September has been quite the ride for anyone keeping up with Bitcoin. On October 18, the cryptocurrency’s developers released a denial-of-service bug found in the Core software. Luckily, it took less than 24 hours to correct the issue, but the whole situation still left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
While this issue seemed bad, the public’s confidence in the developers remained, as it appeared they had a solution ready to go. However, it was later determined that the developers didn’t quite release the whole story. In a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) report released by the Bitcoin Core Team, it was explained that the bug could have allowed for an attacker to create new Bitcoin as well. That creation could have inflated the price and devalued the currency immensely.
The developer team likely held off on reporting the bug right away to prevent exploitation of the bug on non-updated nodes. It should be known that anyone running a node, or mining, should in fact update to the latest version. The scariest part is that the vulnerability had been hiding in the code for more than a year. While the code is strong, and any coins created should have been deleted once the node checked transactions, it is still frightening to think this bug hid in plain sight for over 12 months. Concern over the potential for inflation and devaluing of the currency that the process in place to find these bugs has been brought under scrutiny.
Most Bitcoin companies don’t help at all with Bitcoin Core code. This could be a problem, since there are thousands of lines of code that must be held to the highest standards if Bitcoin will continue to thrive. One thing is for sure: if there is any hope for Bitcoin, then not only must more developers dedicate themselves to finding and preventing bugs, but more companies should contribute to this issue–because if there were bugs in the past, there can be bugs in the future.
It is important to note that if you are a user of Bitcoin, or a holder, that while this bug could have affected you, as of right now there have been no reports of issues due to this bug. I could speculate about the effect on the price of Bitcoin because of this news, but because the price