[bitcoin-dev] Generalised Replay Protection for Future Hard Forks

Jacob Eliosoff jacob.eliosoff at gmail.com
Mon Nov 13 15:31:55 UTC 2017


>
> This is actually incorrect. There are two transactions involved in LN. The
> funding transaction, which opens a payment channel, and a commitment
> transaction, which closes the channel when broadcasted to the network (the
> cooperative closing transaction can be considered a commitment transaction
> in a loose sense).
>
> Now you want to protect the funding transaction, as otherwise you would be
> subject to a replay-attack on all *past* forks. So you will set
> `nForkId>=1` for the funding transaction, making this payment channel
> non-existent on any *past* forks. However, if during the lifetime of the
> payment channel another fork happens, the payment channel exists for both
> tokens. So for the commitment transaction, you will have `nForkId=0`,
> making it valid on both of these chains. While this `nForkId` is valid on
> all chains, the parent transaction it tries to spend (the funding
> transaction) does only exist on two chains, the original one you created
> the channel for and the one that forked away.
>

Thanks for the clarification.  How would a tx specify a constraint like
"nForkId>=1"?  I was thinking of it just as a number set on the tx.

Also note that since forks form a partial order, but IDs (numbers) form a
total order, ">=" will miss some cases.  Eg, suppose BCH had forked with
nForkId 2, and then you set up a LN funding tx on BCH with nForkId>=2, and
then Segwit2x forked (from BTC!) with nForkId 3.  The BCH funding tx would
be valid on Segwit2x.  This is more of a fundamental problem than a bug -
to avoid it you'd have to get into stuff like making each fork reference
its parent-fork's first block or something, someone has written about
this...


On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:03 AM, Mats Jerratsch <mats at blockchain.com> wrote:

>
> OK, so nForkId 0 is exactly the "valid on all chains" specifier I was
> asking about, cool.  And your LN example (and nLockTime txs in general)
> illustrate why it's preferable to implement a generic replay protection
> scheme like yours *in advance*, rather than before each fork: all ad hoc
> RP schemes I know of break old txs on one of the chains, even when that's
> not desirable - ie, they offer no wildcard like nForkId 0.
>
>
> Exactly!
>
> One comment on your LN example: users would have to take note that nForkId
> 0 txs would be valid not only on future forks, but on *past* forks too.
> Eg, if BCH had been deployed with nForkId 2, then a user setting up BTC LN
> txs now with nForkId 0 would have to be aware that those txs would be valid
> for BCH too.  Of course the user could avoid this by funding from a
> BTC-only address, but it is a potential minor pitfall of nForkId 0.  (Which
> I don't see any clean way around.)
>
>
> This is actually incorrect. There are two transactions involved in LN. The
> funding transaction, which opens a payment channel, and a commitment
> transaction, which closes the channel when broadcasted to the network (the
> cooperative closing transaction can be considered a commitment transaction
> in a loose sense).
>
> Now you want to protect the funding transaction, as otherwise you would be
> subject to a replay-attack on all *past* forks. So you will set
> `nForkId>=1` for the funding transaction, making this payment channel
> non-existent on any *past* forks. However, if during the lifetime of the
> payment channel another fork happens, the payment channel exists for both
> tokens. So for the commitment transaction, you will have `nForkId=0`,
> making it valid on both of these chains. While this `nForkId` is valid on
> all chains, the parent transaction it tries to spend (the funding
> transaction) does only exist on two chains, the original one you created
> the channel for and the one that forked away.
>
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