Ripple chief technology officer David Schwartz has suggested that bitcoin is “highly likely” to have a jaw-dropping bug in one major implementation of the flagship cryptocurrency’s code.
Potential Major Bug Could Be Used To Print More Bitcoin
It all started when an early bitcoin adopter going by the name Heidi on Twitter observed that bitcoin had been online for at least 5,000 days, and if it were to suffer a major hack or be banned or shut down, it would have already happened by now.
Former director of developer relations at Ripple, Matt Hamilton, mentioned the value overflow incident back in August 2010 that nearly killed the entire bitcoin network. At the time, a hacker who, to this date, remains anonymous exploited a vulnerability in the bitcoin source code to produce 184 billion newly minted coins out of thin air. The anomaly was identified by bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik and was corrected very quickly through the rollout of a soft fork.
David Schwartz, in response, noted that there had been multiple other somewhat significant incidents, though none as severe as the one in 2010. He, however, thinks it is “highly likely” that there is a critical bug in “at least one” major implementation of the bitcoin source code. This vulnerability could effectively prevent the breach of the 21 million bitcoin supply limit, thereby devaluing existing bitcoins.
Are Long-Term Holders At Risk?
A critical bug in the world’s largest cryptocurrency today could create shockwaves in the crypto community, likely causing the price of BTC to suffer a horrendous crash.
But Schwartz suggests that such flaws are very rare to find and exploit even though there is a huge incentive to look for them. “Long-term holders don’t really have to worry much about it,” the Ripple CTO opined.
If such a flaw is exploited, it wouldn’t have disastrous implications for bitcoin, which is unmoved. The most significant risk is that it causes tremendous losses for crypto exchanges and fatally undermines confidence in the OG cryptocurrency.
Nonetheless, Schwartz says such a severe vulnerability may never be discovered, or it could be patched before bad actors can exploit it.