Former Bitcoin core developer and one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation, Gavin Andresen, has once again expressed his negative feelings about Bitcoin Core known via Twitter after a miner with a node running the alternative Bitcoin protocol, Bitcoin Unlimited, lost $12,000 through a bug.
Bitcoin Unlimited bug
News of a bug in the Bitcoin Unlimited code that had caused a miner to lose 13.2BTC, which equates to about $12,000, arose on Reddit in the pro-Bitcoin core subreddit, /r/bitcoin, where the poster proclaimed “Bitcoin.com loses 13.2BTC trying to fork the network: Untested and buggy BU [Bitcoin Unlimited] creates an oversized block, Many BU node banned, the HF [hard fork] fails”.
“An anonymous Bitcoin node created a block of 1,000,023 bytes. The current maximum block size limit in the Bitcoin system is 1MB and a block exceeding this limit is considered invalid. Those miners who created this block will not be able to use their premium.”
Responses to the Reddit thread criticized the seeming lack of peer-review for the Bitcoin Unlimited code and their later response to miners to cap the size of their blocks as counterintuitive to the ‘unlimited’ nature of BU.
Gavin Andresen, an advocate for increasing Bitcoin block size instead of transferring transactions to side-chains as suggested by Bitcoin Core, tweeted in response to the news:
One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream.
Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year “meh, not a priority”
— Gavin Andresen (@gavinandresen) January 30, 2017
Andresen argues that Bitcoin Core promotes unnecessarily high transaction fees for users in its attempt to force users onto side-chains which he sees as counter to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision, while other BTC protocols like Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic provide a better solution.
Roger Ver hits back
Roger Ver, a member of the Bitcoin.com mining pool who was the subject of this bug, later weighed in on the news:
Core’s 1MB block size limit is costing the users of bitcoin >$100k per day for the past several months and is hindering Bitcoin adoption.
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) January 30, 2017
Although not explicitly referencing the Bitcoin lost to the bug, the timing and subject of the tweet would seem to suggest Ver is hitting back at users damning Bitcoin Unlimited and ignoring potential issues with Bitcoin Core.
According to Investopedia, Bitcoin Unlimited “embraces the absence of a hard-coded block size limit. Instead, it allows users to manually set limits on their own nodes; the Bitcoin Unlimited team expects consensus on a limit to emerge naturally at a so-called Schelling or focal point – a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication because it seems natural, special or relevant to them.”
“Furthermore, Bitcoin Unlimited intends to introduce a level of democracy into development and management of the implementation, allowing the community to vote on changes.”