[bitcoin-dev] Anti-transaction replay in a hardfork
cp368202 at ohiou.edu
Thu Jan 26 07:03:23 UTC 2017
I don't think the solution should be to "fix the replay attack", but
rather to "force the replay effect". The fact that transactions can be
relayed should be seen as a good thing, and not something that should
be fixed, or even called an "attack".
The solution should be to create a "bridge" that replays all
transactions from one network over to the other, and vice-versa. A
fork should be transparent to the end-user. Forcing the user to choose
which network to use is bad, because 99% of people that use bitcoin
don't care about developer drama, and will only be confused by the
choice. When a user moves coins mined before the fork date, both
blockchains should record that transaction. Also a rule should be
introduced that prevents users "tainting" their prefork-mined coins
with coins mined after the fork. All pre-fork mined coins should
"belong" to the network with hashpower majority. No other networks
should be able to claim pre-forked coins as being part of their
issuance (and therefore part of market cap). Market cap may be
bullshit, but it is used a lot in the cryptosphere to compare coins to
The advantage of pre-fork coins being recorded on both forks is that
if one fork goes extinct, no one loses any money. This setup
encourages the minority chain to die,and unity returned. If pre-fork
coins change hands on either fork (and not on the other), then holders
have an incentive to not let their chain die, and the networks will be
irreversibly split forever. The goal should be unity not permanent
On 1/25/17, Matt Corallo via bitcoin-dev
<bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> "A. For users on both existing and new fork, anti-replay is an option,
> not mandatory"
> To maximize fork divergence, it might make sense to require this. Any
> sensible proposal for a hard fork would include a change to the sighash
> anyway, so might as well make it required, no?
> On 01/24/17 14:33, Johnson Lau via bitcoin-dev wrote:
>> This is a pre-BIP. Just need some formatting to make it a formal BIP
>> In general, hardforks are consensus rule changes that make currently
>> invalid transactions / blocks valid. It requires a very high degree of
>> consensus and all economic active users migrate to the new rules at the
>> same time. If a significant amount of users refuse to follow, a
>> permanent ledger split may happen, as demonstrated by Ethereum (“DAO
>> hardfork"). In the design of DAO hardfork, a permanent split was not
>> anticipated and no precaution has been taken to protect against
>> transaction replay attack, which led to significant financial loss for
>> some users.
>> A replay attack is an attempt to replay a transaction of one network on
>> another network. It is normally impossible, for example between Bitcoin
>> and Litecoin, as different networks have completely different ledgers.
>> The txid as SHA256 hash guarantees that replay across network is
>> impossible. In a blockchain split, however, since both forks share the
>> same historical ledger, replay attack would be possible, unless some
>> precautions are taken.
>> Unfortunately, fixing problems in bitcoin is like repairing a flying
>> plane. Preventing replay attack is constrained by the requirement of
>> backward compatibility. This proposal has the following objectives:
>> A. For users on both existing and new fork, anti-replay is an option,
>> not mandatory.
>> B. For transactions created before this proposal is made, they are not
>> protected from anti-replay. The new fork has to accept these
>> transactions, as there is no guarantee that the existing fork would
>> survive nor maintain any value. People made time-locked transactions in
>> anticipation that they would be accepted later. In order to maximise the
>> value of such transactions, the only way is to make them accepted by any
>> potential hardforks.
>> C. It doesn’t require any consensus changes in the existing network to
>> avoid unnecessary debate.
>> D. As a beneficial side effect, the O(n^2) signature checking bug could
>> be fixed for non-segregated witness inputs, optionally.
>> “Network characteristic byte” is the most significant byte of the
>> nVersion field of a transaction. It is interpreted as a bit vector, and
>> denotes up to 8 networks sharing a common history.
>> “Masked version” is the transaction nVersion with the network
>> characteristic byte masked.
>> “Existing network” is the Bitcoin network with existing rules, before a
>> hardfork. “New network” is the Bitcoin network with hardfork rules. (In
>> the case of DAO hardfork, Ethereum Classic is the existing network, and
>> the now called Ethereum is the new network)
>> “Existing network characteristic bit” is the lowest bit of network
>> characteristic byte
>> “New network characteristic bit” is the second lowest bit of network
>> characteristic byte
>> Rules in new network:
>> 1. If the network characteristic byte is non-zero, and the new network
>> characteristic bit is not set, this transaction is invalid in the new
>> network. (softfork)
>> 2. If the network characteristic byte is zero, go to 4
>> 3. If the network characteristic byte is non-zero, and the new network
>> characteristic bit is set, go to 4, regardless of the status of the
>> other bits.
>> 4. If the masked version is 2 or below, the new network must verify the
>> transaction with the existing script rules. (no change)
>> 5. If the masked version is 3 or above, the new network must verify the
>> signatures with a new SignatureHash algorithm (hardfork). Segwit and
>> non-segwit txs will use the same algorithm. It is same as BIP143, except
>> that 0x2000000 is added to the nHashType before the hash is calculated.
>> Rules in the existing network:
>> 6. No consensus rule changes is made in the existing network.
>> 7. If the network characteristic byte is non-zero, and the existing
>> network characteristic bit is not set, this transaction is not relayed
>> nor mined by default (no change)
>> 8. If the network characteristic byte is zero, no change
>> 9. If the network characteristic byte is non-zero, and the existing
>> network characteristic bit is set, the masked version is used to
>> determine whether a transaction should be mined or relayed (policy
>> 10. Wallet may provide an option for setting the existing network
>> characteristic bit.
>> Rationales (by rule number):
>> 1. This makes sure transactions with only existing network
>> characteristic bit set is invalid in the new network (opt-in anti-replay
>> for existing network transactions on the new network, objective A)
>> 2+4. This makes sure time-locked transactions made before this proposals
>> are valid in the new network (objective B)
>> 2+5. This makes sure transactions made specifically for the new network
>> are invalid in the existing network (anti-replay for new network
>> transactions on the old network); also fixing the O(n^2) bug (objectives
>> A and D)
>> 3. This is to prepare for the next hardfork from the new network
>> (objective A)
>> 6, 7, 8. These minimise the change to the existing network (objective C)
>> 9, 10. These are not strictly needed until a hardfork is really
>> anticipated. Without a significant portion of the network and miners
>> implement this policy, however, no one should create such transactions.
>> (objective A)
>> * It is not possible to protect transactions made before the proposal.
>> To avoid a replay of such transactions, users should first spend at
>> least a relevant UTXO on the new network so the replay transaction would
>> be invalidated.
>> * It is up to the designer of a hardfork to decide whether this proposal
>> is respected. As the DAO hardfork has shown how harmful replay attack
>> could be, all hardfork proposals (except trivial and totally
>> uncontroversial ones) should take this into account
>> * The size of network characteristic byte is limited to 8 bits. However,
>> if we are sure that some of the networks are completely abandoned, the
>> bits might be reused.
>> Reference implementation:
>> A demo is available in my forcenet2
>> bitcoin-dev mailing list
>> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
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