[bitcoin-dev] Yesterday's Taproot activation meeting on lockinontimeout (LOT)

Ariel Lorenzo-Luaces arielluaces at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 05:43:10 UTC 2021

Something what strikes me about the conversation is the emotion surrounding the letters UASF.

It appears as if people discuss UASF as if it's a massive tidal wave of support that is inevitable, like we saw during segwit activation. But the actual definition is "any activation that is not a MASF".

A UASF can consist of a single node, ten nodes, a thousand, half of all nodes, all business' nodes, or even all the non mining nodes. On another dimension it can have zero mining support, 51% support, 49% support, or any support right up against a miner activation threshold.

Hell a UASF doesn't even need code or even a single node running as long as it exists as a possibility in people's minds.

The only thing a UASF doesn't have is miner support above an agreed activation threshold (some number above %51).

I say this because it strikes me when people say that they are for LOT=true with the logic that since a UASF is guaranteed to happen then it's better to just make it default from the beginning. Words like coordination and safety are sometimes sprinkled into the argument.

The argument comes from a naive assumption that users MUST upgrade to the choice that is submitted into code. But in fact this isn't true and some voices in this discussion need to be more humble about what users must or must not run.

Does no one realize that it is a very possible outcome that if LOT=true is released there may be only a handful of people that begin running it while everyone else delays their upgrade (with the very good reason of not getting involved in politics) and a year later those handful of people just become stuck at the moment of MUST_SIGNAL, unable to mine new blocks? Or attracting a minority of miners, activating, and forking off into a minority fork. Then a lot=false could be started that ends up activating the feature now that the stubborn option has ran its course.
The result: a wasted year of waiting and a minority of people who didn't want to be lenient with miners by default. The chains could be called BitcoinLenient and BitcoinStubborn.
How is that strictly safer or more coordinated?

I may be in the minority, or maybe a silent majority, or maybe a majority that just hasn't considered this as a choice but honestly if there is contention about whether we're going to be stubborn or lenient with miners for Taproot and in the future then I prefer to just not activate anything at all. I'm fine for calling bitcoin ossified, accepting that segwit is Bitcoin's last network upgrade. Taproot is amazing but no new feature is worth a network split down the middle.

Maybe in 10 or 20 years, when other blockchains implement features like Taproot and many more, we will become envious enough to put aside our differences on how to behave towards miners and finally activate Taproot.

An activation mechanism is a consensus change like any other change, can be contentious like any other change, and we must resolve it like any other change. Otherwise we risk arriving at the darkest timeline.

Ariel Lorenzo-Luaces

On Feb 17, 2021, 7:05 AM, at 7:05 AM, Michael Folkson via bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>Yesterday (February 16th) we held a second meeting on Taproot
>activation on IRC which again was open to all. Despite what appeared
>to be majority support for LOT=false over LOT=true in the first
>meeting I (and others) thought the arguments had not been explored in
>depth and that we should have a follow up meeting almost entirely
>focused on whether LOT (lockinontimeout) should be set to true or
>The meeting was announced here:
>In that mailing list post I outlined the arguments for LOT=true (T1 to
>T6) and arguments for LOT=false (F1 to F6) in their strongest form I
>could. David Harding responded with an additional argument for
>LOT=false (F7) here:
>These meetings are very challenging given they are open to all, you
>don’t know who will attend and you don’t know most people’s views in
>advance. I tried to give time for both the LOT=true arguments and the
>LOT=false arguments to be discussed as I knew there was support for
>both. We only tried evaluating which had more support and which had
>more strong opposition towards the end of the meeting.
>The conversation log is here:
>(If you are so inclined you can watch a video of the meeting here.
>Thanks to the YouTube account “Bitcoin” for setting up the livestream:
>A summary of the meeting was provided by Luke Dashjr on Mastodon here:
>Today's #Bitcoin #Taproot meeting was IMO largely unproductive, but we
>did manage to come to consensus on everything but LockinOnTimeout.
>Activation height range: 693504-745920
>MASF threshold: 1815/2016 blocks (90%)
>Keep in mind only ~100 people showed for the meetings, hardly
>representative of the entire community.
>So, these details remain JUST a proposal for now.
>It seems inevitable that there won't be consensus on LOT.
>Everyone will have to choose for himself. :/
>Personally I agree with most of this. I agree that there wasn’t
>overwhelming consensus for either LOT=true or LOT=false. However, from
>my perspective there was clearly more strong opposition (what would
>usually be deemed a NACK in Bitcoin Core review terminology) from
>Bitcoin Core contributors, Lightning developers and other community
>members against LOT=true than there was for LOT=false. Andrew Chow
>tried to summarize views from the meeting in this analysis:
>I am also aware of other current and previous Bitcoin Core
>contributors and Lightning developers who didn’t attend the meeting in
>person who are opposed to LOT=true. I don’t want to put them in the
>spotlight for no reason but if you go through the conversation logs of
>not only the meeting but the weeks of discussion prior to this meeting
>you will see their views evaluated on the ##taproot-activation
>channel. In addition, on taprootactivation.com some mining pools
>expressed a preference for lot=false though I don’t know how strong
>that preference was.
>I am only one voice but it is my current assessment that if we are to
>attempt to finalize Taproot activation parameters and propose them to
>the community at this time our only option is to propose LOT=false.
>Any further delay appears to me counterproductive in our collective
>aim to get the Taproot soft fork activated as early as possible.
>Obviously others are free to disagree with that assessment and
>continue discussions but personally I will be attempting to avoid
>those discussions unless prominent new information comes to light or
>various specific individuals change their minds.
>Next week we are planning a code review of the Bitcoin Core PR #19573
>which was initially delayed because of this LOT discussion. As I’ve
>said previously that will be loosely following the format of the
>Bitcoin Core PR review club and will be lower level and more
>technical. That is planned for Tuesday February 23rd at 19:00 UTC on
>the IRC channel ##taproot-activation.
>Thanks to the meeting participants (and those who joined the
>discussion on the channel prior and post the meeting) for engaging
>productively and in good faith.
>Michael Folkson
>Email: michaelfolkson at gmail.com
>Keybase: michaelfolkson
>PGP: 43ED C999 9F85 1D40 EAF4 9835 92D6 0159 214C FEE3
>bitcoin-dev mailing list
>bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
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