[bitcoin-dev] BIP151 protocol incompatibility

Pieter Wuille pieter.wuille at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 08:47:38 UTC 2017

On Feb 12, 2017 23:58, "Eric Voskuil via bitcoin-dev" <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

The BIP151 proposal states:

> This proposal is backward compatible. Non-supporting peers will ignore
the encinit messages.

This statement is incorrect. Sending content that existing nodes do not
expect is clearly an incompatibility. An implementation that ignores
invalid content leaves itself wide open to DOS attacks. The version
handshake must be complete before the protocol level can be determined.
While it may be desirable for this change to precede the version
handshake it cannot be described as backward compatible.

The worst possible effect of ignoring unknown messages is a waste of
downstream bandwidth. The same is already possible by being sent addr

Using the protocol level requires a strict linear progression of (allowed)
network protocol features, which I expect to become harder and harder to

Using otherwise ignored messages for determining optional features is
elegant, simple and opens no new attack vectors. I think it's very much
preferable over continued increments of the protocol version.

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