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This is from the ethereum whitepaper.

Blockchain-blindness - UTXO are blind to blockchain data such as the nonce and previous hash. This severely limits applications in gambling, and several other categories, by depriving the scripting language of a potentially valuable source of randomness.

Does this mean that you cannot reference blockchain data like nonce and previous hash in the bitcoin transaction script? If that's the case, why is it so? I am asking this because, from a non-developer perspective, it is strange that you cannot use those data because they are there in the blockchain.

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Not an expert, but presumably this is some form of abstraction. From this pov it makes sense, the script should be blind to the exact "platform" it runs on; it just does its thing without regard/influence of the underlying tech used to the execute it. It just so happens that there are use cases were it does make sense to remember/use the fact that the script is not just any script, but a script running on a blockchain, hence why ethereum does allow the script to access information intrinsic to the blockchain .

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  • I am not understanding your answer. The whitepaper says "UTXO are blind to blockchain data such as the nonce and previous hash." It sounds like a very practical functionality issue rather than some abstract notion. What's the difference of btc and eth in this regard? May 19 at 2:35
  • "It sounds like a very practical functionality issue rather than some abstract notion." True, but it goes against what many people consider to be conceptually correct. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, read e.g. this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstraction_(computer_science). May 19 at 12:33
  • "What's the difference of btc and eth in this regard? " ETH decided, unlike BTC, to enable smart contracts to access blockchain information. May 19 at 12:34

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