Proponents of Bitcoin and its competing cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash, which was created as a “fork” of Bitcoin’s code and history, aren’t exactly in love with each other. Social media channels are full of squabbles over which coin is better and which one is more deserving of the “Bitcoin” name. But one Bitcoin Core developer — meaning, a person who develops code for Bitcoin — rose above the petty quarrels and did a big favor for Bitcoin Cash. In April, Cory Fields discovered what he describes as a “critical vulnerability” in Bitcoin Cash, and alerted Bitcoin Cash developers which implemented a fix before a malicious actor could exploit it. SEE ALSO: And now professional golf is being ransomed for bitcoin After Fields had noticed a suspicious change in Bitcoin Cash’s code, it took him “less than 10 minutes” to find the bug, which was serious enough to cause a chain split, which (if unintentional) can cause huge damage to a cryptocurrency. But it wasn’t just a simple matter of finding the bug and reporting it.
“This was a bug in publicly-available, open-source software; any number of people could have already discovered it. There was nothing to stop anyone else from making the same discovery and taking advantage of it before a fix could be fully deployed,” he wrote in a Medium post published Friday. “Suppose that I privately disclosed the bug using my name — only for someone else to find it independently and exploit it anonymously the next day,” he wrote.
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