7

An HTLC is a contract making use of both a hashlock and a timelock. I noticed a discrepancy in what various sources state the abbreviation HTLC is short for. I've found:

What makes the most sense to be the canonical term? Please add supporting evidence.

2
  • I hate to say it, but given that you've yourself shown evidence of multiple distinct abbreviations being used in fairly high-profile contexts, I think there is no objective answer to that it stands for, and this is an opinion-based question... Aug 25, 2021 at 3:47
  • I'm hoping for some bitcoin-inclined linguists to provide their expertise on this matter. :)
    – Murch
    Feb 4, 2022 at 19:45

2 Answers 2

3

Using "hashed" makes it sound like the contract itself is hashed. Because the contract uses a hash, but is not itself hashed, I would say the H should stand for "hash".

Secondly, because "locked" applies to both the hash and the time components, I'd say it should be a separate word, rather than "timelocked".

Technically, initialisms can omit minor words like conjunctions (there is no standard either way, to the best of my knowledge), so while I haven't seen it used, a sensible meaning could be "Hash and Time Locked Contract." That's my two cents.

0

"Hash Time Locked Contract" according to the corresponding Bitcoin Optech topic page

I think term used by Bitcoin Optech is correct.

Please add supporting evidence

===Hash Time-Locked Contracts===

Hashed Timelock Contracts (HTLCs) can be used to create chains of payments which
is required for lightning network payment channels. The scheme requires both
CHECKSEQUENCEVERIFY and CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY to enforce HTLC timeouts and
revokation.

https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/commit/5273cdc3b902022da35b0e673a87efa820270cd1

2
  • 1
    Hah, that's funny. The quoted passage is titled "Hash Time-Locked Contracts", and then the first sentence defines "Hashed Timelock Contracts (HTLCs)".
    – Murch
    Aug 24, 2021 at 20:37
  • 1
    Right. I missed it. Confused and not sure which one is correct.
    – user103136
    Aug 24, 2021 at 20:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.