bitcoin-dev

BitBlend Proposal for 2106

Original Postby BitBlend2106

The Bitcoin network is on the brink of facing a significant technical hurdle as the year 2106 approaches, which poses a challenge to the current 32-bit field for block timestamps due to an overflow issue.

A solution titled "BitBlend: A Non-Disruptive Solution to the Bitcoin 2106 Timestamp Overflow" has been proposed to tackle this problem without requiring a disruptive hard fork or consensus change. The BitBlend strategy introduces an innovative reinterpretation of the timestamp field by only utilizing the last 32 bits of the full timestamp, similar to an idea put forth by Pieter Wuille.

The essence of the BitBlend approach lies in its dual representation of time: it maintains the original 32-bit format for external communication while switching to a 64-bit internal representation for block times. This method ensures backward compatibility and network continuity, permitting nodes to adopt the changes over time without needing to be synchronized with each other. As part of the proposal, BitBlend includes a procedure for overflow detection and correction that fits seamlessly into the existing system.

In addition, the solution carefully considers the impact on time locks within the Bitcoin protocol. It suggests that after 2106, absolute time locks should naturally expire and that the network should continue to rely on block height and relative time locks instead. The BitBlend solution's main objective is to make minimal adjustments to the core components of Bitcoin, preserving the network's fundamental principles while safeguarding its future operability.

The developer behind this proposal has provided a detailed white paper, available at https://bitblend2106.github.io/bitcoin/BitBlend2106.pdf, and invites feedback from the Bitcoin development community. By presenting this solution for review, the developer aims to engage with other experts in the field to refine the BitBlend solution and assess its potential for integration into the Bitcoin protocol. They are open to receiving reviews, comments, and suggestions via their BitcoinBitBlend user name on Proton Mail, indicating a collaborative approach to this significant technical issue.