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* [bitcoindev] Draft BIP for User-Defined Transaction Flags Policy & Strategy
@ 2024-04-14 15:09 Bitcoin Error Log
  2024-04-14 15:51 ` Peter Todd
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: Bitcoin Error Log @ 2024-04-14 15:09 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Bitcoin Development Mailing List

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Title: User-Defined Transaction Flags Policy & Strategy
Author: John Carvalho
Type: Standards Track
Created: Apr 15, 2024
Status: Draft 

This BIP introduces a utility-optimized strategy for Bitcoin mempool policy 
with new transaction signaling mechanisms, including Do-Not-Replace (DNR) 
and Replace-by-Fee (RBF), to enhance control over transaction handling and 
improve the network's economic efficiency. 

Enhancing user autonomy and network efficiency through precise, 
user-defined transaction signals that integrate seamlessly with Bitcoin's 
decentralized nature and existing economic models. 
Specification Transaction Signals
   Do-Not-Replace (DNR): Ensures transactions are not replaced once 
   broadcast. This flag is encoded using a specific bit in the transaction’s 
   version field, similar to RBF, but with inverse logic.
   Replace-by-Fee (RBF): Allows the sender to signal that the transaction 
   may be replaced by another transaction with a higher fee. This mechanism is 
   used to increase the likelihood of a transaction being picked up by miners 
   in conditions of high network congestion, ensuring timely processing. 

The new flag signal, DNR, could be encoded similarly to existing RBF flags, 
with complementary mempool handling and conflict-resolution logic for 
default local enforcement.


Addresses the need for predictable transaction handling while respecting 
the decentralized, incentive-driven nature of network participants.

Note: This proposal only discusses subjective, arbitrary mempool policy and 
handling. It is assumed that any local policy that enforces preferred 
hardware limits is out of scope and remains separately necessary. 
Strategic Options for Mempool Evolution

There are three strategic options for evolving the Bitcoin mempool 
management, where only one should be optimized:

   User-defined (The ideal, optimistic option): This approach involves 
   creating and default-obeying various transaction flags like RBF and DNR to 
   facilitate specific goals of transactors. The primary tradeoff is that 
   these flags are suggestions and can be overridden by miners, which means 
   they are not enforceable but serve as strong hints to improve transaction 
   predictability and network efficiency.
   Node-defined (The chaotic, centralizing option): This strategy would 
   encourage third-party mempool providers to implement their subjective 
   preferences on transaction facilitation. The significant tradeoff here is 
   the potential fracturing of the mempool and private, mining-pool-centric 
   inclusion requirements, which could lead to increased centralization and 
   Miner-defined (The rational, pessimistic option): The final strategy 
   involves removing all policies and flags, allowing miners to decide based 
   on transaction fees or other out-of-band terms. This approach simplifies 
   the network at the cost of significantly reducing the utility for users who 
   may need special handling for their transactions. 
Arguments for User-Definition

Option 1 is favored here because it provides a balanced approach that 
enhances user experience and network functionality without overly 
complicating the Bitcoin protocol or risking centralization. By 
standardizing flags that indicate user preferences, we can achieve greater 
harmony and utility within the Bitcoin network, supporting diverse user 
needs while maintaining decentralization. 

More importantly, we may be able to prevent mempool fragmentation and 
privatization to miners and pools for direct transaction inclusion by 
intentionally supporting flags that better compete and match transaction 
use cases within the open mempool network instead of censoring them 

Economic Implications

The introduction of these signals could influence transaction fee markets 
and network congestion patterns:

   DNR potentially improves next-block fee competition and improves network 
   throughput by providing clearer signals about transaction permanence and 
   RBF allows for dynamic fee adjustments that can enhance the certainty of 
   transaction confirmations during peak times, benefiting users who need 
   timely processing. 
Do-Not-Replace (DNR) Use Cases

DNR is valuable in scenarios where transaction finality is crucial upon 
submission, without the risk of later alterations due to increased fees. 
Here are some specific use cases: 

   Point-of-Sale Transactions:
      Example: Retailers or service providers accepting Bitcoin in a 
      face-to-face setting need transactions to be final immediately to prevent 
      Usage: By using the DNR flag, merchants can ensure that once a 
      transaction is broadcast, it cannot be replaced, thereby securing the 
      payment process at the point of sale.
   Wage Payments:
      Example: Employers paying salaries in Bitcoin require certainty that 
      the transaction amounts cannot be altered once sent.
      Usage: DNR provides employers the confidence to execute payroll 
      transactions knowing that the payments cannot be replaced or canceled, 
      ensuring employees receive the exact intended amounts.
   Automated Payments for Services:
      Example: Subscription services where automated payments are scheduled 
      and should not be subject to change once initiated.
      Usage: DNR can be applied to ensure that automated recurring payments 
      are processed without the risk of being replaced, thus simplifying 
      financial planning and contract enforcement. 
Replace-by-Fee (RBF) Use Cases

RBF is essential for transactions where timing and confirmation speed are 
more critical than the immediacy of finality. Here are applicable scenarios:

   High-Frequency Trading:
      Example: Traders on cryptocurrency exchanges who need to rapidly 
      adjust their positions based on market conditions.
      Usage: RBF allows traders to increase the fee on a transaction if 
      it's not getting confirmed quickly enough, enabling them to ensure timely 
      executions in response to market movements.
   Emergency Service Payments:
      Example: Payments for time-sensitive services, such as premium fast 
      delivery or emergency technical services.
      Usage: When quick service delivery is critical, RBF enables the 
      sender to increase the transaction fee to speed up the confirmation 
      process, ensuring that the transaction is prioritized by miners.
   Bidding in Auctions:
      Example: Participants in online auctions who need to ensure their 
      payments go through before the auction closes.
      Usage: Auction participants can use RBF to adjust their transaction 
      fees to outpace other transactions in times of network congestion, securing 
      their winning bids.
   Dynamic Fee Management for Wallets:
      Example: Users sending non-urgent transactions who want to minimize 
      fees but are willing to increase them if network conditions change.
      Usage: RBF provides flexibility, allowing users to start with a lower 
      fee and only increase it if the transaction confirmation is delayed, 
      optimizing their transaction fee expenditures. 
Adoption and Transition Strategy & Requirements

It is implicit, until now, that within this strategy is a requirement for 
Core and other implementations to abandon strategies within Option 2, by 
specifically removing and rejecting policy tools like mempoolfullrbf, or 
other attempts to overrule, filter, or otherwise filter and hamper the 
propagation of valid, non-destructive transactions.

This proposal is presented to the community for feedback, focusing on 
gathering input from wallet developers, miners, and node operators to 
ensure broad support and understanding of the benefits and implications of 
these new transaction signals.

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-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2024-04-14 15:09 [bitcoindev] Draft BIP for User-Defined Transaction Flags Policy & Strategy Bitcoin Error Log
2024-04-14 15:51 ` Peter Todd
2024-04-14 20:12 ` Isaac Eiter
2024-04-15 18:58 ` Keagan McClelland
2024-04-16  2:01   ` Antoine Riard

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