I read in the mailing list that the rate of false positives for compact block filters is small, but what is the actual rate?

1 Answer 1


Compact block filters encode the output scripts of both spent TXOs and created UTXOs.

BIP158 states that the false positive rate M is 784931. This means that for every looked up output script that’s not present in the block, there is a chance of 1/784931 that the filter produces a match (i.e. a false positive).

Under the assumption that the wallet is monitoring about 1000 output scripts, this works out to about one random block downloaded every 8 weeks (H/T Dave Harding).

The chance of true positives is 1. Any output script present in the block will always produce a match when it is looked up, i.e. the chance of false negatives is 0.

  • 2
    For every scriptPubKey you look up, if it is not present in the block, you have a chance of 1/784931 of getting a match. If it is present in the block, the chance is 1 obviously. Jul 31, 2023 at 20:31
  • Thanks @PieterWuille, I have updated my phrasing.
    – Murch
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:25

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