Swift Activation - CTV

Swift Activation - CTV

Original Postby Anthony Towns

Posted on: December 30, 2023 08:05 UTC

The process of changing Bitcoin consensus rules is a delicate one that requires careful consideration and consensus.

It is suggested that any proposed change should be clearly understood in terms of benefits and risks, and these should be iteratively refined to maximize the former while minimizing the latter. Only when there is widespread agreement on the significant advantages and low risks should efforts be made towards activation.

The debate around adding new opcodes such as "covtools" and "op_cat" reflects an approach aimed at improving the existing proposals like "CheckTemplateVerify" (CTV) by enhancing their functionality. However, there is criticism that CTV might have been flawed from the start, with goals like resistance to censorship, replacing credit cards, financial gain, or gaining control over Bitcoin development potentially being better served through other means. The "txhash" method represents a return to the initial stages of proposal evaluation, indicating a dissatisfaction with the current trajectory of CTV.

There are concerns that CTV has inadvertently maximized perceived risks while offering limited benefits, as highlighted by referencing a critique from Greg Maxwell dating back to 2013. By focusing on "coin covenants" as a main feature—a concept that had previously caused concern for its potential negative implications—the proposal may be seen as increasing the risk associated with changes to Bitcoin.

Additionally, the limitations imposed on the functionality of proposed tools could render them too restrictive to be useful, akin to a childproof tool that's difficult to use effectively. Comparing sophisticated tools used by experts to child-safe versions underlines the argument that the real test of a tool's value is in its ability to facilitate the creation of something worthwhile, rather than just being safe or theoretically sound.