Bitcoin Core developers were alerted to a bug in Bitcoin’s code that would allow a miner – or group of miners – to crash nodes on the network. This in turn allowed for double spending or the creation of unlimited Bitcoins. Thankfully the bug was reported to the Bitcoin Core team, who patched it and released a new stable version of the Bitcoin Core code. The team is urging everyone to update their Bitcoin Core client to the new 0.16.3 in order to patch the bug. If a miner took advantage of the bug, they could have crashed the entire Bitcoin network for 12.5 BTC (a little over $80,000).
Origins Remain Unclear
The Bitcoin Core developers traced the bug back to the first time it appeared in the Bitcoin Core code and it dates back to version 0.14.0 – released on March 8th 2017. However, the identity of the developer that created the bug has yet to be identified. The fact that this bug was deliberately created and installed over a year ago, but never exploited raises a few questions. Could the rogue developer have simply forgotten about implementing it, or were they waiting for the perfect moment to strike the network? Alternatively, the developer in question could simply have inadvertently created the bug while working on the code. However the bug came about, the most important thing is that it’s now patched.
Bitcoin Cash Usually the Target
When it comes to bugs, Bitcoin Core is rarely affected by such a critical issue. Bitcoin Core updates are usually very casual and can be done at a leisurely pace. Recently, the Bitcoin Cash project had a huge bug exposed by a very kind Bitcoin Core developer. The Bitcoin Cash bug that was discovered last month had the potential to bring the BCH blockchain to its knees. The bug would have given hackers the ability to split the blockchain in two, without the ability to reconnect.
Bitcoin Still Safe and Running
Despite this bug being exposed, the Bitcoin Core network is still safe and secure. Users need not panic as long as they have updated their clients to the latest version. The Bitcoin Core team would not have confirmed the bug if it wasn’t satisfied by the number of nodes running the updated version. There is a good chance the developers will up their game and spend extra time checking the code before they push an update live, to prevent issues like this happening again.
Bitcoin still remains one of the most secure blockchain networks out there. Thanks to the incredible hash rate on the Bitcoin network, the chances of anyone attacking the network anytime soon are extremely slim.