It appears something unusual has happened in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Unlimited, an alternative branch of development, tried to disrupt the network through an unintentional hard fork. Thankfully, the “fork” failed and the BU node count dropped by a few dozen. It appears a bug in the client code is to blame for this incident, and the developers made quick work of deploying a fix.
Bitcoin Unlimited Issue Resolved Quickly
Over the past few hours, it appears the most recent Bitcoin Unlimited client has caused a lot of problems. While the bug had been present for over 1.5 months, no one expected things to go awry that quickly. However, it is important to keep in mind a similar bug was found in the Bitcoin Core code in 2013, as the network split into two separate blockchains at that time.
As a result of this coding incident, the Bitcoin Unlimited nodes attempted to create an unintentional network “hard fork”. Moreover, an oversized block was created in the process, and the Bitcoin.com mining pool lost 13.2 BTC due to this forking issue. However, the bigger issue remains why this code was present in the first place, and why there was no peer review of this update.
Another side effect caused by this Bitcoin Unlimited client bug is how several BU nodes have now been blacklisted on the Bitcoin network. That being said, there are still 330 nodes running Bitcoin Unlimited 0.12.1, whereas 112 node operators upgraded to Bitcoin Unlimited 1.0.0. An updated version of the new client has been released already, and no further incidents should take place moving forward.
Thankfully, it appears this software bug was easy enough to fix, which allowed for the BU developers to rectify the situation quickly. Moreover, the 12.3 BTC lost is rather unfortunate, but it will not cripple the affected mining pool by any means. Although incident is like these need to be avoided at all times, no major damage has been done.
Additionally, it appears the Bitcoin Unlimited hashrate has not suffered from this incident by any means. The hashrate is still close to 18% of the entire network rate, which is a healthy amount. Further growth could prove to be difficult, but that is an issue to be addressed at a different time. For now, everything has been sorted where Bitcoin Unlimited is concerned, and this bug will be chalked up as an “unfortunate mishap”.
One lingering issue is how the blacklisted BU nodes will be sorted out moving forward. In most cases, changing the node’s IP address should be sufficient to get it whitelisted once again. All things considered, there was no attempt to hard fork Bitcoin in any way, and the issue was resolved rather quickly. Moreover, the BU community is somewhat pleased to note this issue was caused by the first-ever Bitcoin block mined on the network to be effectively over 1MB in size, as it was 1.001 MB.
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