Timewarp, Miners Harvesting and Vaults

Original Postby jamesob

The recent discussion in the programming community revolves around the security of cryptocurrency vaults and the potential risks they face from a type of attack known as 'timewarp.' It has been suggested that once an initialization transaction is deanonymized, miners become aware of the possibility that a recovery path could exist.

This path might be set to automatically execute a high-fee spending transaction when a certain blockchain height is reached. However, this concern does not seem to apply to current vault schemes that utilize the OP_VAULT operation. These schemes do not initiate automatic coin transfers after reaching any specific block height, whether relative or absolute.

Contrary to some opinions, existing vault strategies appear to incorporate multiple layers of security. A recovery key is used in tandem with a relative timelock to protect against unauthorized transactions. The implication that miners can manipulate block generation speed to prematurely trigger vault recovery transactions and claim associated fees seems unlikely. This is because, while miners could potentially influence blockchain progression, they lack the necessary private keys to authorize such transactions.

In essence, the fear that the timewarp attack poses a novel threat to the security of vaults may be unfounded. Vault designs are inherently resilient to this form of exploitation due to their reliance on not just time-sensitive conditions but also cryptographic keys that remain outside the reach of miners.