A lot of people were somewhat surprised last night when a lot of Bitcoin Unlimited nodes suddenly went offline. This entire debacle can be blamed on sloppy coding by the BU devs, as they left a critical vulnerability in their client anyone could take advantage of. As one would expect, the number of Bitcoin Core nodes increased once this bug became clear.
BU Node Downfall Boosts Core Percentage
Quite a few interesting things are taking place in the world of bitcoin right now. Although most of these aspects will go by unnoticed by the average user, it is important to keep an eye on things. The ongoing debacle between Bitcoin Core and Unlimited supporters is far from over, even though the battle lines have been redrawn slightly.
A critical bug allowed assailants to take major advantage of Bitcoin Unlimited nodes. As it turns out, attackers could send special requests to vulnerable Bitcoin unlimited clients, forcing it to freeze and ultimately go offline. For regular wallet users, this would be rather annoying, but in the case of node owners, their entire Bitcoin Unlimited node got taken offline. In fact, several hundred BU nodes suddenly disappeared last night, all of which can be attributed to this vulnerability.
Looks like this remote crash DoS has been in Bitcoin Unlimited for almost a year, and probably longer: https://t.co/i1vVDV0jam
— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) March 14, 2017
According to Peter Todd, the bug is about a year old. This statement indicates it is a miracle the number of Bitcoin Unlimited nodes remained so high these past few months. it is evident this entire event should not be blamed on whoever took advantage of the bug, but rather the Bitcoin Unlimited development team for leaving the vulnerability in the code for so long. It is a hard lesson to learn in the end, although a fix is being developed as we speak. Bugs like these should be removed before releasing a client to the public, though.
Fast forward to today, and it appears things are slowly returning to normal. The number of Bitcoin Unlimited nodes sits at 581 again, which is quite an increase compared to last night. Interestingly enough, the number of Bitcoin Core nodes has increased once again as well. It is possible some initial BU supporters switched over to the main branch of bitcoin development, rather than being associated with what could ultimately turn into an altcoin.
At the time of writing, the number of Bitcoin Core nodes has increased to 5,540 once again. This is a strong increase compared to a few weeks ago, when there were just over 4,200 nodes on the network. It is evident the activation threshold for either BU or SegWit will not be determined by the number of the active nodes, otherwise this discussion would have been over a long time ago. In the end, SegWit is getting the most support the economic sense, as well as the number of nodes. Mining pools seem to lean towards BU, although miners will have to follow the rest of the network in the end.
JP is a freelance copywriter and SEO writer who is passionate about various topics. The majority of his work focuses on Bitcoin, blockchain, and financial technology. He is contributing to major news sites all over the world, including NewsBTC, The Merkle, Samsung Insights, and TransferGo.