In a February 8, 2011 post on Bitcointalk, Finney said that reading a book by Hankerson, Menezes and Vanston called Elliptic Curve Cipher Handbook gave him an idea of how to increase signature verification by 25%. In the next post the same day, Finney announced that he had already written a “test code” and uploaded it to the Github repository. However, there was a problem with Finney’s suggestion – his method was already patented by some.
A “method for speeding up cryptocurrencies on elliptic curves” (also known as GLV or Gallant-Lambert-Vanston 4D) was patented on September 19, 2006, perhaps at a time when Satoshi Nakamoto was already busy working with Bitcoins. (BTC). To understand the invention, we need to dive deeper into cryptography using an elliptical curve. The patent states:
The improvement occurs because “k scales are represented as a set of k components and A integers”. The arithmetic operations performed on k represented in this model appear to be smaller arithmetic animals, thus increasing the velocity.
Finney’s proposal from 2013 with the release of libsecp256k1 was implemented, but it was never implemented due to legal issues. This was until September 25, when the patent expired. Blockstream co-founder Adam Buck said the code is now expected to be activated in an upcoming Bitcoin Core update.
February 2011 appears to be the time when Finney focused more on improving Bitcoin signature verification. In a statement dated February 7, 2011, Finney said he was considering “group signature verification,” which he believed could quadruple the process. The idea was that instead of checking the signatures one by one, check them block by block: hundreds or even thousands at a time. However, according to Blockstream’s co-founder, Peter Wille (who co-authored the libsecp256k1 library), when the GLV is combined with batch validation, the benefits disappear when you reach nearly 1,000 signatures:
“The GLV + batch advantage is less than one batch + GLV than one batch only. For very large numbers the feature tends to be 1 (so there is no advantage) but at least a thousand signatures is still an advantage.”
In fact, it’s implemented with Schnur’s signatures, providing a speed boost of 2x. Beck said he expects Schnur’s autographs to be issued soon, which include confirmation of the party:
“Schnorr signatures will also be released later this year / next year, including activation then speeding up batch verification.”
It’s unlikely Finny’s body will allow movement, but if it does, we can get a little smile on his face.