[bitcoin-dev] BIP 174 thoughts

Tomas Susanka tomas.susanka at satoshilabs.com
Thu Jun 21 14:32:07 UTC 2018


First of all, let me thank you for all the hard work you and others have
put into this.

On 21.6.2018 02:39, Achow101 via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> While I agree that the BIP itself should be revised to reflect these suggestions, I fear that it may be too late. I know of a few other developers who have implemented BIP 174 already but have not yet responded to this email.

We do realize that this discussion should have happened earlier, however
agreeing on a good standard should be the number one priority for all
the parties involved.

The fact that someone already implemented this is indeed unfortunate,
but I don't think we should lower our demands on the standard just
because of a bad timing.

>> A question to consider is,
>> will there be more per-output data? If yes, it might make sense to have
>> an output section.
> I think it is unlikely that there would be anymore per-output data.

Hmm, upon further reflection, maybe it's not even worth including *any*
per-output data, aside from what the original transaction contains.

The output redeem script is either:
- unknown, because we have received only an address from the receiver
- or it is known, because it is ours and in that case it doesn’t make
sense to include it in PSBT

We got stuck on the idea of the Creator providing future (output)
redeem/witness scripts. But that seems to be a minority use case and can
be solved efficiently via the same channels that coordinate the PSBT
creation. Sorry to change opinions so quickly on this one.

>> 3) The sighash type 0x03 says the sighash is only a recommendation. That
>> seems rather ambiguous. If the field is specified shouldn't it be binding?
> I disagree. It is up to the signer to decide what they wish to sign, not for the creator to specify what to sign. The creator can ask the signer to sign something in a particular way, but it is ultimately up to the signer to decide.

This seems very ambiguous. The Signer always has the option of not
signing. *What* to sign is a matter of coordination between the parties;
otherwise, you could make all the fields advisory and let anyone sign
anything they like?

We don't understand the usecase for a field that is advisory but not
binding. On what basis would you choose to respect or disregard the
advisory field? Either one party has a preference, in which case they
have to coordinate with the other anyway - or they don't, in which case
they simply leave the field out.

> Size is not really a constraint, but we do not want to be unnecessarily large. The PSBT still has to be transmitted to other people. It will likely be used by copy and pasting the string into a text box. Copying and pasting very long strings of text can be annoying and cumbersome. So the goal is to keep the format still relatively clear while avoiding the duplication of data.

I agree. Just to put some numbers on this: if we expect a 5-part
derivation path, and add the master key fingerprint, that is 4 + 5*4 =
24 bytes (~32 base64 letters) per input and signer. I'd argue this is
not significant.
If we used full xpub, per Pieter's suggestion, that would grow to 32 +
32 + 5*4 = 84 bytes (~112 letters) per input/signer, which is quite a lot.

On the other hand, keeping the BIP32 paths per-input means that we don't
need to include the public key (as in the lookup key), so that's 32
bytes down per path. In general, all the keys can be fully reconstructed
from their values:

redeem script key = hash160(value)
witness script key = sha256(value)
bip32 key = derive(value)

The one exception is a partial signature. But even in that case we
expect that a given public key will always correspond to the same
signature, so we can act as if the public key is not part of the "key".
In other words, we can move the public key to the value part of the record.

This holds true unless there's some non-deterministic signing scheme,
*and* multiple Signers sign with the same public key, which is what
Pieter was alluding to on Twitter
(https://twitter.com/pwuille/status/1002627925110185984). Still, I would
argue (as he also suggested) that keeping the format more complex to
support this particular use case is probably not worth it.

Also, we can mostly ignore deduplication of witness/redeem scripts.
These still need to be included in the resulting transaction, duplicated
if necessary, so I think counting their repetition against the size of
PSBT isn't worth it.


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