[bitcoin-dev] Implementing Confidential Transactions in extension blocks

Hampus Sjöberg hampus.sjoberg at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 22:32:17 UTC 2019


Hi ZmnSCPxj.

> There is a position that fullnodes must be able to get a view of the UTXO
set, and extension blocks (which are invisible to pre-extension-block
fullnodes) means that fullnodes no longer have an accurate view of the UTXO
set.
> SegWit still provides pre-SegWit fullnodes with a view of the UTXO set,
although pre-SegWit fullnodes could be convinced that a particular UTXO is
anyone-can-spend even though they are no longer anyone-can-spend.
> Under this point-of-view, then, extension block is "not" soft fork.

There's a way to do CT without an extension block and while still
maintaining a correct UTXO set for old nodes. Perhaps it is similar what
you meant with this comment (I believe you don't need to do a hardfork
though)

>  Then it becomes impossible to move from confidential to public
transactions with a value more than this counter, thus preventing inflation
even if a future QC breach allows confidential transaction value
commitments to be opened to any value.
> (do note that a non-extension-block approach is a definite hardfork)

Anyway, the method goes like this:

Funds that go in to CT-mode are placed in a consensus/miner controlled
reserve pool. To go out from CT back to normal, funds are then transferred
back to the user from this pool.
CT transactions seen from a non-upgraded node will be a transaction with 0
sat outputs. The actual rangeproof commitment could be placed in the script
output or perhaps somewhere else.

To enter CT-mode, you'll need to make a commitment. The transaction
contains two outputs, one to the reserve pool containing the funds that can
only be reclaimed when you go back to normal and one CT-output that you can
start doing CT transactions from.
I believe this could be made seamlessly with just a new bech32 address
specifically for CT. Sending to a CT address could be done as easily as
sending to a P2SH. In other words, it doesn't have to be two steps to send
to someone over at CT space.

> It is "evil" soft fork since older nodes are forced to upgrade as their
intended functionality becomes impossible.
> In this point-of-view, it is no better than a hard fork, which at least
is very noisy about how older fullnode versions will simply stop working.

Regarding normal extension blocks, I think it is definitely better than a
hardfork since there's no way to be derailed from the network, even though
you do not understand the rules fully.

Sidenote, I think Trey Del Bonis is right regarding the terminology here,
evil softforks/soft hardforks usually mean that you abandon the old chain
to force all nodes to upgrade (https://petertodd.org/2016/forced-soft-forks
).

Best
Hampus


Den tis 12 feb. 2019 kl 13:49 skrev ZmnSCPxj via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>:

> Good morning Kenshiro,
>
> > - Soft fork: old nodes see CT transactions as "sendtoany" transactions
>
> There is a position that fullnodes must be able to get a view of the UTXO
> set, and extension blocks (which are invisible to pre-extension-block
> fullnodes) means that fullnodes no longer have an accurate view of the UTXO
> set.
> SegWit still provides pre-SegWit fullnodes with a view of the UTXO set,
> although pre-SegWit fullnodes could be convinced that a particular UTXO is
> anyone-can-spend even though they are no longer anyone-can-spend.
>
> Under this point-of-view, then, extension block is "not" soft fork.
> It is "evil" soft fork since older nodes are forced to upgrade as their
> intended functionality becomes impossible.
> In this point-of-view, it is no better than a hard fork, which at least is
> very noisy about how older fullnode versions will simply stop working.
>
> > - Safe: if there is a software bug in CT it's impossible to create new
> coins because the coins move from normal block to normal block as public
> transactions
>
> I think more relevant here is the issue of a future quantum computing
> breach of the algorithms used to implement confidentiality.
>
> I believe this is also achievable with a non-extension-block approach by
> implementing a globally-verified publicly-visible counter of the total
> amount in all confidential transaction outputs.
> Then it becomes impossible to move from confidential to public
> transactions with a value more than this counter, thus preventing inflation
> even if a future QC breach allows confidential transaction value
> commitments to be opened to any value.
>
> (do note that a non-extension-block approach is a definite hardfork)
>
> > - Capacity increase: the CT signature is stored in the extension block,
> so CT transactions increase the maximum number of transactions per block
>
> This is not an unalloyed positive: block size increase, even via extension
> block, translates to greater network capacity usage globally on all
> fullnodes.
>
> Regards,
> ZmnSCPxj
> _______________________________________________
> bitcoin-dev mailing list
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
>
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