[Bitcoin-development] [BIP] Normalized Transaction IDs

Pieter Wuille pieter.wuille at gmail.com
Wed May 13 17:14:07 UTC 2015

Normalized transaction ids are only effectively non-malleable when all
inputs they refer to are also non-malleable (or you can have malleability
in 2nd level dependencies), so I do not believe it makes sense to allow
mixed usage of the txids at all. They do not provide the actual benefit of
guaranteed non-malleability before it becomes disallowed to use the old
mechanism. That, together with the +- resource doubling needed for the UTXO
set (as earlier mentioned) and the fact that an alternative which is only a
softfork are available, makes this a bad idea IMHO.

Unsure to what extent this has been presented on the mailinglist, but the
softfork idea is this:
* Transactions get 2 txids, one used to reference them (computed as
before), and one used in an (extended) sighash.
* The txins keep using the normal txid, so not structural changes to
* The ntxid is computed by replacing the scriptSigs in inputs by the empty
string, and by replacing the txids in txins by their corresponding ntxids.
* A new checksig operator is softforked in, which uses the ntxids in its
sighashes rather than the full txid.
* To support efficiently computing ntxids, every tx in the utxo set
(currently around 6M) stores the ntxid, but only supports lookup bu txid

This does result in a system where a changed dependency indeed invalidates
the spending transaction, but the fix is trivial and can be done without
access to the private key.
On May 13, 2015 5:50 AM, "Christian Decker" <decker.christian at gmail.com>

> Hi All,
> I'd like to propose a BIP to normalize transaction IDs in order to address
> transaction malleability and facilitate higher level protocols.
> The normalized transaction ID is an alias used in parallel to the current
> (legacy) transaction IDs to address outputs in transactions. It is
> calculated by removing (zeroing) the scriptSig before computing the hash,
> which ensures that only data whose integrity is also guaranteed by the
> signatures influences the hash. Thus if anything causes the normalized ID
> to change it automatically invalidates the signature. When validating a
> client supporting this BIP would use both the normalized tx ID as well as
> the legacy tx ID when validating transactions.
> The detailed writeup can be found here:
> https://github.com/cdecker/bips/blob/normalized-txid/bip-00nn.mediawiki.
> @gmaxwell: I'd like to request a BIP number, unless there is something
> really wrong with the proposal.
> In addition to being a simple alternative that solves transaction
> malleability it also hugely simplifies higher level protocols. We can now
> use template transactions upon which sequences of transactions can be built
> before signing them.
> I hesitated quite a while to propose it since it does require a hardfork
> (old clients would not find the prevTx identified by the normalized
> transaction ID and deem the spending transaction invalid), but it seems
> that hardforks are no longer the dreaded boogeyman nobody talks about.
> I left out the details of how the hardfork is to be done, as it does not
> really matter and we may have a good mechanism to apply a bunch of
> hardforks concurrently in the future.
> I'm sure it'll take time to implement and upgrade, but I think it would be
> a nice addition to the functionality and would solve a long standing
> problem :-)
> Please let me know what you think, the proposal is definitely not set in
> stone at this point and I'm sure we can improve it further.
> Regards,
> Christian
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