On an episode of The Magical Crypto Friends, the creator of Litecoin [LTC], Charlie Lee spoke about the recent Bitcoin [BTC] inflation bug and the difficulties faced by the community in addressing the problem.
Lee stated that the bug was related to a miner purposefully trying to create more coins by double spending the same output. This would result in Bitcoin’s inflation or an extra coin being printed. He added:
“It’s related to not verifying if a transaction is spending an input twice in a block, these transactions will get rejected by the network but if they actually manage to find its way into a block then the block won’t get rejected by certain clients”
Lee further spoke about the emergency patch released by the Bitcoin developers and how they failed to announce the vulnerabilities of the threat. Furthermore, the developers only stated that the bug would result in Denial of Service [DoS] attacks in the nodes which could have resulted in the network to crash. He further stated:
“They later revealed that the vulnerability was due to an inflation bug, its pretty bad, I mean inflation bug is like one of the worst things that could happen to Bitcoin. If someone is able to print Bitcoin out of thin air that would totally kill the value of Bitcoins”
According to him, the Bitcoin developers initially claimed that they were being affected by a DoS bug but after a thorough investigation, they realized that there was a hidden inflation problem. He added that the Bitcoin developers should have quietly fixed the problem and released a detailed information on the vulnerability once it was upgraded by the miners.
Samson Mow, CSO of Blockstream, opined that once the news about the bug became public, there was a fear to immediately update the inflation bug instead of updating it quietly. He added:
“One of the reasons for not updating the bug quietly could have been the B cash [BCH] guy that found the vulnerability which was trying to insinuate that he found the bug and takes credit for it… It’s a big thing right and that could really raise awareness even if the core developers slipped it into a quite update”
According to Mow, the problem initially started when the developers claimed that the bug was a DoS issue but then they realized that the bug was severe and had to be fixed immediately.