Over 50% of Bitcoin Full Nodes Still Have Inflation Bug

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Bitcoin core developer Luke Dashjr has revealed to CoinTelegraph that more than half of the full nodes securing the Bitcoin network have yet to upgrade to a version of client software that fixed the inflation bug detected in September 2018.

This means that the network is still under a certain level of threat to Bitcoin’s fidelity. The developer and others suggest that the opportunity to fully upgrade clients be taken now and the inflation bug eradicated, while positive momentum for Bitcoin price and interest is still observed.

The actual report on 8 May 2019 showed data that meant over 60% of Bitcoin full nodes were still running old versions of the software. The good news is that, since the publication of that report, about 10% of those old clients had upgraded to the latest version since, with the figure now standing at only 54% of Bitcoin full nodes yet to upgrade.

Theoretically, miners are able to manipulate the bug to inflate Bitcoin total supply above the maximym allowed of 21 million BTC, by using a single transaction to spend multiple unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs).

A fix was released in a new version in September 2018, patching and disclosing a Denial of Service vulnerability. It admitted that:

“On September 20th a post in a public forum reported the full impact and although it was quickly retracted the claim was further circulated.”

Dashjr believes that Bitcoin nodes actually number 100,000, despite most other sources only stating a more conservative sum of 10,000. This, according to the core developer, is because many sources only account for those nodes actively listening on the network. These nodes can be probed by open port connections. Those full nodes that are not listening, however, are not easily discovered as they are hidden behind firewalls or deliberately not configured to listen for new connections.

Dashjr proposes a simple fix to eliminate this risk: “Everyone upgrading to a fixed full node.”


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