Currently opt-in in Bitcoin Core since 0.20, asmap is a change to how Bitcoin Core ensures that it connects to a diverse set of outbound peers beyond just netgroup bucketing. It considers IP-to-ASN mappings to ensure diversity instead. ASNs (Autonomous System Numbers) are a scarcer resource than netgroups, and the mapping passed to Bitcoin Core by default map the gateway ASNs (bottlenecks) for IPs which have sole control over what a node with that IP would see (since P2P connections are currently not encrypted). Essentially, it's an effective mitigation against the Erebus attack, an eclipse attack where the attacker spoofs a part of the internet.
Relevant issues and PRs
- Issue #16599: ASN-based bucketing of the network nodes
- PR #18573: [RFC]
bitcoin-asmaputility (Closed in favour of sipa/asmap)
- sipa/asmap - Bottleneck finding, asmap generation and compresion. Most development happening on
- asmap-rs - A Rust tool to read and parse RIS raw data from RIPE NCC and generate a file of AS mappings. (sipa/asmap is moving forward as the preferred tool).
How do we make this default in Bitcoin Core?
- Analyse historic RIPE RIS data to get a general idea of how much these mappings change on a monthly basis. This will advise how often the asmap updates need to happen. Current speculation is that asmaps will be useful for a duration on the order of years, so generating a new one per release would be reasonable.
- We need a comparison tool to compare two encoded asmaps to determine how much they have changed. We may also want to compare the original non-encoded files too for auditability.
- We need to have a way to combine/sanitise the RIPE RIS data with another source that is more trusted (involves individuals collecting their own views of the internet).
- We need a consensus on what the steps for maintainers will be to update the asmap.