[bitcoin-dev] BIP proposal: Inhibiting a covert attack on the Bitcoin POW function

Oliver Petruzel opetruzel at gmail.com
Thu Apr 6 04:47:10 UTC 2017

> > One of the things going for us here is that Bitmain has been keeping
> > from their own customers - as far as we know they haven't been sharing
it, and
> > thus they're the only ones you can actually use it.
> >
> > So while we're pissing off Bitmain in disabling it, we wouldn't be
> > anyone else.
> >
> > Equally, mining is a zero-sum game: if no-one can use ASICBOOST, miners
are in
> > the same position as before. ASICBOOST is only relevant to miners like
> > who have access to it while other miners don't.

Peter -
Do we know that for a fact, though? What evidence or intelligence do we
have to indicate Bitmain itself is the only entity using the covert boost?

A few possibilities:
1. They could have already shared it with a limited number of strategic
2. They could have offered to share it with various parties in exchange for
something (money, support for BU, etc); or
3. They could provide the custom firmware/software to select parties as a
direct response to this disclosure -- which would enhance their defenses
against a soft fork.
4. They could share the firmware/software with EVERY owner of their
equipment in a last-ditch defense against a soft fork. (after all, some
advantage over other equipment manufacturers is still better than no
advantage, right?)

Assumptions could lead to failure, so these are just some things to keep in

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