[bitcoin-dev] OP_DIFFICULTY to enable difficulty hedges (bets) without an oracle and 3rd party.

Tamas Blummer tamas.blummer at gmail.com
Thu May 23 17:42:35 UTC 2019

Difficulty change has profound impact on miner’s production thereby introduce the biggest risk while considering an investment.
Commodity markets offer futures and options to hedge risks on traditional trading venues. Some might soon list difficulty futures.

I think we could do much better than them natively within Bitcoin.

A better solution could be a transaction that uses nLocktime denominated in block height, such that it is valid after the difficulty adjusted block in the future.
A new OP_DIFFICULTY opcode would put onto stack the value of difficulty for the block the transaction is included into. 
The output script may then decide comparing that value with a strike which key can spend it. 
The input of the transaction would be a multi-sig escrow of those who entered the bet. 
The winner would broadcast. 

Once signed by both the transaction would not carry any counterparty risk and would not need an oracle to settle according to the bet.

I plan to draft a BIP for this as I think this opcode would serve significant economic interest of Bitcoin economy, and is compatible with Bitcoin’s aim not to introduce 3rd party to do so.

Do you see a fault in this proposal or want to contribute?

Tamas Blummer 

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