Hi Giuseppe,

One side-effect this has is that until enough fees accumulate in the
mempool to satisfy min_fees, the rational behaviour for miners would be to
try and fork the chain tip, competing for the fees in the latest block
(+whatever got into the mempool in the meanwhile and can fit in). This
could lead to increased reorgs/orphan rates and chain instability. It could
also lead to miners preferring to set their low_fee to zero, to avoid other
miners from forking their blocks off.

I'm also not sure that this would actually change much. If humanity is
willing to spend X BTC/day on mining fees, it doesn't really matter if it's
spread out through fewer or more blocks.


On Wed, Mar 1, 2023 at 10:25 PM Giuseppe B via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev@lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I'm relatively new here so what I'm proposing could have already been
> discussed, or may be flawed or inapplicable. I apologize for that.
> I was picturing a situation where block rewards are almost zero, and the
> base layer is mainly used as a settlement layer for relatively few large
> transactions, since the majority of smaller ones goes through LN.
> In such a case it may very well be that even if transaction amounts are
> very consistent, transaction fees end up being very small since there is
> enough space for everyone in a block. Users wouldn't mind paying higher
> fees as they know that that would increase the network security, however
> nobody wants to be the only one doing that. Miners would of course like
> being paid more. So everyone involved would prefer higher fees but they
> just stay low because that's the only rational individual choice.
> Therefore I was imagining the introduction of a new protocol rule,
> min_fees, that would work like this:
> - the miner that gets to mine a block appends a min_fee field to the
> block, specifying the minimum fees that need to be contained in the
> following block in order for it to be valid.
> - one can also mine an empty block and reset the min_fee, to avoid the
> chain getting stuck.
> min_fees could either represent the total fees of the following block, or
> the minimal fee for each single transaction, as a percentage of the value
> transacted. Both seem to have some merits and some potential drawbacks. Of
> course min_fees=0 would correspond to the current situation.
> It looks to me that this could have the potential to bring the equilibrium
> closer to a socially optimal one (as opposed to individually optimal), and
> to benefit the network security in the long term. Of course it's just a
> rough sketch and it would deserve a much deeper analysis. I was just
> interested in knowing if you think that the principle has some merit or if
> it's not even worth discussing it for some reason that I'm not considering.
> Cheers,
> Giuseppe.
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