Attack of the Orphan Trolls

A few days ago, the Bitcoin (SV) blockchain had an event described as a six-block reorganization. For the trolls, they jumped on and declared it as a failure of the BSV chain. In reality, nothing was lost, not a fund was double spent, not a single transaction was rejected, not anything. Now, where did it really fail?

Let us understand, that a reorganization of blocks occur when two competing miners found a solution to the next block in almost exactly the same time. Their job is to propagate this block as fast as they can, so the rest of the miners can proceed building the next block on top of it. Since two blocks were found, there exist a temporary two chains where miners compete until the next block is found and propagated, so they can build on top of it again. This cycle moves on until a clear winner dominates the next block and eventually emerge as the main chain where all miners need to build-upon, resulting to what we call block reorganization, unrolling the lossing chain and ensuring that all the transactions are carried forward without a loss.

The truth of the matter is, the only affected proponent in the ecosystem is the miner who lost his reward from the blocks that were orphaned when the reorganization occurred - in this case, it is the prize for six blocks. Because this winnings was in fact claimed by the competing miner, no purse was ever lost as it was awarded to the victorious group. Let us not forget that miners compete for the transaction fees known as profit.

This behavior of the Bitcoin (SV) blockchain is by design and this has been clearly explained by Satoshi Nakamoto himself, now known as Dr. Craig S. Wright on his post last June 9, 2018 under an article entitled Iron and Steel.

This block orphaning is in fact a signalling system for the miners to improve their infrastructure if they desire to remain competitive. It has to exist as a checking mechanism, else, the infrastructure will collapse without it.

Going forward, this will not be the last time that Bitcoin (SV) blockchain will see some orphaned blocks. It is an integral part of the overall functioning of the system. What is certain however, is to expect a flooding of attacks from the Orphan Trolls... let them be, until we fully scale to Terabyte size unhindered.

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Author Vicar Calsado
Published Apr 21, 2019
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