Home Bitcoin News Bitcoin Mining Did This Bitcoin Mining Pool Just Try to Create Coins Out of Thin Air? – CCN Markets

Did This Bitcoin Mining Pool Just Try to Create Coins Out of Thin Air? – CCN Markets

8 min read

As if 2019 hasn’t been crazy enough, earlier today someone seemingly tried to counterfeit an entire Bitcoin block.

Bitcoin had an invalid block at height 584,802, as spotted by @juscamarena

All 8 nodes at https://t.co/WKQ8hPDGON identified the block as invalid:

Bitcoin Core 0.18.0
Bitcoin Core 0.17.1
Bitcoin Core 0.16.2
Bitcoin Core 0.10.3
Bitcoin Knots 0.14.2
Libbitcoin pic.twitter.com/p5WKJ5rO0t

— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) July 10, 2019

AntPool Almost Pays Itself an Extra $15,000-plus

According to BitMex Research and other observers on Twitter, at block number 584,802, AntPool attempted to publish a block that contained an extra 1.265 BTC in its block reward.

The coinbase value was too high, presumably because this included the transaction fees, but due to some error the transactions themselves were not includedhttps://t.co/gQRh3Gmdor

— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) July 10, 2019

The block contained no transactions and was submitted 21 seconds after block number 584,801.

According to @theinstagibbs, the coinbase suggests @AntPoolofficial is the miner of the invalid blockhttps://t.co/VGTltgTcbf

— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) July 10, 2019

AntPool is apparently the culprit, having used the same address and Coinbase message for both blocks. AntPool also mined the valid block number 584,802.

Apparently, something in AntPool’s software constructed a block that included fees paid for transactions but no transactions themselves.

Anyone log the full block?
2019-07-10T14:35:27Z ERROR: ConnectBlock(): coinbase pays too much (actual=1326546691 vs limit=1250000000)
2019-07-10T14:35:27Z ERROR: AcceptBlockHeader: block 0000000000000000000b47042b90c6a893e6e5cdef70c92beefb88f4c5fa5a69 is marked invalid

— Justin Camarena (@juscamarena) July 10, 2019

Working Out What Happened Here

For whatever reason, AntPool was trying to publish a block that paid for a lot of transactions but didn’t actually include any of them.

Interestingly, the block that eventually won and was published on the blockchain contained a total of 2,455 transactions and fees of only 0.64968988, which isn’t far from 50% of the attempted inflation in the first block.

The episode is extremely confusing.

Developer Jameson Lopp believes the bug originated with “block template generation” software, judging by the timing of the failed block.

Yes, it looks like the block was found just seconds after the previous block. My guess would be that there was a bug in the block template generator that failed to clear out the txn fees from the previous template being worked upon.

— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) July 10, 2019

Although that’s a good explanation, it is more exciting to imagine Jihan Wu and Bitmain attempting to destabilize the bitcoin market. As BitMex Research pointed out earlier, a minor drop in price happened right around the same time.

The timestamp of the invalid block was 14:35:27 UTC, 21 seconds after the previous block

This appears to have coincided with a drop in the Bitcoin price, however this is probably only a coincidence. (The blue line in the below image represents the timing of the invalid block) pic.twitter.com/PA8EbOY1G9

— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) July 10, 2019

This is coincidental, likely.

2019 Brings the Bitcoin Madness

This other thing we noticed happening in Bitcoin recently was not coincidental, though: someone was liquidating over 7,000 BTC at $200-$400 below market price.

so binance was hacked 7000 BTC two months ago, total loss = $40++ mil; and today someone sold 7000+ BTC for $84 mil at $12,100; if this is insider’s job, then they net $40 mil within 2 months; shitty exchange it is… 🤔😒

— Bitcoin Badger (@Emperor_YZ) July 9, 2019

Like we said: as if 2019 isn’t crazy enough, now the long-term “hodlers” are exiting too.

AntPool will likely release a statement during business hours in Beijing. As a subsidiary of Bitmain, which vocally supported the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, AntPool frequently mines Bitcoin blocks.

Luke-Jr, a long-time proponent of strict traditional full-node usage of the Bitcoin network, seized the opportunity to forward his pro-security agenda.

#Bitcoin miner decides to try to create 1.265 BTC inflation. Aren’t you glad miners don’t get to make the rules?

Are you running a full node? If not, you can’t detect this, and are vulnerable to such attacks! https://t.co/uqzCpBbVnj

— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) July 10, 2019

In almost no time, another Twitter user goaded the storied developer into calling Decred a “scamcoin.”

With Bitcoin, miners don’t have the last word either. Nobody cares about decred. Why are you pumping scamcoins here?

— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) July 10, 2019

The bitcoin price is currently trading lower by 6 percent to below $12,000.

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