Statement about empty block miner


The Bitcoin Association is taking steps to contact all relevant exchanges and miners to freeze all block rewards associated with this malicious miner and will pursue criminal charges against the entity/entities responsible. We encourage this miner to contact the Bitcoin Association [email protected] within 24 hours to resolve this dispute.

Situation

There are currently most miners producing empty blocks on the Bitcoin SV network. This miner intentionally confuses his coinbase string with a string that changes constantly, but is usually identified by the address 1KPSTuJMCMRXrTWHfCwpiRZg1ALbJzh844 where coinbase rewards are sent. While trying to remain anonymous while extracting the global public ledger, we have observed a pattern of malicious activity from this miner increasing each week.

This miner has been mining BSV since 2020. Until June of this year, this miner was honest and mined many blocks full of paid transactions. In June of this year, empty block mining, along with other suspicious behavior, resurfaced on the network. They have been steadily increasing their hashrate on the chain for months.

“Empty Block Miner” hash rate in black

Observing this suspicious behavior, the Bitcoin Association has been monitoring this miner for months, but their increasing presence on the chain is causing network problems for honest miners and businesses interacting with the Bitcoin SV network. Although producing an empty block is not an unscrupulous act according to the guidelines outlined in the white paper, steps 1 and 2 provide a very clear set of instructions for managing a node on the network:

  1. New transactions are broadcast to all nodes.
  2. Each node collects new transactions into a block.

By observing their orphaned patterns, we also believe that the miner is not doing steps 4 and 5 correctly:

4. When a node finds proof of work, it broadcasts the block to all nodes.

5. Nodes accept a block only if all transactions in it are valid and not overspent.

Refusing to collect new transactions broadcast into a block at a node is inherently dishonest behavior, as noted in the rest of this statement. As observed last week, this miner ignores tens of millions of broadcasted paid transactions from users and other nodes on the network in favor of producing empty blocks. The Bitcoin Association has independently confirmed that this miner does not provide consistent and transparent policies. This miner actively attacks the network in an attempt to collect block rewards by disrupting the economic activity of innocent users, businesses and honest miners.

In addition to this disruptive behavior, there are ongoing coordinated DDoS attacks on key network infrastructure and services. There have also been numerous incidents of transactions not being carried out normally, as well as attempts to disrupt network pillars with abnormal and suspicious behavior.

The Bitcoin Association has made repeated attempts to contact this miner over the past few months, with no response.

The role of the Bitcoin Association

As the stewards of the Bitcoin protocol, the Bitcoin Association has an important role to play in ensuring that the protocol remains in stone and the network remains stable. This mandate given to BA requires us to prevent illegal developers, chain-agnostic miners, and anyone who tries to destabilize the Bitcoin network by destabilizing the system with unnecessary changes and adversarial attacks. It is by fulfilling this mandate that the Bitcoin Association can ensure that Bitcoin scales to become a global peer-to-peer electronic cash that provides real benefits for users, developers and businesses.

By running the Bitcoin node software, node operators agree to follow the steps to manage the network as outlined in the Bitcoin white paper:

Network

These steps, and thus the overall bitcoin protocol, lead to Bitcoin’s incredibly durable properties:

  • Health: The white paper clearly defines “nodes” in the network as miners. Because mining requires economic investment, the network is robust through economic forces.
  • Small World Graph: Nodes form a small world network of tightly connected peers. The drive to distribute blocks to their peers as quickly as possible leads to one of the most tightly connected global networks in existence.
  • Secure Instant Transactions: By broadcasting transactions to all nodes, users can be sure that the entire mining network has a transaction broadcast very quickly. They can then poll the mining network to ensure secure instant transactions.
  • Scalability: Except for the economic forces inherent in the network, there is no limit to the number of transactions that nodes can include in a block. The network can scale with market forces.
  • Nakamoto Consensus: Honest nodes have the ability to stop dishonest behavior at the risk of not being built on top of blocks that don’t follow these rules.

These new properties of Bitcoin are not random and only appear when honest miners control the majority of the network.

Although Bitcoin is over 13 years old, miners have historically played a very passive role in the development of the Bitcoin network. The term ‘Proof of Work’ has been used to describe miners, but most SHA256 miners are trying to do the least amount of work possible and reap the Block Grant rewards. They do this by directing the hashrate to other SHA256 blockchains and not taking an active role in scaling the Blockchain. It is clear that for Bitcoin to be a system that can compete with Visa and other payment processing networks globally, miners must live up to their mandate to be a competitive firm trying to process an ever-increasing number of transactions on the network. An ever-decreasing block subsidy puts even more pressure on miners to meet this mandate.

“Design supports users to just be users. The more overhead it is to manage a node, the fewer nodes there will be. These multiple nodes will be large server farms.’

Satoshi Nakamoto, ‘Re: Scalability and transaction rate’ on BitcoinTalk, 2010-07-29 02:00:38 UTC

“Initially, most users ran the network nodes, but as the network grows beyond a certain point, it will be left more to specialists who own server farms of specialized equipment. In a server farm, there should be only one node on the network, and the rest of the LAN connects to that one node.’

Satoshi Nakamoto via cryptography mailing list, ‘Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper’, 2008-11-03 01:37:43 UTC

“I expect it will never be more than 100K nodes, probably less. It will reach an equilibrium where no more nodes are worth joining. The rest will be light customers, potentially in the millions.’

At equilibrium size, many nodes will be server farms with one or two network nodes feeding the rest of the farm over the LAN.’

Satoshi Nakamoto, on BitcoinTalk, ‘Re: Scalability’, 2010-07-14 21:10:52 UTC

Participation as a node in the Bitcoin network is voluntary. By voluntarily running a node on the network, nodes are required to follow the steps outlined in the Bitcoin white paper to be considered an honest node on the network. Nodes that do not comply with this mandate should be considered dishonest nodes, and the white paper explains how the Nakamoto Consensus can be used by honest nodes to combat dishonest behavior.

Support honest miners

The Bitcoin Association encourages SHA256 miners to run transactions honestly and is available to help miners get started mining on the Bitcoin SV blockchain. Honest miners demonstrate that Bitcoin can scale to serve billions of users when miners take their role as professional commercial entities seriously. For more information, visit bitcoinsv.com.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek Bitcoin for beginners The section is the ultimate resource guide for learning more about Bitcoin and blockchain as envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto.



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