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In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discussed Bitcoin mempools, Child Pays For Parent (CPFP), and packet relays.

Packet Relay is the project Gloria Zhao will be working on as part of her Brink fellowship, and that was announced earlier this week, and would make the Lightning Network more robust (among other benefits). Mempools are the sets of unconfirmed transactions stored by nodes, from which they forward transactions to peers. Miners typically select the transactions from their highest fee mempools to include them in the blocks they mine.

However, mempools can fill up, after which transactions that pay the lowest fees are thrown out. This is actually a problem in the context of CPFP, a trick that allows users to speed up low-fee transactions by spending the coins from those transactions on a new high-fee transaction as compensation. Such tricks can be especially important in the context of time-sensitive protocols such as the Lightning Network.

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In this issue, van Wirdum and Provoost explained how packet relays could enable CPFP, even in cases where cheap transactions are dropped from mempools, by bundling transactions into packages. And they explore why this may be easier said than done.

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Aaron van Wirdum is interested in technology and how it affects social and political structures. He has been covering Bitcoin since 2013, focusing on privacy, scalability and more. Hodls BTC.

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