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Author Topic: WARNING! Bitcoin will soon block small transaction outputs  (Read 57715 times)
caveden
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May 06, 2013, 06:52:38 AM
 #241

By reading the description on GitHub I get the impression that every transaction with a single output below 54.3µBTC will be treated as non-standard, even if it carries other larger outputs, or if it carries lots of fees.

Is this correct?
Because it doesn't seem to make sense to me. Why should miners reject a transaction with 1 satoshi output which carry, say, 10mBTC as fee, but still accept transactions with no fees at all?

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gmaxwell
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May 06, 2013, 06:53:39 AM
 #242

if you understand that is it, that is all I care, I am sorry my public schooling education has failed you.
I think it's fantastic that you care deeply about Bitcoin, but I also think you're confused about whats going on— and as a result you're attacking other people who care deeply about Bitcoin and do a lot to protect it as well as attacking a beneficial change which will protect Bitcoin to the extent that it does anything at all.

I'm trying to decode what you're saying and I didn't respond that way with the intention of insulting you. I think if we were able to achieve productive communication you'd agree with me and wouldn't worry about this.

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gmaxwell
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May 06, 2013, 07:00:39 AM
 #243

By reading the description on GitHub I get the impression that every transaction with a single output below 54.3µBTC will be treated as non-standard, even if it carries other larger outputs, or if it carries lots of fees.
Is this correct?
Because it doesn't seem to make sense to me. Why should miners reject a transaction with 1 satoshi output which carry, say, 10mBTC as fee, but still accept transactions with no fees at all?
Correct. It's already the case that zero fee transactions can't have any outputs less than 0.01 BTC. The transactions intended to force-bitcoin-users-to-store-arbitrary-data typically have one large output (their change) and pay a single 0.0005 fee and then have many 1e-8 outputs each packing another 160 bits of storage data which can never be pruned.  The data storage transactions are distinguished from normal transactions in that their outputs are actually unspendable (though this can't be detected) so all funds send to them are lost forever (effectively donations to all Bitcoin users in the form of increase scarcity). Just increasing the fees on transactions would harm regular transaction users and the data-stuffers alike— while penalizing tiny output sizes has a special cost for data stuffing, since that value can't benefit the stuffer.

Miners accept transactions with no fees at all for the same reasons they always have: They aren't irrational, if they engaged in maximize-income-at-all-costs behavior and denyed all free transactions or processed anything with fees regardless of the impact on Bitcoin then the coins they're mining wouldn't be worth as much. The long term health and usability of Bitcoin is in their interests.

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gweedo
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May 06, 2013, 07:02:37 AM
 #244

if you understand that is it, that is all I care, I am sorry my public schooling education has failed you.
I think it's fantastic that you care deeply about Bitcoin, but I also think you're confused about whats going on— and as a result you're attacking other people who care deeply about Bitcoin and do a lot to protect it as well as attacking a beneficial change which will protect Bitcoin to the extent that it does anything at all.

I'm trying to decode what you're saying and I didn't respond that way with the intention of insulting you. I think if we were able to achieve productive communication you'd agree with me and wouldn't worry about this.

First off you didn't insult me, I can't structure sentences well at all, so I agree with you there. I feel on this board we are all here for bitcoin otherwise you would not be here as a bitcoin dev. So I don't feel I attacked anyone I would call that critiquing. Honestly some miners will move forward and upgrade some will not or who knows. I will agree with you on one thing we just have to wait for to play out... I still think it is censorship in some form.

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caveden
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May 06, 2013, 07:33:29 AM
 #245

By reading the description on GitHub I get the impression that every transaction with a single output below 54.3µBTC will be treated as non-standard, even if it carries other larger outputs, or if it carries lots of fees.
Is this correct?
Because it doesn't seem to make sense to me. Why should miners reject a transaction with 1 satoshi output which carry, say, 10mBTC as fee, but still accept transactions with no fees at all?
Correct. It's already the case that zero fee transactions can't have any outputs less than 0.01 BTC.

It doesn't make sense.
A 1 satoshi tx paying enough fees is certainly more interesting than a 1.000 BTC tx not paying anything.

The transactions intended to force-bitcoin-users-to-store-arbitrary-data

Great. First you set up a biased "press center", now you embed arbitrary judgement of value in the default client behavior. This is degenerating fast.

In case you don't get it - and you likely don't - it should not be up to you, or any developer, to decide how Bitcoin transactions should be used, or what purpose they fill. You're basically inserting a rule in the reference implementation whose motivation to be is an attempt to censor certain use cases of the protocol, simply because you believe the protocol should not be used for such. That's just not right. Of course that the mining activity must remain profitable, and fees to block spam are thus something reasonable. But censoring any output below X no matter how much fees it carries is not reasonable. It doesn't make sense. If somebody is paying fees to store arbitrary data in the blockchain, just let him be.


Will bitcoind also disconnect from nodes that don't respect this policy, à la FATCA style?

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May 06, 2013, 07:48:34 AM
 #246

...
...
...

OVER THROW THE DEV TEAM, THEY CAN"T HANDLE THE POWER THEY HAVE!

Even with caps, Quote worthy. I thought exactly the same and was not sure how to express it. Who gave them the power? Are they even proved as good enough programmers? This should not be allowed with the main client the vast majority is using. Not at all. Community raise.

Here is the answer (https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/2577):

Quote
Qt and RPC both now tell the user why CreateTransaction fails, if it fails; Qt error reporting is a little wonky (try to send one satoshi, and you get two modal dialog boxes, one after the other; I don't care enough to try to fix that).
muyuu
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May 06, 2013, 07:49:28 AM
 #247

I don't understand this. This could ruin bitcoin for a lot of people.
Can you walk me through who these people are, what they are doing, and how Bitcoin will be ruined for them?

Maybe gamblers (SD and similar) and small miners.

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TradeFortress
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May 06, 2013, 07:52:35 AM
 #248

I don't understand this. This could ruin bitcoin for a lot of people.
Can you walk me through who these people are, what they are doing, and how Bitcoin will be ruined for them?

Maybe gamblers (SD and similar) and small miners.
It would not ruin gamblers and small miners. It only really ruins colored coins somewhat.
Come-from-Beyond
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May 06, 2013, 07:53:43 AM
 #249

If this isn't a protocol change, but merely a CLIENT change, then this is essentially a non-issue.

This is not a protocol change.

This is a client change.

There is no such thing as a protocol in Bitcoin. It's defined by all changes in Satoshi client.
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May 06, 2013, 07:56:30 AM
 #250

If this isn't a protocol change, but merely a CLIENT change, then this is essentially a non-issue.

This is not a protocol change.

This is a client change.

There is no such thing as a protocol in Bitcoin. It's defined by all changes in Satoshi client.
Yes there is. It is defined by changes in the reference client, but not all reference client code dictates the protocol. Please grasp that protocol and policy are different things.

gmaxwell
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May 06, 2013, 08:06:00 AM
 #251

Yes there is. It is defined by changes in the reference client, but not all reference client code dictates the protocol. Please grasp that protocol and policy are different things.
Right. "Protocol" in our normal dialong is stuff you MUST do or you're incompatible, will end up on chain forks, etc.  Policy is just decision you make on your own which don't need to be consistent.   Mining and relay rules are a little on the line, and thats probably causing some confusion here— they are not protocol, they are policy— but they are policy that has impact on third parties, not just yourself.

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gmaxwell
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May 06, 2013, 08:08:25 AM
 #252

Can you walk me through who these people are, what they are doing, and how Bitcoin will be ruined for them?
Maybe gamblers (SD and similar) and small miners.
It should not have any impact on these parties. It's sad that people are getting worked up here over confusion and misguided guesswork.

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caveden
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May 06, 2013, 08:10:12 AM
 #253

If this isn't a protocol change, but merely a CLIENT change, then this is essentially a non-issue. If we ( and I include myself in this) don't like it, then it should incentivize us to create competing bitcoin clients.

I agree with you, but it's still sad to see biased behavior being embedded in the reference implementation. It's like bitcoin.org. Not a monopoly, but still, the "reference". I'd very much prefer if it remained the most unbiased possible.

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May 06, 2013, 08:12:02 AM
 #254

If this isn't a protocol change, but merely a CLIENT change, then this is essentially a non-issue.

This is not a protocol change.

This is a client change.

There is no such thing as a protocol in Bitcoin. It's defined by all changes in Satoshi client.
Yes there is. It is defined by changes in the reference client, but not all reference client code dictates the protocol. Please grasp that protocol and policy are different things.

Thank you. I was sure Satoshi had not published the protocol.
gmaxwell
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May 06, 2013, 08:22:18 AM
 #255

If somebody is paying fees to store arbitrary data in the blockchain, just let him be.
First, Bitcoin is a decentralized currency. It is not a data storage service. Bitcoin would be a very bad design for a storage service, and it's only attractive to some for this purpose due to the non-consensual aspects of it.

As far as fees go— there is no automatic moral righteousness that comes from paying fees: If I pay a big enough fee to your neighbor should I be able to show up and drill holes in your head?  Why not?? I paid a fee!!!!

The costs of data storage are not just borne by the single miner that accepts the transaction and has arguably been paid for their trouble they are imposed on the entire network— all current and future users of Bitcoin— for all time. Of course, miners who don't agree with the policy are free to adopt other fee policies— there is even a config file setting for it but I expect that few to none will— because they care about Bitcoin as a currency and want the bitcoins they mine to be valuable.

You can expect that the core development team will continue to defend Bitcoin against non-currency usage at least to the extent they believe and there is evidence that the non-currency usage is non-trivially harmful to the usage of Bitcoin as a decentralized currency.  If you don't like it, you should probably find other software to run. (And probably another network: I doubt you'll find many Bitcoin users who are friendly to chewing up their bandwidth, diskspace, and processor cycles to store data that you're not paying them to store)

Finally, even with this change people can still create stupid data bloating transactions— but they need to put as much bitcoin value in their unspendable outputs as a plausibly real transaction does. This is a 5000x disincentive and the result is effectively paying all the current and future users of Bitcoin through increase scarcity.

Quote
Will bitcoind also disconnect from nodes that don't respect this policy, à la FATCA style?
No, nodes relaying non-standard transactions are not disconnected. That would make it infeasible to have inconsistencies in policy. Part of the point of policy vs protocol rules is that policy isn't required to be completely consistent for correct operation.


I agree with you, but it's still sad to see biased behavior being embedded in the reference implementation. It's like bitcoin.org. Not a monopoly, but still, the "reference". I'd very much prefer if it remained the most unbiased possible.
Biased how? As I posted in these threads— Bitcoin is _full_ of restrictions, its value is— in fact— derived almost entirely from restrictions.   Discouraging the creation of transaction outputs that yield fewer Bitcoins than they cost to spend is pretty "value neutral". It's a little insane that they can be created at all. As far as I'm aware a policy to restrict them doesn't discriminate against any kind of usage other than the "usage" of forcing hundreds of thousands of machines to archive non-bitcoin data against their operators consent. As far as I know it won't interfere with any publicly (or privately, for that matter) known service. So whats this bias that you speak of?   Please— point me to a currency use of Bitcoin that this will break, because if there is one then we need to figure that out! If it's something private, reach out to me via gpg encrypted anonymous email.


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gogxmagog
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May 06, 2013, 08:37:16 AM
 #256

why the fuck would you send less than 5uBTC to ANYBODY?

Sig This
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May 06, 2013, 08:42:27 AM
 #257

why the fuck would you send less than 5uBTC to ANYBODY?
Lemme try to guess a few:

If you send them a whole bunch of really tiny outputs you can make their wallet really slow.

You could trick new users into solving captchas for very tiny payments because they don't realize that they won't be able to actually spend them.

If you send names you know lots of small payments you can hope that they get pulled into other transactions they make, cross linking their addresses, and deanonymizing them.

As far .. you know, actually paying someone? I haven't a clue.  Sufficiently small transactions, for some definition of sufficient, have 0 value if anything they have negative value, they aren't a payment.

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muyuu
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May 06, 2013, 08:49:10 AM
 #258

Can you walk me through who these people are, what they are doing, and how Bitcoin will be ruined for them?
Maybe gamblers (SD and similar) and small miners.
It should not have any impact on these parties. It's sad that people are getting worked up here over confusion and misguided guesswork.


Really small payouts for CPU miners?

Anyway, I don't think it's a problem but it should have been mentioned somewhere more public. "Transfers under 540 satoshis might struggle to get in the blockchain after XX date".

It's bad PR that someone breaks it to the forum like this, because it's a relatively substantial change in bitcoind.

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May 06, 2013, 08:57:41 AM
 #259

Really small payouts for CPU miners?
I don't believe any pool will pay less than 0.01 BTC except P2pool and even P2Pool's smallest current payout is 0.00253075 BTC right now (_well_ over the limit). It wouldn't be in the interests of the users to send them smaller amounts, because really tiny amounts cost more in txn fees to spend then they are worth. Not only that, if some pool did want to pay out less than 0.01 they still can— they're miners, they can mine whatever that want— this doesn't inhibit them.

Quote
Anyway, I don't think it's a problem but it should have been mentioned somewhere more public. "Transfers under 540 satoshis might struggle to get in the blockchain after XX date".
Would have been, and still will be— but 0.8.2 isn't even in RC yet. The change was merged to the development code shortly before this thread was created. (Actually, I hadn't even realized that it was actually merged yet when I joined in the discussion here).

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muyuu
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May 06, 2013, 09:04:41 AM
 #260

Looks like it was well decided 10 days ago (seeing the github conversation) and this thread was opened yesterday, basically when the code was already in.

This is something to announce on decision rather than on execution.

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