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Issue #470: assumeutxo proposal

Issue #470: assumeutxo proposal

Apr 25, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #470: assumeutxo proposal

Friend of the Ƀent and fellow Beefy Bitcoin Boy, James O'Beirne, recently took to the [bitcoin-dev] mailing list to propose the inclusion of an assumeutxo functionality within Bitcoin Core. This would allow someone to quickly download the Bitcoin blockchain from scratch using snapshots buried deep in the blockchain to assume certain states. Once downloaded, a user would be able to receive and send transactions while the full state of the chain's history downloads in the background, eventually catching up to the tip of the chain and discovering any shenanigans that may have occurred while using the assumed state.

This proposal is sure to be met with a lot of controversy as checkpointing is something that is very much frowned upon in Bitcoin, as it presents a vector of centralization to be exploited. I certainly fall into this camp. In no way should checkpointing be the default setting, as it, IMO, incentives complacency in node operators and introduces more social friction around the determining of the checkpoint. However, I am also a believer in making Bitcoin more modular/robust and offering as many features as possible to satisfy the growing number of unique situations that Bitcoiners may find themselves in. Being able to toggle on an assumeutxo download via the node GUI that comes with a warning of the tradeoffs involved with using checkpointing and downloading the full state in the background after a quick download seems reasonable to me.

With that being said, I am but a lowly newsletter peddler with very little technical know how. Am I crazy for believing this? Is checkpointing in some cases okay? Should this be anywhere near Bitcoin Core? Do already existing solutions make it irrelevant? Sound off.

Final thought...

Vampire Weekend type of morning for ya boi.


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