Bitcoin Price: BTC is Bullish, are Altcoins the Reason?

Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin price is on a bull-run right now. In fact, the entire crypto market seems to be making a bullish turn as sharp gains can also be seen across a number of altcoins.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is up 4.6% on the 24-hour basis and is currently trading at $6,733 according to coinmarketcap.com

Earlier in the day, Bitcoin price hit its 16-day high of $6,745, but it could easily hit that high again by the looks of things.

Bitcoin Price Recovery

Bitcoin is recovering from a five-week low of $6,100 ...

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Details of One of Bitcoin’s Nastiest Bugs Yet

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Details of One of Bitcoin’s Nastiest Bugs Yet

For well over a year, versions of Bitcoin Core — Bitcoin’s leading software implementation — contained a severe software bug. The bug was fixed with Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 (and 0.17.0rc4), released this week, and the status of the Bitcoin network now appears to be safe, with no harm done. The Bitcoin Core project has released a full disclosure report, revealing that the bug was even worse than previously thought.

These are the good, the bad and the ugly details about one of Bitcoin Core’s nastiest bugs to date. (But not in that order.)

The Bad

The bad, of course, is the bug itself, now documented as CVE-2018-17144 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures databank.

The bug was introduced as part of a block relay-related performance upgrade deployed in Bitcoin Core 0.14.0, officially released in March of 2017. In short, the bug would fail to reject a block containing a transaction that spends the same coins (“inputs”) multiple times. Indeed, it would allow for an (irregular) form of double-spending: arguably the very thing Bitcoin was designed to prevent.

It posed a serious problem, which might have manifested in several ways.

First, Bitcoin Core versions 0.14.0 through 0.14.2 (and, in some cases, newer versions), would have accepted the block but, at the same time, recognized that something was wrong. However, they wouldn’t be able to tell what was wrong, exactly. As a result, the node would stop operating altogether and shut down. If an invalid block caused by this bug had made its way to such nodes, they would have, in effect, crashed. That’s bad.

But it gets much worse.

Bitcoin Core versions 0.15.0 through 0.16.2 included another performance improvement, making it such that, in some cases, these nodes would no longer have realized something was wrong. Specifically, if the double-spent coin had not been moved in the same block already (which is often the case), these nodes would have accepted the transaction and block as normal. In a hypothetical, worst-case scenario, a malicious miner could have inflated Bitcoin’s money supply by copying his own coins, and anyone relying on Bitcoin Core versions 0.15.0 through 0.16.2 would have accepted these coins as valid.

Technically, the bug could also have caused a blockchain fork between affected nodes (Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 through 0.16.2 and codebase forks of it) and unaffected nodes (most notably Bitcoin Core 0.13.2 and older, as well as some alternative Bitcoin implementations). This is unlikely, however, since the latter category probably doesn’t have sufficient hash power behind it to generate even a single block within a couple of days — let alone several blocks.

Still, the bug in question could have allowed for one of the worst attacks on Bitcoin in years. It’s sobering for many that this bug made it into a release of Bitcoin’s leading software implementation, as well as several codebase forks of it, and remained unnoticed for about 18 months.

The Good

Now, the good news.

The first and main piece of good news is that the bug has never been exploited in any way.

The second piece of good news is that it was not very likely the bug would ever have been exploited in the first place. This is because the attack could only have been exploited by a miner intentionally creating an “attack” block — not by a miner doing so by accident and also not by a regular user.

This means that a miner would have had to knowingly risk forfeiting a regular block reward worth some $80,000. An attack like this would have been noticed fairly quickly — everything happens on a public blockchain, while crash reports would probably have flooded chat rooms and forums. At that point, the Bitcoin user base would very likely agree that the added inflation was, in fact, caused by a bug — and should not be accepted as a new protocol rule.

Therefore, not unlike a bug that split the Bitcoin network in 2013, a majority of miners (by hash power) would have either upgraded or downgraded their software quickly to reject the “attack block” and mine on the “honest chain” instead. As soon as this honest chain overtook the “attack chain,” even vulnerable nodes would have switched to the honest chain and disregarded the attack chain, leaving the attacking miner without any block reward.

Further, coins on the attack chain would presumably have dropped in value rather quickly: Markets are unlikely to value a coin that can be copied “out of thin air” by a malicious miner. As such, this miner would have immediately undermined the value of the same coins being copied, defeating the point of the attack. (Granted, the miner could also make money by shorting the markets, but this still comes with significant risks.)

The third piece of good news is that the bug was responsibly disclosed by an unknown person on Monday to several developers working on Bitcoin Core (as well as Bitcoin Cash implementations Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin Unlimited). It was originally presented as a denial of service (DoS) bug which, as mentioned, is accurate for Bitcoin Core versions 0.14.0 through 0.14.2. But on further examination, Bitcoin Core contributor and Chaincode Labs employee Matt Corallo found that the same bug was also an inflation vulnerability.

The bug was quickly patched and released on Tuesday in a new Bitcoin Core minor release: Bitcoin Core 0.16.3. The bug is also patched in the fourth and latest release candidate for Bitcoin Core’s upcoming major release, 0.17.0. Meanwhile, the select group of Bitcoin Core contributors that were aware of the bug started reaching out to key players in the Bitcoin ecosystem, most notably miners and large businesses, asking them to upgrade to Bitcoin Core 0.16.3. Regular users were also urged to upgrade.

The fourth piece of good news is that a majority of miners on the network has probably upgraded to get rid of the bug by now. This means that even if an attacker were to try and exploit it, he wouldn’t get very far. The honest miners would overtake the attack chain sooner rather than later, at which point even non-upgraded nodes would accept the honest chain as the only valid chain. To err on the side of safety, users are currently recommended to wait for more confirmations before accepting a payment, however.

In technical terms, the effects on the Bitcoin protocol are as follows: Bitcoin Core 0.14.0 introduced an accidental hard fork “upgrade” that was never triggered or acted on by miners and, therefore, never led to a blockchain fork. This “accidental hard fork” has practically been undone by an intentional miner-enforced, soft-fork upgrade over the past couple of days, possibly also enforced by the economy at this point in time.

The Ugly

The severity of a bug like this can be tricky to deal with on an open, decentralized, continuously operating network, supported by open-source software. As exemplified when Bitcoin Unlimited patched a bug in early 2017, the very act of fixing a vulnerability in the code might reveal it to potential adversaries, opening a window of attack until the fix is widely deployed on nodes in the field.

To avoid such attacks, those Bitcoin Core contributors aware of the problem decided not to make the severity of the bug public right away. Initially omitting some information from miners, companies and the greater public, they opted to disclose the DoS vulnerability — but not the inflation vulnerability. They hoped that the DoS vulnerability (and some strong recommendations) would be enough reason for users to upgrade, without tipping off a potential attacker. A full disclosure would follow later.

However, not everyone shared this approach. As the bug came under the spotlight, more people started to figure out on their own that the bug was more severe than just a DoS vulnerability. While unconfirmed, it’s rumoured that some started to leak the full extent of the vulnerability, arguably putting the Bitcoin network at greater risk of attack. When the vulnerability was reported on Hacker News (though later retracted), there was little reason to keep it under the covers much longer.

Luckily, by then, it seemed to the Bitcoin Core contributors in the know that most miners had upgraded, meaning that the Bitcoin network was safe. While sooner than originally planned, the Bitcoin Core project opted to publish the full disclosure by Thursday evening.

However, this early disclosure does mean that a number of altcoins based on Bitcoin’s codebase could still be vulnerable to the attack. While the leading implementations of the biggest Bitcoin codebase-based cryptocurrencies — most notably Bitcoin Cash’s Bitcoin ABC — deployed fixes and are probably safe by now, smaller coins may not be.

For more details also see the CVE-2018-17144 Full Disclosure by the Bitcoin Core project. It is still recommended that users and miners upgrade to Bitcoin Core 0.16.3 (or Bitcoin Core 0.17.0rc4).


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Stablecoins und Sammelgames

Ethereum baut das Web 3.0 auf. Wir zeigen euch, wie man mithilfe der Browser-Extension Metamask innerhalb weniger Minuten durch das Web3.0 surft: Wir kaufen auf einer dezentralen Börse DAI-Stablecoins, fangen Fische mit einem Dapp-Spiel und schauen uns w

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin

The China Center for Information Industry Development has updated its crypto rankings. The list contains 33 crypto projects, ranked overall and in three separate categories. High up in the overall ranking are EOS, Ethereum, and Bitshares. Bitcoin, however, has been downgraded.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

China’s Fifth Ranking

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades BitcoinThe China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID), under the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, officially published its fifth crypto rankings on Sept. 20. Thirty-three crypto projects are ranked. Each is given an overall score and a separate score for each of the three categories – basic technology, applicability, and creativity.

In the overall ranking published Thursday, the center put EOS at the top of the list, followed by Ethereum, and then Bitshares. EOS and Ethereum were also at the top of last month’s overall ranking. Bitshares, however, jumped from the 12th place the 3rd place.

BTC was downgraded from the 10th place to the 16th place while BCH fell a few places, from the 29th place to the 31st place. In the creativity category, however, BTC tops the list, with EOS in the 3rd place.

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin

The center started ranking 28 crypto projects in May. Two more projects were added in June, one in July, and two in August. Last month BTC made the top ten list in the overall category for the first time.

Ranking Methodology

The center explained that there were some improvements in the latest evaluation methodology compared to the previous month, stating:

The evaluation of the public chain development tools was classified and refined, and the accounting method of the actual throughput of the public chain was optimized.

The basic technology category “mainly evaluates the technical realization level of the public chain, and examines the function, performance, safety and decentralization of the public chain,” the center described. This category accounts for 65 percent of the overall ranking.

China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades BitcoinThe applicability category “mainly evaluates the comprehensive level of public chain support for practical applications, involving node deployment, wallet application, development support and application implementation,” the CCID explained. This category accounts for 20 percent of the overall ranking.

Creativity only carries a weight of 15 percent in the overall ranking. This category “focuses on the continuous innovation of the public chain, including developer size, code update and code impact,” the center detailed.

Referring to the latest ranking, the CCID wrote:

Compared with the previous period, the EOS and Ethereum indices decreased by 13.2 and 5.3 respectively, and Bitshares rose by 9.9. The position of Bitshares also jumped from the 12th in the previous period to the 3rd place.

What do you think of China’s latest crypto ranking? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and CCID.


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The post China Updates Crypto Rankings, Downgrades Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

PR: iCoinbay Rolls Out Trading Premium Gain Plan

iCoinbay Rolls Out Trading Premium Gain Plan

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

iCoinbay released a new trading campaign entitled [Trading Premium Gain]; iCoinbay is a tokenized, community-based digital asset exchange. This new campaign allows traders who use the platform to increase their earnings through normal trading activities. According to publicly released information, the plan can be summarized as follows:

1.Issuance of TPG tokens worth 100% the value of transaction fees
According to their released “TPG White Paper”, iCoinbay thinks that users’ normal usage of the platform should count as contribution to the community. With each transaction, a corresponding amount of the platform’s token, TPG, will be issued to the trader(s).

2.70% of exchange income distributed to TPG holders

As described in their white paper, holders of the platform’s TPG tokens have the right to income distribution. Each week, iCoinbay will distribute 70% of previous week’s income to community members, based on the proportion of TPG held.

3.Pioneer insurance system designed specifically to protect TPG value
The interesting part is that iCoinbay has also rolled out an insurance system. In order to better protect TPG holders from price fluctuations on the secondary market, iCoinbay’s campaign includes an insurance policy specifically made for TPG tokens. No matter how the market moves, after 100 days, holders of TPG will be able exchange them for stablecoins at their originally issued price.

iCoinbay uses the theory of a token economy as the basis for their platform, and develops each aspect of their business with three values in mind: joint development, joint success, and joint responsibility.

Although tokens and blockchain are two different things, the driving force behind blockchain’s recent explosion in popularity has actually been the token economies that developed around Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. Another way to put it is that blockchain is the stage for a new world, and tokens are the main actors on this stage. Based on this, iCoinbay is concentrating on building an exchange that allows community members to trade safely while using traditional financial measures (such as insurance) to protect the value of traded assets.

Contact Email Address
judy@icoinbay.com

Supporting Link
https://www.icoinbay.com

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: iCoinbay Rolls Out Trading Premium Gain Plan appeared first on Bitcoin News.