Zář 24

John Newbery: I’m Responsible For ‘Worst Bitcoin Bug Since 2010’

Bitcoin Core developers have decried infighting between Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters after John Newbery claimed responsibility for last week’s CVE-2018-17144 network bug.


‘Embarrassed And Sorry’

In comments on Twitter September 23, Newbery, who is tasked with checking the Bitcoin codebase, said it was because of him that the bug had gone unnoticed.

As Bitcoinist reported, the incident occurred last week, with Core developers urging the entire network to upgrade to a patched version of the Core client as a matter of urgency.

A full summary of what happened, including the technical specifications of the bug and its eradication, has since been published.

“There’s no chance I haven’t read CheckTransaction(). When I read it, the “…so we skip it in CheckBlock” comment should have jumped out at me,” Newbery wrote discussing the technical details he claims he failed to notice.

“That comment and the fCheckDuplicateInputs flag don’t just smell, they stink. I should have followed my nose. At the very least I should have looked up Bitcoin Core PR #9049. I didn’t.”

While Newbery added he felt “embarrassed and sorry” as a result of the problems, community reactions appeared to reveal little interest in blaming any one party for it.

At the same time, other sources have warned over the serious nature of the oversight, with Bitcoin.org creator Cobra describing it as “very scary” and Bitcointalk’s Theymos considering it the “worst bug since 2010.”

Van Der Laan Blasts Community Squabbling

Fellow Core developer Wladimir van der Laan had previously said a collaborative failure had led to the situation emerging.

“It was wrong that the buggy code was merged. Yes, we screwed up but the ‘we’ that screwed up is very wide,” he commented in further tweets Sunday.

The whole community screwed up by not reviewing consensus changes thoroughly enough, more developers need to pay attention! It’s your all responsibility.

Van der Laan was writing as part of a debate on the bug’s discovery becoming fertile ground for supporters of both Bitcoin and hard fork Bitcoin Cash to criticize each other’s perceived shortcomings.

“‘Unprofessional’ doesn’t even begin to describe it,” he added.

What do you think about the fallout from Bitcoin’s code bug? Let us know in the comments below!


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Zář 23

Handling of Recent Bitcoin Bug Ruffles Feathers

Bitcoin Core developers urged all nodes to implement a patch on Friday, September 21, in order to prevent the exploitation of a recently discovered bug in the Bitcoin protocol. The bug, called CVE-2018-17144, was originally reported to the Bitcoin Core team by Bitcoin Cash developer Awemany on September 17.


A Bug in the System

The discovery of the bug and the Core developers attempts to address it have caused ruffled feathers in the crypto community. Allegations of incompetence and bad-faith have been leveled by members of both the Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and Bitcoin Cash community as developers attempt to patch the bug.

CVE-2018-17144 was initially reported as a potential denial of service bug, but developers on the Core team discovered the root issue impacted both denials of service and inflation vulnerability. The Bitcoin Core team has released a timeline in its announcement about the bug, showing the steps undertaken as the team went from being made aware of the bug’s existence to releasing a patch.

The CVE-2018-17144 bug originated in Bitcoin Core .15, originating as part of a change which was designed to help simplify the tracking of unspent transaction output. This change left Bitcoin versions .15X through .16.2 vulnerable to the bug — as well as any altcoins or forked versions of Bitcoin that were still using code containing the bug.

Crucially, the implantation of the code which caused the bug was led by the same developer who was integral in implementing the fix. This has added to suspicions that the release of the patch was not handled correctly.

Bitcoin bug

Lying in Wait

Worryingly for many, the bug had been sitting undiscovered in the code for two years, raising concerns about what other issues may be lurking in Bitcoin just waiting to be exploited. In a post from Medium contributor Awemany, it’s noted that it would have been just as easy for him to short BTC — and exploit the bug — as it was for him to report the bug the Core team.

The Bitcoin Core team has been heavily criticized for the manner in which they rolled out the announcement about both the bug and the patch. For Bitcoin and many of the altcoins which rely on the same code, the decision to announce the bug and patch without consulting members of the altcoin networks that would have been impacted by a successful exploit was seen by some as political and mean-spirited.   

Despite the promise of decentralization and transparency promised by crypto advocates, the CVE-2018-17144 episode illustrates just how dependent many projects are on the decisions made by a relatively small number of members of the community. If the actors in this saga had made a handful of decisions differently, billions of dollars of value could have been wiped out. Hopefully, this episode leads to clearer standards around bug discovery and patching, and a more harmonious culture between various developer teams.

What are your thoughts on Bitcoin bugs? Let us know in the comments below!


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Srp 31

Bitcoin Cash Will Cost 0.3% Of Bitcoin, Ripple to $0.01 By 2023: Forecast

Ripple (XRP) will be worth just 1 US cent within five years and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will fade, a damning new report from ICO advisory firm Satis Group predicts August 30.


Satis: Ripple ‘Misleadingly Marketed’

Forecasting the future trajectory for the cryptocurrency industry, Satis drew a sharp distinction between assets that “apply unique value propositions within deep and viral markets” and copycat tokens.

Bitcoin, Monero, and Decred, as examples of the former, are set for huge gains by 2023 – Bitcoin should costs $96,000, Monero $18,000 and Decred $535.

Bitcoin Cash, on the contrary, is an example of “cryptoassets which attempt to inherit brand recognition and provide minimal technological advantage to incumbents.”

Ripple, Satis continues, represents “cryptoassets which are misleadingly marketed, not needed within their own network, and have centralized ownership/validation.”

As such, Bitcoin Cash 00 will pale in comparison to Bitcoin at $268 in five years’ time, while Ripple will de facto become worthless. Satis adds:

Most ‘Other Utility’ application-specific networks hold very little value, in their current construct.

Cryptocurrency Market Value Will Hit $3.6T

The remarks constitute some of the most pessimistic to hit Ripple’s XRP token 00, which has battled a slew of negative publicity this month. As Bitcoinist reported, confusion of its token utility and conflicting statements by executives have earned the company scorn from various sources.

Similarly embattled, Bitcoin Cash has become a focus for criticism and even ridicule this month following the alleged liquidity issues suffered by mining giant Bitmain, a major bagholder of the altcoin.

Beyond those assets’ failings, Satis meanwhile predicts, cryptocurrency markets, in general, are set to boom throughout the coming decade.

“We estimate the amount of cryptoasset market value needed to support economic activities to expand from (~$500 billion) next year to ($3.6 trillion) in 2028,” the company states.

The findings are part of a five-installment series examining the cryptocurrency industry.

What do you think about Satis Group’s forecast? Let us know in the comments below!


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Srp 08

First U.S. Congress Member Reveals Owning Bitcoin, Ethereum

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives, recently disclosed his personal cryptocurrency holdings. The revelation comes amidst rule changes mandating disclosure for members of the House.


Cryptocurrencies Stepping In Congress

Cryptocurrencies have made their way up in the high ranks of US politics. Congressman Bob Goodlatte filed his annual Financial Disclosure Statement on May 10, disclosing that he owns between $17,000 and $80,000 in digital currencies.

The statement was filed just before the House Ethics Committee passed new rules which required the members of the House to officially disclose in their annual reports whether or not they own cryptocurrencies. They also have to report on the holdings of their spouse’s if they amount to more than $1,000. Members of the House also have to report transactions involving more than $1,000 of crypto within 45 days of the event.

According to the statement, Goodlatte has invested in Bitcoin00, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. The Sludge reports that his son, Bobby Goodlatte Jr., is an angel investor in Coinbase. His financial involvement in the company, though, is not disclosed.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives, may become the first member of Congress to disclose that he owns cryptocurrencies.

Things Are Getting Serious

The last few months have marked interesting developments involving cryptocurrencies and politics. In May, fellow Democrats Dave Min and Brian Forde clashed over accepting cryptocurrencies as donations for the 45th Congressional race.

Earlier in January, former Republican Ron Paul said he’s in favor of legalizing alternative currencies so long as they are not used for fraudulent purposes.

Just a few days ago, Bitcoinist reported that a 2020 U.S. Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang will be accepting cryptocurrencies as official forms of donations for his campaign.

While the US Government remains uncertain on its position towards cryptocurrencies and the way they are treated, all of the above signals that they are beginning to have an impact on the American political landscape.

What do you think of Bob Goodlatte’s cryptocurrency holdings? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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Čvn 19

Such Currency, Much #Fail: Dogecoin Transactions 300% Higher Than Bitcoin Cash

· June 18, 2018 · 10:00 pm

Dogecoin (DOGE) processes three times as many transactions as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) per day, data shows this month — as Bitcoin’s (BTC) hash rate expands to an all-time high. 


Unlikely Success?

Figures reproduced on Twitter by social media commentator Armin van Bitcoin confirm the curious rise of DOGE, which has seen renewed attention this year after its surprise use in a chain swap project with Ethereum.

As of June 15, the Dogecoin network’s daily transaction numbers outran Bitcoin Cash by a ratio of three to one. Against BCH’s 12,700 transactions, Dogecoin saw 38,400.

DOGE currently trades at under $0.002, having lost around half its value since April, when prices reached their most recent peak of $0.0056. The altcoin’s highest-ever price continues to be $0.017 from January, while holders continue waiting for a previously-promised hard fork later in the year.

Bitcoin Hashrate Hits All-Time High

The latest performance continues a trend which has captured cryptocurrency industry attention in 2018 — Bitcoin Cash having lost out to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in April when its node count surpassed the number of available BCH nodes for processing transactions. Lightning had begun its mainnet existence at the beginning of the year, while BCH had debuted in August 2017.

At the same time, despite downward market pressure deflating prices, Bitcoin continues to exhibit increasingly strong fundamental network statistics.

Running data from Blockchain.info reveals the Bitcoin network hash rate reached its highest level in history earlier in June, capping an upward trend which continues to rise.

As Bitcoinist reported Monday, naysayers calling the beginning of the end for Bitcoin continue to be confined to traditional banking circles, while warnings of further price slides do not reflect sentiment beyond that of trading circles. 

What do you think about Dogecoin’s transaction numbers and Bitcoin’s hash rate? Let us know in the comments section below! 


Images courtesy of Twitter/@ArminVanBitcoin, CoinMarketCap.com.

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Kvě 29

Bitcoin Cash Still Missing 13% of Its Nodes 2 Weeks After Hard Fork

· May 28, 2018 · 8:00 pm

Two weeks after its hard fork, 13% of Bitcoin Cash nodes are still running old software which is incompatible with the rest of its network, data reveals.


Theories Emerge Over Rogue BCH Nodes

As shown by Coin Dance and uploaded to social media by cryptocurrency commentator Ben Verret Sunday, Bitcoin Cash has so far failed to gain full support for its new fork, which split off from the main chain May 15.

The statistics present fresh controversy around Bitcoin Cash for certain cryptocurrency users, commentators this week also picking up on how Bitcoin (BTC) has outperformed the altcoin for the past week on network cost, and now has lower transaction fees.

When it came into being in August 2017, Bitcoin Cash proponents stated one of its essential features was to provide cheaper transactions than Bitcoin.

Debating with Verret, however, others suggested the 87% incorporated all nodes still being maintained, claiming the nodes not following the majority consensus were de facto dormant.

“If they would have any economic value they would continue mining unforked chain,” one response reads.

A Tellingly Quiet Disagreement?

Meanwhile, a similar report on the lack of consensus in Bitcoin Cash post-fork focused on the lack of publicity it received.

Bitcoin core developer Kalle Alm noted that 16-17% of nodes were not following the new chain May 16, adding “everyone would explode” if a similar phenomenon occurred on the Bitcoin network, whose nodes are running at 100 percent with the consensus rules.

“You can tell BCH is not bitcoin by looking at how not everyone is losing their shit all over the place,” he wrote.

Imagine if 20% of BTC nodes failed consensus? Everyone would explode. And there would be forks as miners are not just one dude running a farm.

BitcoinVPC creator grubles had gone further, describing the hard fork as “an epic screw up for a network marketed as a store of value and a medium of exchange.”

What do you think about Bitcoin Cash nodes’ inability to form consensus? Let us know in the comments section below!


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Bře 10

Bitcoin Cash Propaganda Poll Backfires

· March 10, 2018 · 12:00 pm

The Twitter account @Bitcoin — an intentionally misleading account which only supports Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — recently tried to defame Bitcoin (BTC) in a poll on the popular social media website. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work.


Oops!

For those who aren’t aware, the Twitter account @Bitcoin actually has nothing to do with Bitcoin (BTC). Rather, the account uses Bitcoin’s name while pumping out anti-Bitcoin propaganda and shilling the dominant cryptocurrency’s largely-unwanted step-brother, Bitcoin Cash (BCH). As noted by Badbitcoin.org:

The Bitcoin account on Twitter @Bitcoin has been hijacked or bought by those scoundrels promoting the Bcash (Bitcoin Cash) Scam. Mail Order Explosives, Bitcoin, Scams – They do the lot! 1/8/18.

The borderline-scam account posted a poll on Thursday, asking which ‘Bitcoin’ Twitter users prefer. Of course, in doing so, the Twitter handle explicitly made biased and incorrect statements in an attempt to prove that Bitcoin Cash is the superior cryptocurrency. It backfired:

When all was said and done, Bitcoin (BTC) proved to be the overwhelming favorite, despite the Bcash scammers best efforts to undermine the dominant cryptocurrency. Out of 17,437 votes — a sizeable sample — 74% of users preferred the real Bitcoin (BTC) to Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Additionally, the @Bitcoin Twitter handle was recently restricted on the popular social media site, though the reasons behind both the account’s restriction and restoration of permissions aren’t clear.

‘Btrash’

Bitcoin Cash — a hard fork of Bitcoin — largely markets itself as being ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’s real vision’ for Bitcoin and, in doing so, claims to be ‘the true Bitcoin.’ Meanwhile, misleading accounts like @Bitcoin on Twitter spew intentionally misleading information in desperate attempts to gain support.

As evidenced by the Bcash shill account’s own Twitter poll, however, many cryptocurrency investors view Bitcoin Cash as little more than an attempted hijacking of the Bitcoin brand by Roger Ver, Calvin Ayre, and others, to capitalize on the confusion of new investors.

MillionBitcoinCash - Updated POW & POS Technology With Low Fees with limited Coins

Bitcoin Cash, however, is making headway in one particular field. Recently, reports surfaced that, for the first time, Bcash is being accepted as a form of ransom payment by ransomware — intrusive software, which encrypts victims files and demands payment in return.

In other news, Ayre himself is launching his own Bcash-only vacation resort in Antigua, where he has primarily resided since being indicted by the US Attorney for Maryland on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering.

[Full disclosure: the author is a holder of Bitcoin (BTC)]

Which do you prefer: Bitcoin (BTC) or Bitcoin Cash (BCH)? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Twitter/@Bitcoin, Bitcoinist archives

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Úno 19

Billionaire Calvin Ayre is Building a $100m Bitcoin Cash Resort in Antigua

· February 19, 2018 · 9:45 am

Soon, wealthy tourists looking to live large in the Caribbean will be able to reserve rooms at controversial billionaire Calvin Ayre’s resort in Antigua — if you’ve got the Bitcoin Cash.


A ‘Novel and Exciting Concept’

The billionaire founder of the Ayre Group and the Bodog entertainment brand, Calvin Ayre, is reportedly building a $100 million five-star resort on Antigua’s Valley Church beach — funded entirely by profits made from investments in digital currencies.

Antigua

The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, is excited by the news, as the islands have long been supportive of cryptocurrency. Browne says of the project:

We expect the resort’s novel and exciting concept to broaden Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and bring a new category of tourists to our islands. We look forward to working with Mr Ayre on this resort and the many other investments he has made in Antigua.

Calvin Ayre, officially known as “his excellency” on the Caribbean islands where he holds the title of special economic envoy, says:

This resort will attract a totally new market segment of tourism on the island — successful wellness-seekers who also want to have fun. The property will not be an all-inclusive destination. Instead, its amenities will be available to residents of Antigua and Barbuda and visitors alike.

Bring Your Bcash

Unsurprisingly, Ayre’s resort will accept Bitcoin Cash at point-of-sale terminals on the property.

Unaffectionately known as Bcash, the controversial cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin on August 1st, 2017, and has sparked debate amongst cryptocurrency enthusiasts ever since — with some calling it a get-rich-quick scheme primarily profiting from the unnecessary confusion of others by co-opting the Bitcoin brand.

MillionBitcoinCash - Updated POW & POS Technology With Low Fees with limited Coins

Ayre and Bcash bull Roger Ver are arguably the two biggest proponents of the forked cryptocurrency, claiming the Bcash blockchain is vastly superior to all other blockchains — despite little evidence to support such a claim.

Of course, Ayre himself is no stranger to controversy.

In 2012, Ayre and three other individuals were indicted by the US Attorney for Maryland on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering, leading to the billionaire evading authorities for nearly a decade.

In 2017, however, Ayre got off easy by pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor charge, while the remaining felony charges against him were dropped. According to Forbes, Ayre never came to the US to face the charges.

Would you be interested in spending cryptocurrency while on vacation in the Caribbean? Would you prefer that such cryptocurrency wasn’t Bcash? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives.

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Pro 26

New Evidence Emerges, Points to Possible Insider Trading at Coinbase

· December 26, 2017 · 4:30 am

It was just a few days ago that news broke alleging “insider trading” after a botched Bitcoin Cash launch which saw prices spiking close to $9000. Now, new evidence has emerged appearing to bolster those allegations.


Entrepreneur and cryptocurrency enthusiast Albert Renshaw is claiming that he has discovered additional evidence pointing to insider trading of Bitcoin Cash related to its recent adoption by Coinbase and their cryptocurrency exchange, GDAX.

Speaking with Forbes, Renshaw states:

I’ve found and isolated one instance of insider trading on BCH addition to GDAX/Coinbase.

He references the following discussion thread that took place on /r/Coinbase:

The highlighted comments in the thread have since been deleted, however, the conversation was archived in its entirety at Archive.is.

Timeline of Events

The screenshot above focuses primarily on the comments of one Redditor, /u/mukiwa2. The conversation was archived on December 20, 2017, making the ‘2 days ago’ time stamp (see mukiwa2’s first highlighted comment) December 18 – a day before Coinbase announced their addition of Bitcoin Cash.

December 18

  • Bitcoin Cash is trading between $1900 – $2200 (CoinMarketCap).
  • /u/mukiwa2 announces to the thread that Bitcoin Cash is coming to Coinbase and that he has “a mate at CB”.

December 19

  • Coinbase announces the addition of Bitcoin Cash.
  • Bitcoin Cash begins trading on GDAX at 10:20 pm EST.
  • Within minutes the price of BCH jumps to $8500 – more than double the previous day’s price.
  • GDAX suspends trading at 10:22 pm EST, later tweeting, “All BCH books will enter cancel-only mode, and all existing orders will be cleared. While in cancel-only mode, no new orders will be accepted. We will post an update shortly.”

December 20

  • GDAX resumes Bitcoin Cash trading.

Between /u/mukiwa2’s comment on Reddit and the opening of trade on GDAX, the price of Bitcoin Cash jumped by over 370%. To put that in perspective, if a person bought $50,000 worth of BCH at $1900 on December 18 and was able to sell it as soon as trading opened on December 19 at $8500, they would have made a profit $223,684, less their initial investment.

So Who is /u/mukiwa2?

Well, that’s where things start to get murky. Nobody knows. Shortly after the crypto community began calling Coinbase out over possible insider trading, /u/mukiwa2 deleted his comments from the thread. Shortly thereafter, he deleted his account entirely. Bitcoinist was able to dig up a cached copy of his Redditor profile page, but that provided little information other than the fact that it was a new account, created on December 6, 2017.

So Who is /u/mukiwa2?

Some further research yielded some possible clues to his identity, and Bitcoinist has reached out to this person for confirmation and possible comment. At the time of this writing, we have received no response.

So What Happens Next?

In the wee hours of the morning on December 20, Coinbase issued a statement via Twitter that all of its employees have been prohibited from trading Bitcoin Cash for several weeks. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong addressed the matter personally, as well. In a blog post published on the same day, Armstrong clarified Coinbase’s employee trading policy and also addressed the accusations of insider trading, stating:

Given the price increase in the hours leading up the announcement, we will be conducting an investigation into this matter. If we find evidence of any employee or contractor violating our policies — directly or indirectly — I will not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.

This is all well and good, but it’s a little bit like shutting the barn door after the horse has already bolted. It doesn’t change what happened, if insider trading did, indeed, take place, and it doesn’t prevent it from happening again in the future with some other coin on some other exchange.

While it is heartening that Armstrong isn’t simply dismissing the accusations, the whole idea of an internal investigation being offered up as a panacea should be concerning to the entire crypto community. If a non-crypto investment firm were accused of insider trading, there would be no self-policing. The SEC would investigate the company and, if found guilty, the parties responsible would face fines and most likely jail time.

The crypto community is at a crossroad. On the one hand, they don’t want regulators mucking about and trying to control things. On the other hand, when something goes wrong – like an exchange being hacked or insider trading – they clamor for the protection that only regulation would provide. There is no simple solution, but one thing is clear – we can’t have it both ways.

Does this new information change your opinion on Coinbase’s involvement (or lack of involvement) in insider trading? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Archive.is, Google Cache

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