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Next Hot Debate on Bitcoin: How to handle the Malleability in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Oct 27, 2017 Posted /  2083 Views

Next Hot Debate on Bitcoin: How to handle the Malleability in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

What is Malleability of Bitcoin

Malleability is the ability that enables a third party that is either a Bitcoin miner or an exchange to change the transaction ID of an initiated Bitcoin Transaction. Malleability does not allow the third party to redirect the funds to another address or to change the fees for the transaction but only allows for the change of the transaction id or txid. Transaction id or txid is conceived in a bitcoin transaction as a receipt number for the transaction. Malleability is possible on Bitcoin transactions because the cryptography algorithm that is the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm allows for malleability. If a third party changes the signature of the transaction the transaction appears different but remains a valid transaction. Whether to refer to malleability as a feature or a bug in Bitcoin is still an undecided but it’s most appropriately referred to as an  issue in the Bitcoin transaction.

Why Does Bitcoin Need Malleability

Many bitcoin users and experts in the Bitcoin community do not know what malleability can and cannot do. This indicates how insignificant malleability is to the bitcoin network. But nevertheless it ought to be fully understood. Actually Bitcoin may do well without malleability than with it. One of the hiccups malleability than cause to a bitcoin transaction is confirmations. Suppose you receive some Bitcoins, then you decide to spend it before it gets confirmed. By some coincidence if a miner changes the transaction id of the mother transaction then your new transaction will never confirm. This problem can be offsetted it malleability is fixed. Meanwhile the failed transaction does not cause any financial losses since all the coins go back to the original wallet, it causes inconveniences for the case where a transaction ought to be completed in a specified period of time.

The Problems associated With Malleability

Malleability has been on the Bitcoin core software since it’s induction without any major associated benefits. But some of the benefits of malleability can be extracted though not very significant for everybody’s day to day use of Bitcoin. Most bitcoin wallet application do not use transaction IDs to monitor transaction. If a Bitcoin wallet does then malleability becomes a problem since when the transaction id is changed the transaction will cease to be detected in the Blockchain. Wallets which monitor transaction via transaction ids are advised to update their software immediately. Some people in the Bitcoin community wants malleability fixed so that their owned projects can kick off. Projects such as the Lightning Network which is expected to reduce the time of propagation of a bitcoin transaction and the transaction fees as well are hindered by malleability. Thus as it's a common practice in the Bitcoin ecosystem individuals wants the core programming of Bitcoin changed for their owned benefits. As such fixing malleability remains a not vital debate and a choice by voting should be considered.

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Tags: bitcoin Bitcoin Cash Mining debate

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