About today's error in the Bitcoin system

    Today, at about 1 am UTC, an urgent warning was sent over the Bitcoin network to stop searching for new blocks (mining) on ​​version 0.8 clients. On bitcointalk.org appeared message calling for the same thing. In addition, it was proposed to suspend any actions related to the sending of BTC.

    The following happened. Network client version 0.8 generated block number 225430 ( 000000000000015c50b165fcdd33556f8b44800c5298943ac70b112df480c023 ) containing 1752 transactions. This turned out to be too much for clients version 0.7 and older. The Berkley DB library used to store the blocks could not import this monster and the block was not recognized as valid on all clients of version <0.8 .

    That is, all active clients of the Bitcoin network were divided into those who accepted 000000000000015c50b165fcdd33556f8b44800c5298943ac70b112df480c023, and those who rejected this block and accepted another, smaller, block 00000000000001c108384350f74090433e7f9797fb7979fc7979a .

    And this is disgrace. Network integrity has been compromised. For several hours, the warring customers could not decide which chain was more correct and created new blocks for their chains. There is a tool on the Bitcoin network to automatically get out of such difficulties: a longer chain of blocks is taken for granted. But without administrative measures, this system would not work. A significant part of customers, and, more importantly, many pools of miners (miners), have already been updated to version 0.8. If mining, the search for new blocks, were not stopped on this version, now we would have two options for bitcoin, rapidly diverging further and further. Together with a bunch of quite real money that is enclosed in them. Fortunately, this did not happen. As of now,

    But the sediment remained. It’s not even that there may be bugs in the code that supports the Bitcoin system, they are everywhere. But in who controls all this. This incident clearly showed that even such a well-designed system is vulnerable to the arbitrariness of very few people, namely, owners of mining pools. More than 70% of the new blocks are now located in pools, and not on individual clients. The idea underlying the system that most respectable people can resist the few villains, if any, does not currently work. The winner in a possible battle will be the one with thicker computing power, and more.

    UPD: Unfortunately, there were some consequences. Almost a double waste happened . 211 BTC, equivalent to approximately $ 10,000 at current prices, were spent twice. Almost, because in accordance with the main chain of blocks, money was spent only once. But the processing of the payment system, under the stressful conditions of last night, worked twice for both block chains. Transaction . Details .

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