Dev Reveals ‘Sudden Death’ Bug That Could Have Killed Bitcoin


Cory Fields, a recognized Bitcoin core developer, revealed a bug that could have killed the most popular cryptocurrency in the market. As he explained, the most sudden death scenario for Bitcoin is an accidental bug that gets introduced internally to the system.

At the end of the article, he wrote, that the solution is to change Bitcoin’s code and start using Rust.

Could Bitcoin Suddenly Die?

Mr. Fields, from MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, discovered two bugs that would have allowed for money printing out of thin air. About it, he said:

“I was a little smug for a few months until we were affected by a similar bug in Bitcoin Core which potentially would allow for money printing out of thin air.”

Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million BTC. Miners get rewarded with new BTC every single time they find a block.

He went on saying that it is crucial to understand how to avoid these things for the future. He compared Bitcoin’s development to the internet 13 years ago and explained that the internet was a buggy place.

Fields didn’t specify which were the bugs or how they worked. However, these bugs in 2018 had the potential to bring down Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

He explained that when developers review a pull request for Bitcoin Core, it is not the C++ code alone that is important to consider. Indeed, developers have to analyze it in conjunction with the whole network.

“There’s nothing in isolation in the system and it’s terrifying,” he said.

The developer also considers that this is not a developer that made a mistake. Instead, it is the system that let down the developer.

As Fields explains, the bug that he highlighted previously is not possible in Rust. Rust is a programming language that focuses on safety while maintaining high performance.

Many Bitcoin enthusiasts consider that re-writing the whole Bitcoin code is not necessary and shouldn’t be done.

At the moment, there is a pull request from Jeremy Rubin for getting Rust code into Bitcoin Core and take advantage of this. He went on saying that he considers that this discussion could be kicked off very soon and how should Bitcoin continue to be developed in the future.

Now, Fields is searching for interested developers that would be ready to start working on this new project that he claims could potentially end up fixing Bitcoin.

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Justinas Baltrusaitis

Justin is an editor, writer, and a downhill fan. He spent many years writing about finances, blockchain, and crypto-related news. He strives to serve the untold stories for the readers.

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