The Bitcoin world always seems to be filled with some drama, and there is a new debacle regarding the replace-by-fee structure coming to Electrum shortly. This has caused a stir among /r/BTC community members, so let’s see what all the fuss is all about.
Replace-by-Fee In Electrum Is Bad?
The biggest gripe people in /r/BTC seems to have with this news is how the RBF fee bumping issue was closed on the Electrum GitHub without any explanation. Keeping in mind how this issue was supported by both Btcdrak and Peter Todd- two prominent Bitcoin developers – there is a lot to be desired regarding communication.
While some people might be in favor of opt-in replace-by-fee, it will heavily depend on whether or not the transaction recipient can even detect this change. For example, when making a large Bitcoin transaction, a lot of users would prefer to replace the standard transaction fee. However, if the recipient wallet does not support this change, there is very little point in changing the fee, as the transactions would not get confirmed any faster.
One Reddit user pointed out how this replace-by-fee bump is a “pointless complication”. However, it is equally important to keep in mind Electrum is still providing a solution to users who are suffering from network congestion. While most people might be for an increased block size, this RBF bump is an alternative solution which no one HAS to use.
In the end, it is commendable to see the Electrum developers offer a solution to their users which actually allows them to change the transaction fee. While closing the GitHub issue without further warning may have put some people off, they still want the best for all of their users. The lack of RBF detection is a concern, though, as it opens up possibilities for a Bitcoin double spend.
It is evident the Electrum developers have a clear vision of how zero-confirmation transactions need to be handled in the future. Accepting instant transactions – other than through a payment processor – is always risky, and until the lightning network comes around in full, there may not be a fully secure solution to do so in a convenient manner.
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