Although not dangerous, the error affects 2% Bitcoin transactions and increases the risk of an eventual form of attack where some miners could steal coins from others.
The discovery of this bug in Bitcoin was made by a German freelance developer known as 0xB10C, who documented it in a post on your blog.
In a nutshell, some Bitcoin wallets create faulty transactions with future execution. These transactions should not be transmitted over the network, however, this happens every time.
0xb10c discovered more than one million of these incorrect transactions between September 2019 and March 2020, representing 10% of all transactions with timelock.
The German developer is part of a worldwide network of researchers who test the Bitcoin network looking for risks and / or problems, even some that are only theoretical and previously unknown.
Understanding the technical terms
An timelock transaction prevents BTC recipients from being able to use it immediately, making them wait for a certain number of blocks to be processed in the future.
Such and defective transactions discovered by 0xb10c have been set for the current block, ie without delay /delay, and can be used to fee-sniping.
O Fee-sniping allows a malicious miner to replace a block que someone else has just mined on his own, with the same identical transactions and others still pending. O timelock serves to avoid including the latter, making the attack inconvenient.
The fact is that fees can become an incredibly important source of profits for miners in the future, increasing the risks associated with these mining transactions. timelock failures.
Therefore, although the bug it’s not really important now, it could become dangerous in the near future.
0xb10c also found that many of these troubled transactions were carried out by a single large institution, which he chose not to reveal.
However, he said the institution was contacted and an answer was received that they would be looking for a solution, although this may take some time.
0xb10c also points out that a possible solution has been known since the beginning of 2020, but it will also need some time until all software instances subject to the bug updated.