The developers of Bitcoin Core just fixed a bug that could have brought down the whole Bitcoin network.
Cobra, the anonymous Co-owner of bitcoin.org and bitcointalk.org, thinks this bug was a big deal. The mysterious crypto influencer expressed concern over the issue via Twitter.
“A very scary bug in Bitcoin Core has just been fixed which could have crashed a huge chunk of the Bitcoin network if exploited by any rogue miners.”
Emin Gün Sirer, an associate professor of computer science at Cornell University also expressed grave concern over the bug. He says it could have caused a catastrophic problem for Bitcoin. Sirer spoke to Jordan Pearson of Motherboard and explained the possible ramifications a bug like this could cause.
“For less than $80,000, you could have brought down the entire network. That is less money than what a lot of entities would pay for a 0-day attack on many systems. There are many motivated people like this, and they could have brought the network down.”
Sirer also asserted on Twitter that no protocol out there is immune to this type of bug.
“Major bug in Bitcoin Core, that can cause a total network fracture for BTC. Empirically, bugs like this are found regularly in every coin. No implementation has been shown to be superior to others. All noise to the contrary is false marketing.”
Sirer thinks there are lessons to be learned from the realization of what could have occurred. The Bitcoin and altcoin space needs to be more diligent in their work and more critical in their analysis of the state of cryptocurrency.
“The fact that lots of people are using something doesn’t mean they’re critically looking at its code, or that they’re not blind to fundamental mistakes” Sirer said. “The one thing that does help is to have multiple versions of the same software.”
He went on to warm against falling into the worship of one coin and reliance on one blockchain. “Another lesson from this episode is that monocultures are very dangerous.” When bugs can take down a network, a disabling event can be more readily absorbed by a community that uses multiple networks. The cryptocurrency space needs to be able to recognize its flaws before mass adoption occurs.