[bitcoin-dev] Hardfork to fix difficulty drop algorithm

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Wed Mar 2 18:20:28 UTC 2016

On Wed, Mar 02, 2016 at 02:56:14PM +0000, Luke Dashjr via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> To alleviate this risk, it seems reasonable to propose a hardfork to the 
> difficulty adjustment algorithm so it can adapt quicker to such a significant 
> drop in mining rate. BtcDrak tells me he has well-tested code for this in his 
> altcoin, which has seen some roller-coaster hashrates, so it may even be 
> possible to have such a proposal ready in time to be deployed alongside SegWit 
> to take effect in time for the upcoming subsidy halving. If this slips, I 
> think it may be reasonable to push for at least code-readiness before July, 
> and possibly roll it into any other hardfork proposed before or around that 
> time.
> I am unaware of any reason this would be controversial, so if anyone has a 
> problem with such a change, please speak up sooner rather than later. Other 
> ideas or concerns are of course welcome as well.

Changing the difficulty adjustment algorithm significantly changes the
security of the whole system, as it lets attackers create fake chains
with a lot less hashing power.

Given as tx fees rise this problem will hopefully be a one-time issue, a
simple fixed difficulty adjustment probably makes sense. No need to
bring in new algorithms here with controversial new security tradeoffs.

https://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
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