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

Jorge Timón jtimon at jtimon.cc
Thu Apr 6 15:15:10 UTC 2017


On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 2:30 PM, Luv Khemani via bitcoin-dev
<bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>
> Just to add on to the ethical issue of blocking this.
>
>
> If blocking the covert form of ASICBOOST is seen as unethical, then the same can be said about libsecp256k1, various client optimisations, Compactblocks.

This is simply a non sequitur. These optimizations benefit users. On
the other hand, asicboost doesn't benefit users in any way, it only
benefits some miners if and only if not all miners use it. It
obviously harms the miners that aren't using it by making them less
profitable (maybe to the point that they lose money).
If all miners use it or if no one of them uses it is equivalent from
the point of view of the user. In fact, the very fact of allowing it
makes the network less secure unless every single honest miner uses
it, for an attacker could use it against the network.

Even if asicboost was good for users in any way (which as explained
isn't), this proposal doesn't disable it, only the covert form that
cannot be proven to be used.

Therefore there's no rational arguments to oppose this proposal unless
you are (or are invested in):

A) A Miner currently using the covert form of asicboost.

B) A Miner planning to use the covert form of asicboost soon.

C) An attacker using or planning to use the covert form of asicboost.

> All of which seek to reduce the efficacy of large miners and selfish mining.

Asicboost doesn't seek this and doesn't help with this in any way.


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