The notion of the Bitcoin Unlimited node bug must be familiar to everyone interested in the cryptocurrency. Several hundred Bitcoin Unlimited nodes were shut down due to vulnerability in client’s code. As soon as someone had reported the bug on Reddit, the moderators immediately censored that post. Such a strange behavior caused some kind of panic among node owners.
It is not a secret that censorship on Reddit is used to coming out of control, regardless of which topic one is discussing. In this case, there was no valid reason to do so especially when considering the damage caused by this bug in the first place.
The second interesting question is who was the first one to discover the node exploit. Peter Todd is one of the most possible candidates but he claims that is not the case. Of course, Bitcoin Unlimited would like to shift the blame to a Bitcoin Core supporter or contributor. After all, that would only fuel the political war going on right now. Frankly speaking, the Bitcoin Unlimited developers are responsible that the bug was there to take advantage of. The Reddit moderator didn’t only censored the post left to warn people, developers had neglected the bug for over a year while it resided within the client’s source code. These are two severe mistakes that could have resulted in more serious consequences at worst than a few nodes being kicked offline.
1/ Today’s Bitcoin Unlimited node crashing bug proves that users cannot trust Bitcoin’s $20B network in the hands of BU developers.
— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) March 14, 2017
This bug is an indicator that Bitcoin Unlimited developers have a lot of work to do. The event means that the client was not tested properly before releasing it to the public although every developer must go through a steep learning curve. Fortunately, the nodes are coming back online and an updated client has been released.
Bitcoin Unlimited is a faction that offers to solve the issue of blocks size by creating bigger blocks. The Bitcoin Unlimited developers aim to attract enough miner support to build its own branch off the chain.
As far as Bitcoin relies on a worldwide network of individual computers to maintain the blockchain, it is possible that one group can – intentionally or not – become separated from the rest. The two networks will start accumulating different information, creating competing chains. The problem is solvable if the “fork” is unintentional – sooner or later the networks will reconnect and discard the lesser chain. But if the fork is intentional, as in the case of Bitcoin Unlimited, it can continue forever.