Eliminating the mempool and moving to direct communication with the mining groups, assigning them transactions at acceptable rates, through a protocol on the anonymous Tor network, is what is proposed by a panel of experts in bitcoin (BTC) mining.
According to software engineer Lisa Neigut, the mempool, which is a temporary memory where transactions pending confirmation are stored in the Bitcoin blockchain, is an obsolete mechanism that must be eliminated, even if it negatively impacts individual mining, such as as he admitted.
In an e-mail sent to the specialized web group “bitcoin-dev”, the expert suggested that by eliminating mempool, the bandwidth requirement to run a node would be “greatly” reduced and transactions would be kept private.
From their point of view, users would be better off sending their transactions to the miners directly, a task that “can be easily accomplished” by mining pools running an “onion” Tor node for this purpose. Also, he says, an extension of the Bitcoin Lightning network can be used.
Mempools make sense in a world where mining is performed by a large number of participating nodes, for example, where the block template is built by a majority of the participants in the network. In this case, it is necessary to socialize the pending transaction data, since it is not known which participant will be building the winning block template.Lisa Neigut, software engineer.
Neigut argues that a direct channel of communication between miners and users would also open the way to direct feedback with “acceptable” rates at that time. That, he says, would make the transaction confirmation deadlines “less variable.”
Similarly, it would provide block producers “a mechanism to enforce (independently) their own minimum security budget.” “In other words, express a minimum acceptable rate for continuous operation,” he added.
He specified that, if the mempool is eliminated, the initial rate estimate should be based on published blocks or direct interactions with miners, and not on pending transactions, as is normally the case, “since this information would no longer be available.”
Mempool, is it important?
The proposal Neigut engineer seems to have, at once, with the rejection of other actors of the crypto ecosystem. In practical terms, mempool is a fundamental part of the Bitcoin network.
In response to the engineer, Pieter Wuille, one of the developers of Bitcoin Core, clarified that removing the mempool, for example, would replace the “socialized transparency” with a few who can see the real details, something very similar to the banking.
“Obviously, it is not the same scale, but there would be some similarity to the banks in the existing financial system. Our privacy goals should not depend on a few trusted guardians,” he said.
For him, Neigut’s proposal would make becoming a miner a “much more difficult” task, even with the idea of using Tor’s anonymous network, offering a “tremendous incentive for centralization.”
“It is much easier for most wallets to send to the few largest [mining] pools, because the cost and complexity of an additional shipment is independent of the pool’s hash rate, but the benefit is directly proportional to it. There would be very little incentive to send to a group of less than 1% for anyone,” he commented.
Therefore, and because it is an intrinsic characteristic of the Bitcoin network, we will have to wait for the position of other experts in the field on the elimination of mempool and what it could entail.
It is worth clarifying that, for the moment, Neigut’s proposal is nothing more than the aforementioned email message. It has not followed – at least, for now – the necessary steps to officially become a Bitcoin Enhancement Proposal (BIP), which are detailed in a Cryptopedia article.