[bitcoin-dev] Using a storage engine without UTXO-index

Tomas tomas at tomasvdw.nl
Sat Apr 8 07:28:48 UTC 2017

On Sat, Apr 8, 2017, at 02:44, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> As you note that the output costs still bound the resource
> requirements. 

Resource cost is not just a measure of storage requirement; data that
needs to be accessed during peak load induce more cost then data only
used during base load or only rarely used.

> Latency related costs in Bitcoin Core also do not depend on the number
> of outputs in transactions in a block. When a transaction is handled
> it goes into an in-memory buffer and only gets flushed later if isn't
> spent before the buffer fills.  A block will take more time to
> validate with more inputs, same as you observer, but the aggregate
> resource usage for users depends significantly on outputs (so, in fact
> there is even further misaligned incentives than just the fact that
> small outputs have a outsized long term cost).

In Core, when a block comes the inputs are checked against the UTXO set
(which grows with outputs)  even if pre-synced, to verify order. Am I
wrong there? This is not in the case in bitcrust; it is instead checked
against the spend-tree (which grows with inputs).

How "significant" this is, I neither know nor claim,  but it is an
interesting difference. 

> Then I think you may want to retract the claim that "As this solution,
> reversing the costs of outputs and inputs, [...] updates to the
> protocol addressing the UTXO growth, might not be worth considering
> *protocol improvements* "

I think you are being a bit harsh here . I am also clearly explaining
the difference only applies to peak load, and just making a suggestion.
I simply want to stress the importance of protocol / implementation
separation as even though you are correct UTXO data is always a resource
cost for script validation (as I also state), the ratio of different
costs are  not necessarily *identical* across implementation. 

Note that the converse also holds: In bitcrust, if the last few blocks
contain many inputs, the peak load verification for this block is
slower. This is not the case in Core.


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