Network Partitioning

The Bitcoin Network

Before I start explaining this pull request, we first need a little background on how Bitcoin’s network actually operates.

Connecting To Other Computers

When a new computer joins the network, it has to figure out which other computers to connect to. This is generally done by finding at least one other computer that’s on the network, asking that computer what other computers it’s connected to and connecting to those and asking those computers what other computers they’re connected to and connecting to those and so on.

Services

During a handshake, computers announce two things; first, the network identifier (“network magic” in tech speak) and second, the services that they have.

Bitcoin Cash/Bitcoin ABC

We know, because of wipeout and replay protection built into Bitcoin Cash, that blocks and transactions from Bitcoin Cash are not valid on Bitcoin and vice-versa.

Segwit2x/btc1

Segwit2x’s situation is a bit trickier. In some cases, partitioning the network can be good, and in others, not partitioning the network is good.

Conclusion

So what does this mean? Bitcoin Core 0.15 will make the network a little safer. A little bit, because unless other implementations follow suit and every computer upgrade, a network that really should be partitioned will still be connected.

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Jimmy Song

Jimmy Song

Bitcoin Educator, Developer and Entrepreneur. Book: https://amzn.to/2RSlnTb PGP Fingerprint: C1D7 97BE 7D10 5291 228C D70C FAA6 17E3 2679 E455