[Lightning-dev] CPFP Carve-Out for Fee-Prediction Issues in Contracting Applications (eg Lightning)

Johan Torås Halseth johanth at gmail.com
Thu Oct 24 13:49:09 UTC 2019

Reviving this old thread now that the recently released RC for bitcoind
0.19 includes the above mentioned carve-out rule.

In an attempt to pave the way for more robust CPFP of on-chain contracts
(Lightning commitment transactions), the carve-out rule was added in
https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/15681. However, having worked on an
implementation of a new commitment format for utilizing the Bring Your Own
Fees strategy using CPFP, I’m wondering if the special case rule should
have been relaxed a bit, to avoid the need for adding a 1 CSV to all
outputs (in case of Lightning this means HTLC scripts would need to be
changed to add the CSV delay).

Instead, what about letting the rule be

The last transaction which is added to a package of dependent
transactions in the mempool must:
  * Have no more than one unconfirmed parent.

This would of course allow adding a large transaction to each output of the
unconfirmed parent, which in effect would allow an attacker to exceed the
MAX_PACKAGE_VIRTUAL_SIZE limit in some cases. However, is this a problem
with the current mempool acceptance code in bitcoind? I would imagine
evicting transactions based on feerate when the max mempool size is met
handles this, but I’m asking since it seems like there has been several
changes to the acceptance code and eviction policy since the limit was
first introduced.

- Johan

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 6:57 AM Rusty Russell <rusty at rustcorp.com.au> wrote:

> Matt Corallo <lf-lists at mattcorallo.com> writes:
> >>> Thus, even if you imagine a steady-state mempool growth, unless the
> >>> "near the top of the mempool" criteria is "near the top of the next
> >>> block" (which is obviously *not* incentive-compatible)
> >>
> >> I was defining "top of mempool" as "in the first 4 MSipa", ie. next
> >> block, and assumed you'd only allow RBF if the old package wasn't in the
> >> top and the replacement would be.  That seems incentive compatible; more
> >> than the current scheme?
> >
> > My point was, because of block time variance, even that criteria doesn't
> hold up. If you assume a steady flow of new transactions and one or two
> blocks come in "late", suddenly "top 4MWeight" isn't likely to get
> confirmed until a few blocks come in "early". Given block variance within a
> 12 block window, this is a relatively likely scenario.
> [ Digging through old mail. ]
> Doesn't really matter.  Lightning close algorithm would be:
> 1.  Give bitcoind unileratal close.
> 2.  Ask bitcoind what current expidited fee is (or survey your mempool).
> 3.  Give bitcoind child "push" tx at that total feerate.
> 4.  If next block doesn't contain unilateral close tx, goto 2.
> In this case, if you allow a simpified RBF where 'you can replace if
> 1. feerate is higher, 2. new tx is in first 4Msipa of mempool, 3. old tx
> isnt',
> it works.
> It allows someone 100k of free tx spam, sure.  But it's simple.
> We could further restrict it by marking the unilateral close somehow to
> say "gonna be pushed" and further limiting the child tx weight (say,
> 5kSipa?) in that case.
> Cheers,
> Rusty.
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