I'm trying to replicate an algebraic puzzle I saw in the scriptPubKey of a testnet transaction:


I think the intent was for this output to be spendable by a scriptSig of 0x37, but the author used OP_2DUP instead of OP_DUP. I think you should still be able to spend this with a scriptSig of 0x37 0x37, although the stack after execution will have 1 0x37 0x37 instead of just 1.

I wasn't able to submit a testnet transaction to try to spend the output, because bitcoin-cli sendrawtransaction enforces the non-mandatory-script-verify-flag (Stack size must be exactly one after execution). So my next thought was to replicate the puzzle on a regnet server, and see if I could spend the coins there.

I created a raw transaction (funded from a different regnet output) with the corrected script:


  "txid": "4c56e2c6626e23f8d3afe7862332f3dbdef5e271f9931ecac8d8ffa67c43bf0b",
  "hash": "07662570c30e5505f35a328342ca6d0a3219ff2198814af44bfcc3dfad20d649",
  "version": 1,
  "size": 174,
  "vsize": 93,
  "weight": 369,
  "locktime": 0,
  "vin": [
      "txid": "5bc15b3ee96a3729030ef523cabcc15b97f815ecaf19c03568192fe11ed97536",
      "vout": 0,
      "scriptSig": {
        "asm": "",
        "hex": ""
      "txinwitness": [
      "sequence": 4294967295
  "vout": [
      "value": 0.98765000,
      "n": 0,
      "scriptPubKey": {
        "asm": "OP_DUP OP_ADD 110 OP_EQUAL",
        "desc": "raw(7693016e87)#tcc664ka",
        "hex": "7693016e87",
        "type": "nonstandard"

But I can't submit this transaction to my regnet server either, because:

% bitcoin-cli sendrawtransaction 010000000001013675d91ee12f196835c019afec15f8975bc1bcca23f50e0329376ae93e5bc15b0000000000ffffffff01c808e30500000000057693016e870247304402207f369a50b6deecaf6fc0ee15037ffe460eea9d9093d8e889def1ad93f173d11b022042dac5b3db93aa665b4d45073a3c397e4cdbdbd25880d6a8a15f97cc70b0228f0121029972f24e39b359e5e29267fab7d4cf752982f95e3428b0ef14f38937e6084c3f00000000
error code: -26
error message:

Do I have to write my own submitter to talk to the regnet node? (Perhaps I'll need that anyway to submit the answering / spending transaction.)

(I think I can submit nonstandard scripts via P2SH, but that's not what I want, because the puzzle script itself needs to be in the blockchain, not just the answer script's hash. That's the whole point of having a puzzle / reward / challenge: anyone can read the problem statement, and if they can solve it, they can submit a transaction where the scriptsig pushes the answer(s). I understand that this is not secure, and that a mining pool could steal the answer and submit it with their own pay-to address as the output, but that's a problem for another day.)


1 Answer 1


You have to tell Bitcoin Core to allow non-standard transactions, This can be achieved by starting it with -acceptnonstdtxn.

  • Cool! It works! Now if I wanted to submit a similar spending transaction to testnet, I would spin up a testnet node here and submit the same way. But would the transaction propagate enough to get into a block somewhere (via gettemplateblock, right?)? Or do I have to mine my own block locally from templates from my local testnet node?
    – Dave M.
    May 4, 2022 at 17:52
  • Testnet allows non-standard transactions by default. You don't need to start with -acceptnonstdtxn on testnet, and any non-standard transactions you make should propagate.
    – Ava Chow
    May 4, 2022 at 18:52

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