[bitcoin-dev] Taproot activation facts on lockinontimeout (LOT)

Michael Folkson michaelfolkson at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 17:36:51 UTC 2021

I just want to lay out some facts as I see them because frankly I feel
any personal opinion is irrelevant at this point and without agreement
on facts we are going round in circles. I end with a personal opinion
which you can feel free to ignore.

1) There is a long list of current and past Core contributors who have
said they effectively NACK setting a default of lot=true in Core.
There are a small number of current and past Core contributors who
have said they effectively NACK setting a default of lot=false in
Core. If Core sets a default (barring an incredible transformation in
views) the only default that is possible at this stage is lot=false.

2) Core forcing users to choose lot=true or lot=false before they can
use the software is not viable, nor is it a good idea. This suggestion
was withdrawn by ZmnSCPxj.

3) There has been an idea floated (by Rusty and Greg amongst others)
of setting a config option such that users could (easily or with
greater difficulty) change the default set in Core to their preferred
option. Nobody as far as I'm aware is coding this up and intending to
open a PR to do this currently. Bitcoin Core pull requests are open to
anybody and this may change.

4) There is a non-Core project
(https://github.com/BitcoinActivation/bitcoin) that plans to release
lot=true as a default. If this is coded up and anyone runs this
software there will be lot=true nodes on the network regardless of
what Core does.

5) Core could (in theory) not release any activation code, either
because there is no consensus on the lot default or out of concern for
a (possible but unlikely) chain split if miners failed to activate for
a year. If Core chooses to not release anything Taproot will only
activate if users and miners run non-Core software.

**Personal opinion (feel free to ignore)**

Assuming these facts (feel free to correct me if you think any of the
above aren't facts) I will put forward a personal opinion. Core
releasing nothing and putting all users (including miners) in a
position where the only way they can activate Taproot is to run
non-Core software seems to me to be highly suboptimal. I do appreciate
that if Core releases a default of lot=false that there is a small but
non-zero risk of a chain split *if and only if* miners fail to
activate within a year. Soft forks are not 100 percent risk free. If
the community's appetite for risk and disruption is literally zero we
should not attempt to activate Taproot. I would argue the long term
benefits for the ecosystem of Taproot *significantly* outweigh that
non-zero downside risk.

Michael Folkson
Email: michaelfolkson at gmail.com
Keybase: michaelfolkson
PGP: 43ED C999 9F85 1D40 EAF4 9835 92D6 0159 214C FEE3

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