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Bitcoin Explained - The Technical Side of Bitcoin


Nov 27, 2021

In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss a recent thread on the Bitcoin development mailing list, titled “Death to the Mempool, Long Live the Mempool”.
 
In the thread, Blockstream engineer Lisa “niftynei” Neigut proposes to get rid of the memory pool (mempool): the collection of unconfirmed transactions that Bitcoin nodes use to share transactions over the network, and that Bitcoin miners use to create new blocks from. She argues that the Bitcoin system could be drastically simplified if users instead just send their transactions directly to miners (or mining pools).

In the episode, Aaron and Sjors explain how this would work, and why this is not as simple as it may sound. Based on the responses in the thread, they go over the reasons why getting rid of the mempool is in fact not a very good solution for a system like Bitcoin. Specifically, they discuss the implications on mining privacy and decentralization, while also exploring some other tradeoffs that would need to be made in order to make the Bitcoin system work without a mempool.
 
Finally, Sjors considers an idea that Aaron doesn’t understand.
 

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