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Author Topic: How someones made 184 Billion Bitcoin appear out of nowhere  (Read 270 times)
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November 06, 2019, 12:30:56 PM
Merited by NotFuzzyWarm (2), LoyceV (2), Kprawn (1), alyssa85 (1), electronicash (1), poptok1 (1), bitmover (1), Stryfe (1)
 #1

If you’re at all familiar with the history of Bitcoin, you’ll probably know a little something about the Value Overflow Incident - also known as the moment that nearly destroyed Bitcoin. But how did this incident actually come about, and what would have happened if it wasn’t stopped? Stick around as we dive deeper into this controversial moment in crypto history - the moment that could have dismantled the entire cryptocurrency industry in one go. Let’s look into how someone made 184.4 billion Bitcoin appear out of nowhere, and what happened immediately after.

What actually happened?

On 15 August 2010, just under two years after Satoshi Nakamoto released his famous whitepaper, an unknown hacker nearly took down Bitcoin. The assailant randomly generated 184,467 billion Bitcoin out of nowever, in an attack that is now known as the Value Overflow Incident.

The hacker recognized a flaw in the early Bitcoin blockchain system: While there was a fixed maximum supply of 21 million Bitcoin, the code for checking Bitoin transactions did not work if the outputs were large enough to cause them to overflow (hence the Value Overflow Incident). The hacker, with one transaction, managed to create 8,784x the number of Bitcoin (BTC) that should never have existed.

So how did someone make 184.4 billion Bitcoin (BTC) appear out of nowhere? They found a hole in the code, and they used it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMp6XmRlCVM

What was done to prevent the untimely death of Bitcoin?

Within 3 hours of the incident being reported on Bitcoin Talk, Satoshi Nakamoto had a code fix up and running. 5 hours after the incident, Satoshi released a new version of Bitcoin - Bitcoin 0.3.1. This ensured that any attempt to exploit the fault in the code was rewound, effectively erasing the hacked 184.467 billion Bitcoin.

Two different versions of Bitcoin existed after this point - the good chain (version 0.3.1) and the bad chain (the hacked version). Nakamoto urged miners not to mine the bad chain as it would cause the good chain to take longer in becoming the dominant chain.

Just 19 hours after the saga began, Bitcoin 0.3.1 became the dominant chain - effectively saving the entire cryptoasset industry, and building it into what we know today.

Today, trading platforms and exchanges like eToro, Kraken, and Coinbase are thriving, and we couldn’t have experienced the thriving cryptoasset industry without the quick reaction of the Bitcoin pioneer, Satoshi Nakamoto.

https://twitter.com/jdetychey/status/1137026239582134273

What would have happened without the soft fork?

If Satoshi Nakamoto had been unable to rectify the hack, Bitcoin would almost certainly have died. Basically, there would have been no cryptocurrency industry to speak of. Bitcoin’s price would have dropped like a stone, and within 24 hours the entire system could have collapsed.

Today

Today we have a thriving cryptocurrency industry, with an overall market cap of around $226 billion USD (at the time of writing). Still, we have to ask ourselves exactly how someone made 184.4 billion Bitcoin appear out of nowhere. We need to remember that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are not flawless designs - they’re designed by people, and people are inherently fallible. With that being said, the quick thinking and ingenuity of people is also what has saved this industry time and time again - here’s hoping to an equally (almost) as exciting future ahead.

https://www.cryptoninjas.net/2019/11/04/how-someone-made-184-4-billion-bitcoin-appear-out-of-nowhere/
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November 06, 2019, 01:42:23 PM
 #2

I didn't know about this history.
Are there any reference of this event here in bitcointalk forum? Something written by Satoshi?

That hacker is not so evil. He exposed the bug in a time when things could be easily fixed. Thank God that happened long ago, and not recently.

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November 06, 2019, 03:08:41 PM
Merited by NotFuzzyWarm (1), bitmover (1)
 #3

Are there any reference of this event here in bitcointalk forum? Something written by Satoshi?
Yes.

The incident was initially spotted and flagged up by Jeff Garzik here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=822.0

The main thread in Development & Technical Discussion is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=823.0

It actually seems like Gavin Andresen wrote a temporary fix first, before satoshi wrote a permanent fix about 20 minutes later.

satoshi then released this as version 0.3.10 a few hours later: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=827.0

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November 06, 2019, 03:19:39 PM
 #4

This was actually one of the lesser known incidents for bitcoin that hasn't been discussed for ages and is a nice bit of information that during the early days, nothing was perfect but everyone involved strived to get a fix as soon as possible. I've read the original thread years before this has been brought up again (thanks to @o_e_l_e_o for bringing up the original link to the discussion) and it fascinates me the coordination in between different devs and community members all at once, and fixed the problem in less than ~12 hours.

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November 06, 2019, 03:21:00 PM
 #5

Excellent infobit that I had never heard about. Well deserving of Merit given.

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November 06, 2019, 03:37:25 PM
 #6


didn't know once upon a time there was an incident like this that had happened. if the hacker sold the 184B BTC even just for few cents during that time he still can come up with huge amount of profit from his work. it would have been very disastrous for everyone if it happens these days,  some people today already depend to crypto industry and if all of a sudden crashes lives will also be broken. its a good thing that was solved and the hacker had seen that hole long time ago.

 
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November 06, 2019, 03:54:25 PM
 #7

Good info. But it's a completely plagiarized text from the cryptoninja website. Not a single word or link added or deducted by the OP. OP's almost every post are just a copy paste from different websites.

 
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November 06, 2019, 03:57:51 PM
 #8

The hacker recognized a flaw in the early Bitcoin blockchain system: While there was a fixed maximum supply of 21 million Bitcoin, the code for checking Bitoin transactions did not work if the outputs were large enough to cause them to overflow (hence the Value Overflow Incident). The hacker, with one transaction, managed to create 8,784x the number of Bitcoin (BTC) that should never have existed.

Do you know that one of the major factor of bitcoin price rise is its limited supply. If for any reason (its impossible todate) the supply of bitcoins get increased, the price will shoot down to the floor.  Fortunely there is no more flaw in bitcoin block-chain and everything is smooth and the people confidence is intact.

 
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November 06, 2019, 04:00:27 PM
 #9

I am genuinely interested on how this will be handled, if something like that happened now.  Huh  There are a lot more transactions being done now and

I wonder if miners would all work together to "rewind" the Blockchain, if it happened again. I think it is in everyone's interest to do this again, because

losing a few coins with a "rewind" is better than losing the value of every other coin you own, if miners did not want to participate. Fortunately for us, a

lot more eyes are currently on the Open source code and also on what is happening on the Blockchain, so it will even be spotted a lot quicker now.  Cool

 
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November 06, 2019, 04:13:11 PM
 #10

The funny thing is, Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency that has been affected by so-called inflation bugs. Numerous other cryptocurrencies, including some prominent ones have been exploited in this way.

Back in February, Zcash disclosed that it had secretly patched an inflation bug in 2018 that could have crippled the blockchain. Similarly, Zcoin, SmartCash, Zoin and a few others had a bug that could have toppled them, but managed to patch them and survive.

Let's hope nobody discovers an exploitable inflation bug in Monero's code, since that could cause some serious issues.


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November 07, 2019, 07:12:14 AM
 #11

Fascinating. Although it is quite a meal of copy-pasta, it’s good information. I haven’t seen this before.
It’s good that it was patched so far back and that OG Master Sat was there to fix it so timely.
The code has come a long way.

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November 07, 2019, 07:34:08 AM
 #12

Good info. But it's a completely plagiarized text from the cryptoninja website. Not a single word or link added or deducted by the OP. OP's almost every post are just a copy paste from different websites.

Thanks for the message. We actually are an agency that create content for news outlets and we reshare the content for them. As you can see we included the cryptoninjas link at the bottom as reference to the original post.

I am not sure how this is at all an issue if we included a link back in the first place. We are also open to feedback if you would like us to edit the intro to let everyone know its a repost?
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November 07, 2019, 07:54:36 AM
Last edit: November 07, 2019, 08:31:17 AM by franky1
 #13

there was a similar bug recently done by bad code by matt corrallo and supposedly rviewed and allowed to enter bitcoin cores codebase by gmax. lucky the code was not exploited and a patch was released. but it still happens.

back in 2010 though (that bug was exploited) was much easier to get many participants to drop a 19hour old chain without much financial harm of doing so(as it becomes a double spend where the customer suddenly gets their money back) because not many services existed back then and not many transactions per block were being performed

19 hours is not just 114 blocks of 1 or 2 tx's each which are most likely to just be small 'tester' transactions.. but these days 19hours is 114 blocks of ~2000. these days its not just something that may affct a couple hundred pople/transactions users.. its something that can now affect a couple hundred thousand of users/transactions. these days its not 1cent at risk per btc, but $8k+ at risk per btc
so orphaning off a dud chain, causing a double spend event causes more consequences and can cause more companies to be less accepting/willing to just do it for the benefit of bitcoin longevity

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Please do your own research & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. many people replying with insults but no on-topic content substance, automatically are 'facepalmed' and yawned at
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November 07, 2019, 08:15:33 AM
 #14

A great reminder of such happening. I actually have already read and known about this piece of history in Bitcoin and its quite fascinating how exploits are done on these complicated code with determination. I also admire and impressed that a decentralized network has proven that with its system, the power is upon the people and not some central organization, and the fate is totally dependent to the users of the platform, thus the soft fork won over the exploited version of the blockchain.

 
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November 07, 2019, 08:38:55 AM
 #15

A great reminder of such happening. I actually have already read and known about this piece of history in Bitcoin and its quite fascinating how exploits are done on these complicated code with determination. I also admire and impressed that a decentralized network has proven that with its system, the power is upon the people and not some central organization, and the fate is totally dependent to the users of the platform, thus the soft fork won over the exploited version of the blockchain.

these days people are now reliant on core releasing an update
as said in previous post in 2010 a couple dozen people (who were predominently coders) could self patch thier own code. these days of a couple hundred thousand people that could be affected in a similar 19hour event. (who are not predominantly coders) have to rely on core to give them a patch

after all. imagine an bug was found now. it was exploited and although core devs taking hours to figure out the cause and make a patch. a exploiter already planned the evnt and had code that also does other nasty stuff, just announces he has a version that can patch the first bug (but trojans new bugs) .. people have to review his codebase. and learn to trust it. or wait and pray that core hurries up.

people have already prefered to wait for core and ignore any non core devs from offering an unreviewed client that is advertised as fixing bitcoin issues

bitcoin 2019 is not the same as bitcoin 2010. so dont think the events of 2010 prove what 2019 is in regards to decentralisation and community power

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Please do your own research & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. many people replying with insults but no on-topic content substance, automatically are 'facepalmed' and yawned at
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November 07, 2019, 08:43:59 AM
 #16

I didn't know about this history.
Are there any reference of this event here in bitcointalk forum? Something written by Satoshi?

That hacker is not so evil. He exposed the bug in a time when things could be easily fixed. Thank God that happened long ago, and not recently.

that is just what i thought. if that would happen now, that would be the END and with the pace the bitcoin community is going the fix would have taken a good amount of time
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November 07, 2019, 09:16:45 AM
 #17

Wow, such informative post. Never thought that the history of btc was something special. I really admire Satoshi for being so attentive and resolved the issue in a wise way. Also, I never heard about the two versions of btc before due to the hacked issues. It's amazing to ready some great contents like this. So, btc almost died but it recover and still surviving until this day.

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November 07, 2019, 09:25:41 AM
 #18

I opened a thread about that supposedly "bug" here, Did you know?.

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November 07, 2019, 01:55:04 PM
 #19

Today we have a thriving cryptocurrency industry, with an overall market cap of around $226 billion USD (at the time of writing). Still, we have to ask ourselves exactly how someone made 184.4 billion Bitcoin appear out of nowhere. We need to remember that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are not flawless designs - they’re designed by people, and people are inherently fallible. With that being said, the quick thinking and ingenuity of people is also what has saved this industry time and time again - here’s hoping to an equally (almost) as exciting future ahead.


I think it is important to recognize that Bitcoin is a new technology, yes 11 years is nowadays a long time for technology so today we see it at a stage that is very mature and very resilient to attacks, with so many developers maintaining it and so many users constantly testing it and so many miners securing it,,, but any new tech was going to have exploits and loopholes, which in Bitcoin's case was found very early on.

Like you said people are inherently fallible. This is why it is good not just one or a few people decide how things happen in the network.

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November 07, 2019, 01:59:53 PM
 #20

I didn't even think about it, thank you.
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