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
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