[bitcoin-dev] Completing the retirement of the alert system

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Sat Sep 10 00:58:02 UTC 2016

On Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 12:42:30AM +0000, Gregory Maxwell via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> The alert system was a centralized facility to allow trusted parties
> to send messages to be displayed in wallet software (and, very early
> on, actually remotely trigger the software to stop transacting).


> One of the facilities in the alert system is that you can send a
> maximum sequence alert which cannot be overridden and displays only a
> static key compromise text message and blocks all other alerts. I plan
> to send a triggering alert in the not-distant future (exact time to be
> announced well in advance) feedback on timing would be welcome.
> There are likely a few production systems that automatically shut down
> when there is an alert, so this risks some small one-time disruption
> of those services-- but none worse than if an alert were sent to
> advise about a new system upgrade.
> At some point after that, I would then plan to disclose this private
> key in public, eliminating any further potential of reputation attacks
> and diminishing the risk of misunderstanding the key as some special
> trusted source of authority.


Good to do this sooner rather than later, as alert propagation on the P2P
network is going to continue to get less reliable as nodes upgrade to software
that has removed alert functionality; better that the final alert key
retirement message is reliably seen by the remaining software out there in a
predictable way than this be something that happens unpredictably.

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