Bitcoin Core Devs under fire

The ordinals and other inscriptions continue to sow discord. Accusations of collusion are flying against the developers of Bitcoin Core.

Bitcoin Core

Several developers in charge of Bitcoin Core are being heckled because of their passivity regarding “registrations”. That is to say the ordinals and other arbitrary data backed by ponzis like the shitcoin ORDI.

As a reminder, Bitcoin Core is an implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. He is the direct descendant of the work of Satoshi Nakamoto. It is both a node and a wallet whose code is maintained by hundreds of contributors.

Code developments are proposed via (“ Pull Requests “). Most are minor, but some are major. These are the famous BIPs (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals) and soft forks.

A handful of developers called “ maintainers » have the authority to authorize changes to the code. This small conclave has the final say for the Bitcoin Core implementation which represents 98% of the nodes.

Since the recent departure of veteran Van der Laan, the five maintainers are Michael Ford, Andrew Chow, Russ Yanofsky, Gloria Zhao and Hennadii Stepanov.

However, here is the ranking of the real heavyweights who contributed the most via BIPs:

Luke Dash – second largest contributor – sparked controversy by calling on Bitcoin Core to put a stop to registrations.

Ungrateful arbitrary data

There Pull Request by Luke Dash is dated January 5, 2023. It is titled: “Witness scripts being abused to bypass datacarriersize limit”.

That is to say in good French: “Scripts are being abused to circumvent the limit on the amount of arbitrary data that can be inserted into bitcoin transactions.”

Here is the description of the Pull Request:

“The -datacarriersize filter is supposed to limit the size of arbitrary data allowed in transactions. However, since the end of 2022, attackers have found a way to bypass this limit to insert their spam by using the OP_FALSE and OP_IF opcodes instead of using OP_RETURN. »


Filters (policy rules) prevent certain toxic transactions from being relayed by nodes into a block. The goal is to prevent certain DDoS attacks.

For example, Bitcoin Core does not relay transactions weighing more than 100,000 vbytes, or those paying less than 1 sat/vbyte in transaction fees.

Datacarriersize refers to the “Op_Return” opcode. The latter was created in 2014 to offer an alternative to more harmful techniques for inserting arbitrary data. It offers a limited space of 80 bytes per transaction. That is to say, enough to enter a SHA-256 hash (32 bytes) as well as an identification tag.

Luke Dash considers it a bug that -Datacarriersize was not applied to all transaction data during the Segwit and Taproot soft forks.

The origins of the “bug”

The culprits are the SegWit and Taproot soft forks which have in turn increased the maximum size of transaction scripts.

“We” blew up major dikes in order to add superfluous features. As a result, shitcoiners are now using the freed space to transform bitcoin transactions into casino tokens.

The problem is that these hundreds of thousands of large registrations make the installation of a node more expensive (more memory is required). In addition, STAMPS inscriptions clog the UTXO set and extend the time needed to download the blockchain which currently varies between 2 days and 3 weeks! Not to mention the premature rise in transaction fees.

Bitcoin needs a large number of nodes to be decentralized. It is therefore vital to restrict the growth of blockchain and UTXO set as much as possible. A blockchain cannot be a parking lot of jpegs.

Op_Return is testimony that there was a time when any misuse of bitcoin transactions that burdened the nodes was perceived as an attack.

Unfortunately, Bitcoin Core maintainers refuse to send a strong message by updating the filters. This drift is reminiscent of the Big Block War, when some wanted to sacrifice decentralization on the altar of higher transaction throughput.


Maintainers Andrew Chow, Gloria Zhao and Marco Falke have been criticized since the bitcoiner Unhosted Marcellus discovered a stealthy change to the Bitcoin Core documentation:

To summarize, maintainer Marco Falke rewrote the documentation about -Datacarriersize just after the ordinals trend started.

Original description:

“Maximum size of arbitrary data in relayed transactions. »

New description:

“Relays transactions whose arbitrary data located in public key scripts does not exceed this size. »

The contributors AJ Towns and Gibbs gave the green light to this rewriting of History worthy of the 1984 novel. They are accused of having insidiously reduced the scope of -Datacarriersize. The goal is to justify inaction regarding new techniques for inserting data into transactions.

After discovering this unspoken change, maintainer Achow (Blockstream) shockingly declared that changing the documentation was a way to remove the bug…

“I heard that you are an excellent programmer and that you happened to fix a bug in bitcoin en less than two. Could you tell me more? »

This contortionism aimed at protecting the registration circus is worrying. The inclusion of shitcoins in transactions should not even be up for debate. It’s a bug, period.

Faced with this Commedia dell’arte, Luke Dash took the lead by developing the “ordirespector” patch.

Ordisrespector is a spam filter that does not relay transactions including Ordinals. MYNODE and Umbrel already offer it to their client. You will find the fix here:

“Fix to filter “ordinal” spam.
This is not a protocol change or softfork/hardfork, just a harmless (if working properly) spam filter. »

Finally, let us note that the Marathon miner pool recently caused an uproar by offering to insert registrations itself (for a fee) in order to bypass the filters…

While there is no obvious, benign solution to the problem, it is clear that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that passivity is not tenable.

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