Bitcoin on brink of collapse after ‘very scary bug’ discovered in code

The Bitcoin network was at risk of completely collapsing, after a major flaw was spotted with its underlying software.

Developers issued a fix before hackers could exploit the bug, which was only revealed publicly after a solution had been found. 

According to the Bitcoin developers, anyone mining the cryptocurrency would have been able to carry out the attack on the network, though it would have cost 12.5 Bitcoins – roughly $80,000 (£60,000) – to perform successfully.

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

1/8 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first Bitcoin block in 2009

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of Bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’

Reuters

2/8 Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world Bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins – the equivalent of $90 million at today’s prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

3/8 Silk Road opens for business

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for Bitcoin

4/8 The first Bitcoin ATM appears

On 29 October, 2013, the first ever Bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed people to exchange Bitcoins for cash

REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis

5/8 The fall of MtGox

The world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers Bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all Bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed

Getty Images

6/8 Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up

In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim

Getty Images

7/8 Bitcoin’s big split

On 1 August, 2017, an unresolvable dispute within the Bitcoin community saw the network split. The fork of Bitcoin‘s underlying blockchain technology spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin cash

REUTERS

8/8 Bitcoin’s price sky rockets

Towards the end of 2017, the price of Bitcoin surged to almost $20,000. This represented a 1,300 per cent increase from its price at the start of the year

Reuters

1/8 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first Bitcoin block in 2009

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of Bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’

Reuters

2/8 Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world Bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins – the equivalent of $90 million at today’s prices

Lazlo Hanyecz


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