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Blockchain Bug Battle: Luke Dashjr's Fix for Congestion Conundrum

Martin Walker
Dec 6, 2023 at 09:29 pm

A Bitcoin Core developer, Luke Dashjr, has recently brought attention to a potential resolution for the escalating congestion issues on the major blockchain network. He suggests that addressing a particular bug could effectively mitigate the influx of new BTC ordinals and BRC-20 tokens, which are allegedly taking advantage of a vulnerability. This discussion gains prominence as Bitcoin inches closer to the $45,000 mark.

Resolving the Issue of Bitcoin Ordinals

Dashjr expounded on these concerns in a December 6 post on X, emphasizing the potential misuse of inscriptions by creators of ordinals and BRC-20 tokens. These inscriptions, utilized to embed data on satoshis, exploit a vulnerability in Bitcoin Core, resulting in what is colloquially known as blockchain spam. 

Despite the existence of the capability to set limits on extra data in transactions since 2013, inscriptions cleverly circumvent this restriction by disguising their data as program code.

The recent update to Bitcoin Knots, a variant of Bitcoin Core with less tested features, has purportedly successfully addressed this bug, preventing inscriptions from surpassing the data limit. Dashjr, when questioned about the fate of ordinals and BRC-20 tokens post-vulnerability fix, asserted their likely cessation, envisioning a scenario where they no longer exist. However, he did express apprehension about the persisting vulnerability in the upcoming Bitcoin Core release (v26) and expressed hope for its resolution before the anticipated v27 release next year.

In a community statement, Shenyu, co-founder of f2pool, underscored the unique decision-making dynamics between Bitcoin and Ethereum developers. 

Continued Threat: Ordinals Pose a Persistent Challenge to Bitcoin

Dashjr, serving as the chief technology officer at the decentralized mining protocol Ocean, announced on X that the Bitcoin Knots upgrade effectively combats a persistent vulnerability exploited by contemporary spammers. Ocean anticipates a reduction in denial-of-service attacks on the Bitcoin network, with its blocks accommodating more legitimate transactions.

Dashjr vehemently opposes ordinal inscriptions, characterizing the potential damage inflicted on Bitcoin and its users as substantial and irreversible. He argues that ordinals, never officially sanctioned, represent an ongoing and persistent threat to Bitcoin since their inception.

Recent days have witnessed a notable surge in congestion on the Bitcoin network, primarily attributed to inscriptions and BRC-20 token minting. According to mempool.space, there are over 275,000 unconfirmed transactions, leading to a significant uptick in average medium-priority transaction costs, which have risen to around $14, up from approximately $1.50. These developments raise concerns about the overall health and sustainability of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Read more about: Crypto Surge: Bitcoin's Ascent to $100K

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