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Bitcoin Ordinals flaw addressed, paving the way for a stronger crypto future

TL;DR

  • Luke Dashjr, a Bitcoin Core developer, highlighted a critical vulnerability related to Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens.
  • The vulnerability allowed creators to embed excessive data onto satoshis, leading to blockchain spam.
  • Bitcoin Core has had a feature to limit extra transaction data since 2013, but inscriptions bypassed this limit.

In a significant development within the Bitcoin community, Luke Dashjr, a Bitcoin Core developer, recently highlighted a critical issue affecting the network. On December 6, through a post on X, Dashjr brought attention to exploiting a vulnerability in the Bitcoin Core, a fundamental software used for transactions. According to Dashjr, this issue has contributed to the recent network congestion, primarily due to the activities surrounding Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens.

New fix targets Bitcoin Ordinals flaw

Dashjr’s post elaborates on how Ordinals and BRC-20 token creators have exploited a loophole in the Bitcoin Core software. This exploitation has enabled them to embed excessive data on satoshis, the smallest unit of Bitcoin, effectively spamming the blockchain. He explained that although the Bitcoin Core code has had a feature to limit the size of extra data in transactions since 2013, inscriptions used by these creators bypass this limit by disguising their data as program code.

The recent update to Bitcoin Knots, a derivative of Bitcoin Core with additional features, has addressed this bug. This update is significant because it prevents inscriptions from bypassing the data size limit, potentially stopping new Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens causing network congestion.

The implications of fixing this vulnerability are substantial. A user on X queried Dashjr about the future of Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens post-fix, to which he confirmed that their creation would indeed cease. However, he noted that existing inscriptions would remain unaffected. Dashjr also pointed out that Bitcoin Core is still vulnerable in its upcoming v26 release and expressed hope for a fix in v27 next year.

The decentralized mining protocol Ocean, where Dashjr serves as chief technology officer, also weighed in. They endorsed the Bitcoin Knots upgrade, stating it resolves a long-standing vulnerability modern spammers exploit. According to Ocean, this upgrade will lead to blocks including more genuine transactions, implying that Ordinals inscriptions are akin to a denial-of-service attack on the Bitcoin network.

Dashjr has been a vocal opponent of Bitcoin Ordinals inscriptions, claiming they cause significant and irreversible damage to Bitcoin and its users, including those in the future. He has characterized the introduction of ordinals as an attack on Bitcoin since its inception.

Network congestion and transaction costs

The Bitcoin network has experienced notable congestion recently, attributed largely to inscriptions and BRC-20 token minting. Data from mempool. Space indicates that there are over 275,000 unconfirmed transactions. This congestion has led to a significant increase in transaction costs. The average cost for a medium-priority transaction has risen from approximately $1.50 to around $14.

The Bitcoin Ordinals protocol, launched in January 2023 by Casey Rodarmor, allows users to inscribe data and non-fungible tokens onto satoshis. While this has introduced a new dimension to the use of Bitcoin, the resulting congestion has raised concerns within the community about the sustainability and efficiency of the network.

The recent developments underscore a crucial aspect of blockchain technology, and its governance. As the Bitcoin community continues to evolve and adapt, the balance between innovation and network integrity remains paramount. Resolving this vulnerability in Bitcoin Knots is a step towards addressing these concerns. However, the long-term impact on Bitcoin Ordinals and the network remains to be seen.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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