How to make a fortune out of thin air: the day when the hacker has created 184,4 billion bitcoins

How to make a fortune out of thin air: the day when the hacker has created 184,4 billion bitcoins

Bitcoin has an impeccable reputation for almost 100% reliability and impregnable cryptographic security. However, in the early days of Bitcoin bugs still abound, and that allowed the hacker August 15, 2010, at the height of 74 638 blocks to generate 184,4 billion coins.

Lead developer of Bitcoin at that stage, Mr van Der Laan said: “It was the worst problem ever encountered”.

The hacker realized that part of the code for transaction validation does not work if you transfer too many coins. He used this shortcoming and created 184,467 billion bitcoins by sending 92.2 billion of them to 2 addresses. Emission of Bitcoins is limited to 21 million coins, so this transaction created 8,784 times more bitcoins than it is at all possible. However, if this bug was not fixed, it could destroy Bitcoin at an early stage, as it would lead to the collapse of the markets to zero and completely destroyed the credibility of the first cryptocurrency.

Fortunately, the incident was seen almost immediately, and the code fix was introduced for 5 hours Satoshi Nakamoto, with the help of Gavin, Anderson and other developers of Bitcoin.

The only way to fix the bug was to make necessary changes in code and restart the blockchain from before the hacker attack. This led to softforce and split the blockchain into two chains. At the height of 74 691 block chain with revisions in the code were considered true, so the resulting coins had disappeared.

Hacked the blockchain with 184,4 billion bitcoins lasted approximately 9 hours. Transactions held in a compromised blockchain during those 9 hours were canceled, which could lead to the loss of resources for some users. Fortunately, only a small number of people at that time used Bitcoin, so the damage was minor. The incident did not stop Bitcoin and he eventually became a major global currency.

A very valuable lesson for us all, which proves that even if Bitcoin is found the bug, it can be corrected with the help of a talented team of developers and good communication.

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