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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey
14 votes
Accepted

How is SegWit a soft fork?

You're confusing transactions (the abstract object) and their serialization (the bytes on the wire in the P2P protocol or on disk). Sure, SegWit introduces an extension to the P2P protocol (BIP144), ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What are the downsides to enabling potentially suboptimal or unused opcodes in a future soft fork?

Every piece of additional consensus logic has implementation and ongoing maintenance cost which is perpetual and can never be removed without potentially confiscating some user's assets. When Satoshi ...
G. Maxwell's user avatar
  • 7,727
10 votes
Accepted

Why exactly would adding further divisibility to bitcoin require a hard fork?

I think the answer depends on exactly how you define "forced" soft fork. I find that this concept of a forced soft fork is mostly useful as a demonstration that being a soft fork (in the ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Why isn't the taproot deployment buried in Bitcoin Core?

The Taproot deployment is buried insofar as consensus no longer checks its status to determine whether to enforce the Taproot rules. The Taproot rules are enforced from genesis now, with the (...
Ava Chow's user avatar
  • 70.8k
8 votes
Accepted

How do BIP8 and BIP9 differ, how are they alike?

Early soft forks each had their own activation method included in the proposal which relied on flagdays or block version signaling. The latter only allowed a single proposal to be considered ...
Murch's user avatar
  • 75.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Why does everyone say that soft forks restrict the existing ruleset?

If this is true, then how are legacy transactions still present in the blockchain? Clearly, there are still plenty of transactions with non-segwit and non-taproot script types. I'll focus on Taproot ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Can old coins be banned by a soft fork?

Yes, since blacklisting a set of UTXOs would be done by adding more rules and thus restricting the set of allowed transactions, technically such a change could be introduced as a soft fork by the ...
Murch's user avatar
  • 75.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Did the P2SH BIP-0016 make some Bitcoin unspendable?

Even before BIP-0016 activation, there were some outputs that matched the P2SH pattern. Only one of them was spent before activation, and the rest have likely been made unspendable by the BIP-0016 ...
bca-0353f40e's user avatar
  • 1,025
6 votes

Should block height or MTP or a mixture of both be used in a soft fork activation mechanism?

Should block height or MTP (median time past [...]) or a mixture of both be used in an activation mechanism like BIP 8 or BIP 9 for defining the timings of the state transitions? What are the ...
David A. Harding's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What would happen if we provide witness program different than 32 bytes for SegWit 1?

SegWit version 1 outputs with lengths other than 32 bytes remain unencumbered, which means their validation is unchanged and they remain anyone-can-spend. From BIP341: A Taproot output is a native ...
Vojtěch Strnad's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

When was the first OP_RETURN output in a coinbase?

The first coinbase transaction that has an OP_RETURN output is in block 246816. The transaction has 288 outputs in total, and the OP_RETURN is the last one.
Vojtěch Strnad's user avatar
5 votes

How do you make a coin resistant to soft forking?

You can't prevent miners from enforcing more rules than the rest of the network is. However, to actually turn that into a soft fork, a significant portion of the network also needs to start enforcing ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
5 votes

Can old coins be banned by a soft fork?

Others have commented on the technical possibility of this, so I'll address the economics: I don't believe any smart miner would do this. Why? Because it would destroy confidence in the network. If ...
chytrik's user avatar
  • 18.3k
5 votes

Can old coins be banned by a soft fork?

This could be implemented theoretically, but this idea will certainly never be implemented. It's because: You don't know which addresses exactly are owned by Satoshi Nakamoto. This idea is against ...
anion's user avatar
  • 746
5 votes
Accepted

How are OP_CSV and OP_CLTV backwards compatible

When it comes to soft forks, backwards compatible does not mean that old nodes will follow the new rules - that would mean that the new rules are already implemented. Rather backwards compatible means ...
Ava Chow's user avatar
  • 70.8k
5 votes

Why does everyone say that soft forks restrict the existing ruleset?

Yes, soft forks do indeed tighten consensus rules. However, the restrictions usually happen for constructions that were previously useless, which means it doesn't interfere with existing features. ...
Vojtěch Strnad's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What Satoshi Nakomoto quotes are there in relation to forks and altcoins?

I think thats too much of an open ended and broad set of multiple questions to be answerable here but you can find the complete public writings of Satoshi Nakamoto using a search engine. I think ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
4 votes

Why is a softfork unable to divide the network?

I was wondering why a soft fork cannot in principle divide the Bitcoin network as a hard fork can. A soft fork absolutely can divide the Bitcoin network, in principle, if you don't specify any other ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How do we know which soft-forks were implemented using User-Activated Soft Fork or Miner-Activated Soft Fork?

Most past soft forks have been deployed with miner activated soft forks, and we know this because the deployment mechanisms used only allowed for miner activated soft forks. For a user activated soft ...
Ava Chow's user avatar
  • 70.8k
4 votes
Accepted

How can I follow the progress of miner signaling for Taproot activation during the Speedy Trial deployment?

Hampus Sjöberg has set up a site (https://taproot.watch/) with a graphic for which blocks have signaled for Taproot activation and a breakdown by mining pools. It was announced here on Twitter. AJ ...
Michael Folkson's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between 51% attack fork, hard fork and soft fork?

Any forking that results from a 51% attack is a fork of the blockchain. It is a fork in the data, not in the rules. The phrases "hard fork" and "soft fork" usually refer to a fork ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
4 votes

Why exactly would adding further divisibility to bitcoin require a hard fork?

It requires a hard fork because it would essentially be a redefinition of the base unit. In Bitcoin, the base unit is the Satoshi. Amounts in transactions are counted with integers in sats. This ...
Ava Chow's user avatar
  • 70.8k
4 votes

How do we know whether a pull request will be a soft fork or a hard fork?

(I'm assuming this question is about pull requests to Bitcoin Core) Bitcoin Core is just a software project, implementing lots of features, which is developed by a community of developers. While it is ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
4 votes

Bitcoin Clients Backward compatibility

I think the linked answers mostly address your question, but if not, let me address the specific examples you bring up. wondering if I ran a 0.1.0 version of bitcoind today, would it sync and would ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What type of fork is Litecoin?

It's considered a source code fork, or an altcoin, neither a hard fork nor soft fork of bitcoin. To be classified as a soft/hard fork, it should share some of the same chain from the genesis block. LN ...
meshcollider's user avatar
  • 11.8k
3 votes
Accepted

Would it be possible to create a soft-fork for reducing miner reward?

Yes, it is possible. The rule regarding the coinbase reward is that a miner cannot take more than the block subsidy plus the transaction fees in the block. This means that a miner can opt to take less ...
Ava Chow's user avatar
  • 70.8k
3 votes
Accepted

What are the next forks of the Blockchain that have been announced?

What are the next forks of the Blockchain that have been announced? Just to be clear, anyone can "announce a fork", but adoption and news of said fork depends on the market demand for the new coin. ...
Niraj Pant's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Which nVersion bit is the "hard fork bit?"

Bit 31 is sometimes referred to as the hard fork bit. BIP34 put a constraint on version numbers to be 2 or higher. As the block version is a 32-bit signed integer, setting its highest bit results in ...
Pieter Wuille's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

why bip 34 uses two step on MASF(Miner Activated Soft Fork)?

The two thresholds enable two different rules. If more than 750 of the last 1000 blocks are version 2, the network starts enforcing BIP34 - at this point, blocks that claim to be version 2 but do not ...
Raghav Sood's user avatar
  • 17.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Does a soft fork result in two different blockchain versions?

Your observation is correct, except that a fork is expected to be activated by a supermajority of nodes and miners in the network. The most recent soft fork had an activation threshold of 950 blocks ...
Murch's user avatar
  • 75.7k

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