[Bitcoin-segwit2x] replay protection and spinoffs vs collaboration

Dr Adam Back adam at blockstream.com
Tue Jul 25 18:36:41 UTC 2017

It will create even more work to deal with coins if there is no replay

It maybe interesting to read the BCC coin github and google-able and
widespread objections to the initial absence of replay protection from
ecosystem companies, probably there is some overlap with NYA signers also
among those companies.  I'm seeing the spinoff as basically identical to
segwit2x proposed HF.  This project could even consider merging with them -
does bitcoin need two spinoffs?  So far theirs seems better able to cope
with replay.

As to the value of the spinoff focussed on medium security/more centralised
retail coin vs a conservative security and decentralisation / censorship
resistant Bitcoin-current, I think the value allocation is unpredictable
and many may have the wrong intuitions.  One has to consider what is the
allocation of user value ascribed between digital gold investment thesis vs
holding incidental to retail trade.  I think coincidentally that Jihan,
myself and Trace Mayer (and probably others on this group) all agree that
digital gold investing is the higher contributor to market value.

Which to be clear is not at all to say that scale isn't important: many
have spent 1000s of hours working on scale within the bitcoin project, and
many companies have volunteered time to accelerate Bitcoin in that area, as
well as their own time.

I dont think the "field experience" from P2SH nor Litecoin are really
applicable for obvious reasons, many companies who signed the NYA agreement
are themselves ready to go with segwit at some volume.  Others are some way

I don't think Jeff's views about  compatibility at all costs strike a
sensible balance here.  It's also also confusing and asymmetric (some smart
phone wallets but not others and different from fullnodes).  There are
fewer pure SPV wallets left.  More wallets are working relative to a hosted
and managed full node, and in some cases cross checking with SPV nodes, and
so need changes either way.  SPV nodes saying conflicting things will cause
confusion.  As was discussed, segregating DNS seeds does not provide any
meaningful protection.  Effort is being put into tinkering with fragile
best-effort approaches that don't protect users.  Almost all smart-phone
wallets are auto-upgrade.  The rationale for medium security use-cases is
to bring *new users*, they will use *new wallets* by default.

I consider it more prudent to let BCC run the experiment and focus instead
on optimising what we have, collaborating and adopting best practices that
can significantly increase scale *today* (with no bitcoind changes) for
example transaction batching, hosted netting, multisig service netting
etc.  And make progress on scale via lightning, schnorr/MASF, best
practices, and drivechain/sidechains to make a medium security area that
doesnt have a floating value.

Ecosystem companies would get more done faster along this approach and more
safely too, because much infrastructure is not designed for multiple
coins.  Re-architecting singleton data models in a 3month window is putting
progress on other types of scaling, security and feature improvement on
hold.  Not to mention the confidence hit from the controversy it creates.

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