally, large wallets that have lots of addresses owned by
> multiple users like exchanges, blockchain.info, and Coinbase can
> consolidate UTXOs very effectively when building transactions
>
>
>  That's true - I'm not sure how they would feel about it though. I
> imagine they probably are already to minimise key management.
>
> That's what these discussions are for. Hopefully this thread will be seen
by developers of these wallets and give them something to consider.

>
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