Editorial 4 April 2018Jasmine Solana
Let’s call a 0-conf transaction ‘verified’ instead?
If you haven’t heard already, the term zero-confirmation (0-conf) has been buzzing around the Bitcoin community lately. 0-conf, however, is more than just a buzzword. It’s the future of cryptocurrency-related transactions, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in particular.
Six confirmations have been the accepted standard safeguard against double spending for years, but with the improvements in transaction technology, zero-confirmation transactions are quickly gaining favor—especially among development groups and tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
But what about the smaller merchants, who don’t know much about Bitcoin and might think that 0-conf simply means “nothing” has been verified? Does the term 0-confirmation inspire trust?
Verified is not confirmed
To put it simply, zero-confirmation means that the transaction has been broadcasted to the network, but it still needs to be confirmed and written to the blockchain—a process that could take as long as 10 minutes on the Bitcoin BCH network.
This doesn’t instill confidence among users, particularly merchants who, upon seeing 0-conf on their screen, could take it to mean that the transaction hasn’t been processed. The dilemma prompted Yours.org user Slowsynapse to come up with a reasonable suggestion: Instead of calling it a 0-confirmation transaction, why not use the term “verified”?
In this case, “verified” means the transaction is still being validated, which could take 2 seconds or less. The “confirmed” status follows after a 10-minute settlement time, in which the validity of the transaction has been established or when merchants detects a double spend and moves to blacklist the customer.
In his Yours.org post, Slowsynapse wrote, “So imagine if you were showing off Bitcoin Cash, and the moment you hit send, a green ‘verified’ 0/3 confirmations showed up. I know it’s stupid, but I’m pretty sure people will go ‘wow that’s really fast and awesome’ instead of ‘why is it taking 10 minutes?’”
The idea is sheer brilliance in its simplicity. Using “verified” lets merchants know that their transaction has received its first confirmation on the network, and that the second confirmation—when the transaction gets written on the blockchain—is coming right up.
This process is safe for low ticket services and as easy as 1-2-3, which in this case stand for unverified>verified>confirmed.
What do you think about Slowsynapse suggestion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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