Nathan Wilcox on Jul 11 2015: Thesis: The disincentive miners have for verifying transactions is problematic and weakens the network's robustness against forks. According to the 2015-07-04 bitcoin.org alert _ so-called "SPV Mining" has become popular across a large portion of miners, and this enabled the consensus-violating forks to persist. Peter Todd provides an explanation of the incentive for SPV Mining over in another thread _. ..  https://bitcoin.org/en/alert/2015-07-04-spv-mining#cause ..  https://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg00404.html If there is a cost to verifying transactions in a received block, then there is an incentive to not verify transactions. However, this is balanced by the a risk of mining atop an invalid block. If we imagine all miners verify all transactions, except Charlie the Cheapskate, then it's in Charlie's interest to forego transaction verification. If all miners make a similar wager, then in the extreme, no miners verify any transactions, and the expected cost of skipping transaction verification becomes very high. Unfortunately, it's difficult to measure how many miners are not validating transactions, since there's no evidence of this until they mine atop on invalid block. Because of this, I worry that over time, more and more miners cut this particular corner, to save on costs. If true, then the network continues to grow more brittle towards the kind of forking-persistence behavior we saw from the July 4th (and 5th) forks. This gets weird. For example, a malicious miner which suspects a large fraction of miners are neglecting transaction verification may choose to forego a block reward by throwing an erroneous transaction into their winning block, then, as all the "SPV Miners" run off along a worthless chain, they can reap a higher reward rate due to controlling a larger network capacity fraction on the valid chain. Can we fix this? Nathan Wilcox Least Authoritarian email: nathan at leastauthority.com twitter: @least_nathan Standard Disclaimer: I'm behind on dev archives, irc logs, bitcointalk, the wiki... if this has been discussed before I appreciate mentions of that fact. -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/attachments/20150711/1d90f07c/attachment-0001.html> original: http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-July/009387.html
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