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

Russell O'Connor roconnor at blockstream.io
Sun Oct 1 19:41:46 UTC 2017

On Sun, Oct 1, 2017 at 3:27 PM, Mark Friedenbach <mark at friedenbach.org>

> > 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
> 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.

Creating a Bitcoin script that does not allow malleability is difficult and
requires wasting a lot of bytes to do so, typically when handling issues
around non-0-or-1 witness values being used with OP_IF, and dealing with
non-standard-zero values, etc.  Adding a witness weight flag cuts through
the worst of all this, and makes script design enormously simpler and makes
scripts smaller and cheaper.

> 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!

I'll argue that I don't want my counter-party going off and using a very
deeply nested key in order to subvert the fee rate we've agreed upon after
I've signed my part of the input.  If we are doing multi-party signing of
inputs we need to communicate anyways to construct the transaction.  I see
no problem with requiring my counter-party to choose their keys before I
sign so that I know up front what our fee rate is going to be.  If they
lose their keys and need a backup, they should have to come back to me to
resign in order that we can negotiate a new fee rate for the transaction
and who is going to be covering how much of the fee and on which inputs.
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