[bitcoin-dev] Weak block thoughts...

Kalle Rosenbaum kalle at rosenbaum.se
Sun Sep 27 15:10:24 UTC 2015

I was mansplaining weak blocks to my wife. She asked a simple question:

Why would I, as a miner, publish a weak block if I find one?

I don't know.

Sure, I will get faster propagation for my solved block, should I find one.
On the other hand everybody else mining a similar block will enjoy the same
benefit. Assuming that I'm not a huge miner, it's unlikely that I will
actually solve the block, so I'm probably just giving away fast propagation
times to someone else.

So how does publishing a weak block benefit the producer of it more than
the other miners? Please help me understand this.

/Kalle Rosenbaum

2015-09-27 11:42 GMT+02:00 Tier Nolan via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>:

> On Sun, Sep 27, 2015 at 2:39 AM, Gregory Maxwell via bitcoin-dev <
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>> Unless the weak block transaction list can be a superset of the block
>> transaction list size proportional propagation costs are not totally
>> eliminated.
> The POW threshold could be dynamic.  The first weak-block that builds on a
> new block could be forwarded with a smaller target.
> This reduces  the window size until at least one weak block is
> propagated.
> The change in threshold could be time based (for the first 30 seconds or
> so).  This would cause a surge of traffic when a new block once a new block
> has propagated, so perhaps not so good an idea.
>> As even if the weak block criteria is MUCH lower than the block
>> criteria (which would become problematic in its own right at some
>> point) the network will sometimes find blocks when there hasn't been
>> any weak block priming at all (e.g. all prior priming has made it into
>> blocks already).
> If there is a transaction backlog, then miners could forward merkle
> branches with transactions in the memory pool with a commitment in the
> coinbase.
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