Just recently, a software developer and “solidity nerd” named Bunny Girl sparked heated discussions in the cryptocurrency community over a smart contract that reveals a process called “Request For Reorg Contract (RFR)”. On Twitter, Bunny Girl stated that the contract “creates a mechanism that allows users to pay miners to reorganize the Ethereum blockchain”. Since then, the tweet went viral and there has been a lot of debate about whether or not blockchains are generally immutable.
Solidity Developer Unveils Smart Contract for Blockchain Reorganization for Ethereum
Conversations and debates about the immutability of the blockchain have been going on for years, and a new discussion has sparked over a tweet and smart contract posted on Github by developer Bunny Girl. On July 10, Bunny Girl stated that the smart contract aims to improve systematic chain reorganizations.
Blockchain reorganization is a controversial issue and basically occurs when a chain of recorded blocks is invalidated. Restructuring took place on various blockchains when a mining company or group of miners controls more than 51% of the hashrate.
Blockchain reorganizations force miners (who do not participate in the reorg) back to a point where they have to start again from a certain block height. It’s like resetting a recorded transaction history and re-recording it, but of course the new transactions would never be the same as the deleted ones.
Publication of NFTs to commemorate the reorgs of the Ethereum chain. Every time you request a reorg with the contract, you can mint one of these UniV3-like NFTs.
The higher the bribe for the Reorg, the rarer your NFT will be. pic.twitter.com/dVSqZ1QqZg
– Bunny girl (@ 0xbunnygirl) July 11, 2021
Bunny Girls tweet explains how Ethereum developers can “codify chain reorgs” using the smart contract. “Announcing the Request For Reorg (RFR) contract,” said Bunny Girl. “This contract was inspired by a tweet from @EdgarArout. Are there any ways we can make payments to miners for reorgs in the chain? “
“Using the $ 40 million Binance hack as an example,” added Bunny Girl, “what if Binance wanted to pay a bounty to miners for rearranging the chain to keep the hacker out of shipping? You could withdraw an amount less than the hack, e.g. $ 10 million. It turns out that all of this is possible with what Solidity has to offer. First, Binance will ask that the transaction be mined in a certain block in the past. You will attach the reward amount for this in the form of ETH. “
The software developer continued:
Next, the miner performs the time bandit. You would travel back in time to tear down a block from the past. This time, they add their “reorg” -Tx, which sets them up as claimants for the reward associated with the reward. What happened to the previous request Tx? Since the state is reset, there is no request for now, is there? Quite simply, we reconstruct the state by first including the `request` tx. OLD CONDITION: Block N + 1 = [request]. NEW CONDITION: Block N = [request, reorg].
Additionally, Daniel Goldman was pursuing Bunny Girl’s RFR smart contract with an idea that put Reorgs called “Deorg” off.
“Released Deorg: A Bounty Creation Contract For Deterring Reorgs, Everything In The Chain,” Goldman tweeted. After Goldman posted his idea on Twitter, one person asked if the Deorg concept “would be a great incentive for miners to ‘hope’ for situations that could spark a battle between Reorg / Deorg smart contracts?” Goldmann replied:
When a battle does arise, it is best for both sides to appear on the battlefield armed.
Is it misleading to describe blockchains as immutable?
The RFR thread was followed by an extremely mixed reception. “So are we just ignoring immutability now?” asked a person in response to the Bunny Girl tweetstorm. Other made fun of Ethereum with memes and some past controversies mentioned like the DAO rollback incident that caused the Ethereum Classic fork. Other asserts that Ethereum 2.0, as soon as it is final, will no longer be possible with Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
In response to the immutability comment, Bunny Girl said, “This affects the time to finality. I suspect the immutability would not be compromised if people used this when the block is already deep in the chain. “
Who behaves badly in a “reorg as a service” scenario?
-The author of the software that makes it possible?
-The miner who accepts the reorganization fee?
-The party paying the fee to “buy” the Reorg?
-All of the above?
-None of the above?
-A mix of the above?
– Angela Walch (@angela_walch) July 11, 2021
Bunny Girl was also not overly friendly with some of the bitcoiners attacking the RFR thread. The developer noticed that the fact that Ethereum can rearrange the chain via smart contracts is “epic” and Bitcoiners were “jealous”. The conversation also broke away from the Bunny Girl thread and brought up the debate about whether or not blockchains are immutable at all. Angela Walch, research fellow at the UCL Center for Blockchain Technologies discussed the topic also on Twitter and talked about the term “immutable”.
“For * 5 YEARS * I’ve been arguing that describing blockchains as * immutable * is misleading,” said Walch. “The ‘Reorg as a Service’ discussion about Ethereum is just the latest manifestation of why. Blockchains are immutable only if the people who make them up * choose * not to change them. ”Walch believes the word“ immutable ”is a bad term to describe blockchain technology, and she wrote about this in her article entitled “The Path of the Blockchain Lexicon (and the Law).”
Bitcoin’s rollback in March 2013 and the claim of perpetual motion of an immutable blockchain
Walch and many others were already have been discussing the topic for years and it was a hot debate when Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) mentioned a reorganization after its exchange lost $ 40 million worth of BTC. Tim Swanson told Walch that he and Ernie Teo spoke about the problem in November 2015. Chris DeRose, co-host of Bitcoin Uncensored, published a paper on immutability on July 7, 2016, entitled “Why Blockchain Immutability is a Perpetual Motion Claim”. DeRose wrote at the time:
Immutability! It’s the buzzword that magically turns a simple database into the next million dollar VC fundraiser.
Additionally, in March 2013, Arvind Narayanan described a similar situation where the developers of Bitcoin (BTC) coordinated to get a large mining pool to roll the chain back to previous software after an accidental fork. Back then, Ethereum’s inventor Vitalik Buterin questioned the move, saying, “The incident raises serious questions about the nature of the Bitcoin protocol and highlights some inconvenient facts about Bitcoin’s notion of ‘decentralization’.”
Bitcoin isn’t immutable, but in 5,000 years of recorded history, it’s the best we have https://t.co/byHIMHbzLT
– Hector (@ hectorr159) July 11, 2021
There have been countless claims that Bitcoin is immutable and the word has been tossed around so much in the industry that it goes without saying and is hardly questioned. A person argued that Walch “ignores the concept of affirmations, so your assessment is wrong”. Walch replied, “I’m not ignoring them. This is orthogonal to my point of view that it is misleading to call blockchains immutable. “
There seems to be too many variables that suggest that the immutability of the blockchain is really an eternal movement. While blockchains like BTC and ETH are safe today, the rules and concepts that make changing blocks very difficult must also withstand the whims of future generations.
What do you think of the recent debate about the immutability of the blockchain? Let us know what you think on this matter in the comments below.
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