This is the first update to Bitcion that I’m not jumping on and grabbing right away, because I think the choice of checking transaction types in blocks is not necessarily a good thing… at least while the question is undecided in the community. It does impact the network but in a subtle and political way.
At the very least I wish that Satoshi would at least express his view on what he thinks about putting extra data into transactions beyond pure financial data into transactions, and I think this is only going to start an arms race for those who want to play with scripts and those who are trying to keep scripts “pure”. All that has happened here is to simply lay the gauntlet down to get past the “IsStandard()” check and find transactions which can pass that test but still contain other data.
New transaction templates can be added as needed. Within a few days, there will be plenty of GPU power that accepts and works on it. Network support will be thorough long before there’ll be enough clients who understand how to receive and interpret the new transaction.
Timestamp hashes are still already possible:
txout: 0.00 <appid, hash> OP_CHECKSIG
If there’s an actual application like BitDNS getting ready to actually start inserting hashes, we can always add a specific transaction template for timestamps.
I like Hal Finney’s idea for user-friendly timestamping. Convert the hash of a file to a bitcoin address and send 0.01 to it:
Quote from: Hal on December 05, 2010, 23:43:56
I thought of a simple way to implement the timestamp concept I mentioned above. Run sha1sum on the file you want to timestamp. Convert the result to a Bitcoin address, such as via http://blockexplorer.com/q/hashtoaddress . Then send a small payment to that address.
The money will be lost forever, as there is no way to spend it further, but the timestamp Bitcoin address will remain in the block chain as a record of the file’s existence.
I understand that this is arguably not a good use of the Bitcoin distributed database, but nothing stops people from doing this so we should be aware that it may be done.
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