[bitcoin-dev] I do not support the BIP 148 UASF

Natanael natanael.l at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 13:23:35 UTC 2017

Den 15 apr. 2017 13:51 skrev "Chris Acheson via bitcoin-dev" <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>:

Not sure if you missed my previous reply to you, but I'm curious about
your thoughts on this particular point. I contend that for any UASF,
orphaning non-signalling blocks on the flag date is [maybe] safer [for
those in on the UASF fork] than just
considering the fork active on the flag date.

Note my additions.

Enforcement by orphaning non-compliance makes it harder to reverse a buggy
softfork, since you necessarily increase the effort needed to return enough
mining power to the safe chain since you now have mostly unmonitored mining
hardware fighting you actively, whose operators you might not be able to
contact. You'd practically have to hardfork out of the situation.

There's also the risk of the activation itself triggering concensus bugs
(multiple incompatible UASF forks), if there's multiple implementations of
it in the network (or one buggy one). We have already seen something like
it happen. This can both happen on the miner side, client side or both
(miner side only would lead to a ton of orphaned blocks, client side means

It is also not economically favorable for any individual miner to be the
one to mine empty blocks on top of any surviving softfork-incompatible
chain. As a miner you would only volunteer to do it if you believe the
softfork is necessary or itself will enable greater future profit.

Besides that, I also just don't believe that UASF itself as a method to
activate softforks is a good choice. The only two reliable signals we have
for this purpose in Bitcoin are block height (flag day) and standard miner
signaling, as every other metric can be falsified or gamed.

But there's also more problems - a big one is that we have no way right now
for a node to tell another "the transaction you just relayed to me is
invalid according to an active softfork" (or "will become invalid". This
matters for several reasons.

The first one that came to my mind is that we have widespread usage of
zero-confirmation payments in the network.

This was already dangerous for other reasons, but this UASF could make it
guaranteed cost-free to exploit - because as many also know, we ALSO
already have a lot of nodes that do not enforce the non-default rejection
policies (otherwise we'd never see such transactions on blocks), including
many alternative Bitcoin clients.

The combination of these factors means that you can present an UASF invalid
transaction to a non-updated client that is supposedly protected by the
deliberate orphaning effort, and have it accept this as a payment. To never
see it get confirmed, or to eventually see it doublespent by an UASF-valid

I would not at all be surprised if it turned out that many
zero-confirmation accepting services do not reject non-default
transactions, or if they aren't all UASF-segwit aware.

This is why a flag day or similar is more effective - it can't be ignored
unlike "just another one of those UASF proposals" that you might not have
evaluated or not expect to activate.

This is by the way also a reason that I believe that all nodes and services
should publish all concensus critical policies that they enforce. This
would make it far easier to alert somebody that they NEED TO prepare for
whatever proposal that might conflict with their active policies.
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