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Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2015 20:39:02 +0000
From: "Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Memory-hard proof of work with fast verification (CPU Hash)

[following-up to my own post]

On Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 8:27 PM, Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn <> wrote:
> How much of a time budget do we have for verification? There are three answers:
> For a full-node (i.e. a verifier but not a miner) that keeps up to
> date with the blockchain they need only to perform one verification
> every block (10 minutes on average), so the added cost of even a few
> tens of seconds per verification isn't too important for them.
> For a miner, added latency means a higher chance that the block you
> just mined will get beaten in a race by another miner (this is called
> a "stale block"), so the cost of a few seconds is probably okay but
> 10's of seconds is probably not.
> For a node that doesn't keep up-to-date with the blockchain but wants
> to catch up, for example a "light client" on your cell phone that
> wakes up and wants to verify thousands of new-to-it blocks, then this
> is killer. An extra few seconds of CPU time per verification means
> that your phone heats up and runs out of battery faster. So maybe we
> should just say we don't support that use case. :-/

Actually now that I think about it, we should be clear about something
here: our motivation as designers is to make things as nice as
possible for full-nodes (i.e. payment processors/wallets) and for
light-clients (i.e. wallets). It is *not* to make things as nice as
possible for miners. The only reason that the stale rate appears in
the list of three things below is not because it means wasted effort
on the part of the miners, but because dealing with more stale blocks
means more wasted bandwidth and churn in the broadcast and consensus
networks. Make sense? That one is a systemic cost to the whole
network, but not a terribly expensive cost. The other two are
questions about whether this thing would be acceptably performant to
specific users.



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