[bitcoin-dev] BIP 158 Flexibility and Filter Size

Pieter Wuille pieter.wuille at gmail.com
Sun Jun 3 06:11:56 UTC 2018

On Sat, Jun 2, 2018, 22:56 Tamas Blummer via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Lighter but SPV secure nodes (filter committed) would help the network
> (esp. Layer 2) to grow mesh like, but add more user that blindly follow POW.
> On longer term most users' security will be determined by either trusted
> hubs or POW.
> I do not know which is worse, but we should at least offer the choice to
> the user, therefore commit filters.

I don't think that's the point of discussion here. Of course, in order to
have filters that verifiably don't lie by omission, the filters need to be
committed to by blocks.

The question is what data that filter should contain.

There are two suggestions:
(a) The scriptPubKeys of the block's outputs, and prevouts of the block's
(b) The scriptPubKeys of the block's outputs, and scriptPubKeys of outputs
being spent by the block's inputs.

The advantage of (a) is that it can be verified against a full block
without access to the outputs being spent by it. This allows light clients
to ban nodes that give them incorrect filters, but they do need to actually
see the blocks (partially defeating the purpose of having filters in the
first place).

The advantage of (b) is that it is more compact (scriot reuse, and outputs
spent within the same block as they are created). It also had the advantage
of being more easily usable for scanning of a wallet's transactions. Using
(a) for that in some cases may need to restart and refetch when an output
is discovered, to go test for its spending (whose outpoint is not known
ahead of time). Especially when fetching multiple filters at a time this
may be an issue.

I think both of these potentially good arguments. However, once a committed
filter exists, the advantage of (a) goes away completely - validation of
committed filters is trivial and can be done without needing the full
blocks in the first place.

So I think the question is do we aim for an uncommitted (a) first and a
committed (b) later, or go for (b) immediately?


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