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BIP16 gives the following example to explain "Pay to Script Hash":

scriptSig:    [signature] {[pubkey] OP_CHECKSIG}
scriptPubKey: OP_HASH160 [20-byte-hash of {[pubkey] OP_CHECKSIG} ] OP_EQUAL

But I don't get what's happening here. I've tried executing the script on paper (and assumed the parts in squared/curly brackets are treated as constants):

  1. [signature] and {[pubkey] OP_CHECKSIG} are pushed onto the stack
  2. OP_HASH160 hashes {[pubkey] OP_CHECKSIG}
  3. The same hash comes from the scriptPubKey onto the stack
  4. Consequently OP_EQUAL gives True
  5. The [signature] is not checked at all!

If the {[pubkey] OP_CHECKSIG} is executed, the scriptSig would only give True, which makes even less sense.

To frame a clear question: How do "Pay to Script Hash" scripts work, especially this example case?

8

You're correct so far, you just stopped before you were finished. As BIP16 says, it "defines additional validation rules that apply only to the new transactions" -- specifically, "{serialized script} is popped off the initial stack, and the transaction is validated again using the popped stack and the deserialized script as the scriptPubKey."

So:

1) The script is popped off the stack, leaving only [signature] on the stack.

2) The deserialized script is added, leaving [signature] [pubkey] OP_CHECKSIG.

2) The transaction is validated again, that is, a normal signature verification occurs against the specified public key.

  • 4
    i'd like a more comprehensive walkthrough, or a link to one. i still don't get it. – mulllhausen Aug 19 '15 at 14:05
  • 4
    This doesn't really answer the question at all as to how the pushed script bytes get executed. I assume BIP16 defies somewhere in it's complex language a definition for how the network identifies a "serialized script", since it is just data. Why would signatures, public keys, etc not be attempted to be interpreted as scripts as well given this definition? – Earlz Nov 18 '16 at 12:50

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