Tech 1 March 2019

Derek Tonin

Bitcoin SV team fixes vulnerabilities that affected multiple Bitcoin blockchains

In its tireless dedication to making Bitcoin SV (BSV) the most secure, professional cryptocurrency and blockchain on the market, the Bitcoin SV Node development team are always on guard. As a part of that effort, the team, working with respected security audit firm Trail of Bits, recently caught three medium severity vulnerabilities in the BSV software (the reference implementation for Bitcoin SV) resulting in a high overall risk rating. The Bitcoin SV Node team did not itself create the vulnerabilities but likely inherited them from the Bitcoin Core (BTC) software and the Bitcoin ABC implementation of Bitcoin Cash (BCHABC), and immediately moved to fix them. The Bitcoin SV Node team also responsibly disclosed the bugs to other competing Bitcoin development teams – such as Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin Unlimited – so they could also fix the vulnerabilities in their code.

In a recent press release,the Bitcoin SV Node team and the Bitcoin Association detailed the three vulnerabilities, which have already been fixed by the February 11 version 0.1.1 release of Bitcoin SV Node. All three weaknesses in the code would have allowed bad actors to overload the network and node processors with useless packets, potentially overloading the system with traffic. It should be noted that the potential damage would not leave businesses or users at risk of losing any funds or transactions.

This is a great catch by the teams involved. Although a slow and crippled network might be par for the course for BTC because of its inability to scale, overlooking this weakness harms adoption and enterprise use cases for cryptocurrency.

Keeping the BSV environment secure and efficient is part of the routine for the Bitcoin SV Node implementation team. Steve Shadders noted in a January podcast that every piece of Bitcoin SV code goes through a process of error checking to ensure the BSV network does not get exposed to harm.

In this case, a comprehensive security audit, funded by CoinGeek, helped catch the vulnerabilities. Daniel Connolly, Bitcoin SV Node Lead Developer, commented:

“By organising this security audit (with funding by CoinGeek) and by sharing the results in a responsible and secure manner, the Bitcoin SV Node team, nChain and our partners at CoinGeek demonstrate our commitment to increase the quality of Bitcoin software and professionalise the engineering process.”

By finding the weaknesses, the team not only improved BSV, but also confidentially informed the BTC and BCHABC developers so these other competing Bitcoin implementation teams could also fix the same vulnerabilities in their code before the bug discovery was made public. That best practices approach and benevolence are further proof of BSV’s aim to be a more grown up and professional cryptocurrency and blockchain.

The Bitcoin Association’s Founding President Jimmy Nguyen remarked, “The results and improvements exemplify how the Bitcoin SV Node team is taking steps to prepare Bitcoin SV to have the reliability needed to become the world’s new money and the global enterprise blockchain. It also demonstrates that Bitcoin SV is now leading the Bitcoin industry, even helping other projects that deviated from the Satoshi Vision for Bitcoin.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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