[bitcoin-dev] Version 1 witness programs (first draft)

Mark Friedenbach mark at friedenbach.org
Sun Oct 1 19:27:21 UTC 2017

> On Oct 1, 2017, at 12:05 PM, Russell O'Connor <roconnor at blockstream.io> wrote:
> Given the proposed fixed signature size, It seems better to me that we create a SIGHASH_WITNESS_WEIGHT flag as opposed to SIGHASH_WITNESS_DEPTH.

For what benefit? If your script actually uses all the items on the stack, and if your script is not written in such a way as to allow malleability (which cannot be prevented in general), then they’re equivalent. Using weight instead of depth only needlessly restricts other parties to select a witness size up-front.

And to be clear, signing witness weight doesn’t mean the witness is not malleable. The signer could sign again with a different ECDSA nonce. Or if the signer is signing from a 2-of-3 wallet, a common scenario I hope, there are 3 possible key combinations that could be used. If using MBV, a 3-element tree is inherently unbalanced and the common use case can have a smaller proof size.

Witnesses are not 3rd party malleable and we will maintain that property going forward with future opcodes.

> Mark, you seem to be arguing that in general we still want weight malleability even with witness depth fixed, but I don't understand in what scenario we would want that.

Any time all parties are not online at the same time in an interactive signing protocol, or for which individual parties have to reconfigure their signing choices due to failures. We should not restrict our script signature system to such a degree that it becomes difficult to create realistic signing setups for people using best practices (multi-key, 2FA, etc.) to sign. If I am a participant in a signing protocol, it would be layer violating to treat me as anything other than a black box, such that internal errors and timeouts in my signing setup don’t propagate upwards to the multi-party protocol.

For example, I should be able to try to 2FA sign, and if that fails go fetch my backup key and sign with that. But because it’s my infrequently used backup key, it might be placed deeper in the key tree and therefore signatures using it are larger. All the other signers need care is that slot #3 in the witness is where my Merkle proof goes. They shouldn’t have to restart and resign because my proof was a little larger than anticipated — and maybe they can’t resign because double-spend protections!

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