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

Marco marco at agner.io
Thu Apr 6 16:49:13 UTC 2017


On 04/06/2017 03:24 AM, Jonathan Toomim via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> Ethically, this situation has some similarities to the DAO fork. We have an entity who closely examined the code, found an unintended characteristic of that code, and made use of that characteristic in order to gain tens of millions of dollars. Now that developers are aware of it, they want to modify the code in order to negate as much of the gains as possible.
>
> There are differences, too, of course: the DAO attacker was explicitly malicious and stole Ether from others, whereas Bitmain is just optimizing their hardware better than anyone else and better than some of us think they should be allowed to.
>
> In both cases, developers are proposing that the developers and a majority of users collude to reduce the wealth of a single entity by altering the blockchain rules.
>
> In the case of the DAO fork, users were stealing back stolen funds, but that justification doesn't apply in this case. On the other hand, in this case we're talking about causing someone a loss by reducing the value of hardware investments rather than forcibly taking back their coins, which is less direct and maybe more justifiable.
>
> While I don't like patented mining algorithms, I also don't like the idea of playing Calvin Ball on the blockchain. Rule changes should not be employed as a means of disempowering and empoverishing particular entities without very good reason. Whether patenting a mining optimization qualifies as good reason is questionable.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> bitcoin-dev mailing list
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Quite different in that the DAO fork was about an application level bug
and this current proposal is about a possibly dangerous incentive at
protocol level.
In the first, a protocol change was called to recover funds lost for an
application level bug. In the latter, a protocol change is being called
to address a perceived incentive problem in the protocol.

A good comparison would be if a protocol level change was being proposed
for a case like mt gox. But it's not.

Plus... This proposal only addresses one covert asicboost and not other
overt forms.
Even though we may, as well, have good reasons to block other overt forms.

Marco Agner
https://www.agner.io

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/attachments/20170406/c08b52e0/attachment-0001.html>


More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list