Discussion:
Separating mining from tx verification by enabling paying to valid POW header
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Rune K. Svendsen via bitcoin-dev
2017-01-24 18:57:59 UTC
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As mining works now, miners have to verify all Bitcoin transactions in the
blocks they mine, because they would otherwise risk producing an invalid
block. This is problematic because many miners are Chinese, and thus have
poor Internet connectivity, so it would be preferable to separate the task
of creating valid proof-of-work from the task of collecting valid
transactions.

This could be made possible by adding an opcode that checks whether the
top-most stack item is a valid block header, we could call it
OP_VALID_HEADER(VERIFY), thus allowing miners to be paid for a valid block
header through a regular Bitcoin transaction, rather than through the
coinbase transaction only. This allows a different group to simply act as
collectors of transactions, and create OP_VALID_HEADER-transactions that
pay to block headers with a merkle root that includes all the highest-fee
transactions.

So, these collectors would accumulate as many connections as possible
within the Bitcoin P2P network, and collect all the highest fee
transactions they can find. Then construct a block which includes all these
transactions, and a coinbase tx that pays the block reward plus fees to the
collector.

With this block the collector would then create a Bitcoin transaction, with
a OP_VALID_HEADER-output that can be redeemed by supplying the block header
in the script but with a modified nonce/timestamp such that the
proof-of-work+timestamp is valid. Miners would then only have to look for
these Bitcoin transactions from the collectors, and mine on whichever
header pays them the most, without having to care about whether the block
in question includes invalid transactions, because the miner is paid for
just a valid proof-of-work hash. When the miner finds a solution, it
publishes the transaction, the collector see this transaction, gets it
valid header, and publishes the block.

A side bonus of this is that botnet miners can now participate on basically
equal footing with traditional miners: they just listen to the P2P network
for the transaction from the collector who pays them the most, which will
include as many transactions as possible to earn the most in fees, thus
verifying transactions without having to do the work.




/Rune

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