History Lesson: The Value Overflow Incident

In today’s post, I’m sharing a moment in crypto history that is known as the Value Overflow Incident.  This information was published on the Bitcoin Wiki, which is a great reference source for technical and historical information and links to other websites that you can use to educate yourself on blockchain and cryptos.

Without further adeu, here is the article.  Enjoy, and be well, Everyone.


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The Value Overflow Incident

On August 15 2010, it was discovered that block 74638 contained a transaction that created 184,467,440,737.09551616 bitcoins for three different addresses.[1][2][3]Two addresses received 92.2 billion bitcoins each, and whoever solved the block got an extra 0.01 BTC that did not exist prior to the transaction. This was possible because the code used for checking transactions before including them in a block didn’t account for the case of outputs so large that they overflowed when summed.[4]

A new version of the client was published within five hours of the discovery that contained a soft forking change to the consensus rules that rejected output value overflow transactions (as well as any transaction that paid more than 21 million bitcoins in an output for any reason).[5] The block chain was forked. Although many unpatched nodes continued to build on the “bad” block chain, the “good” block chain overtook it at a block height of 74691[6] at which point all nodes accepted the “good” blockchain as the authoritative source of Bitcoin transaction history.

The bad transaction no longer exists for people using the longest chain. Therefore, the bitcoins created by it do not exist either. While the transaction does not exist anymore, the 0.5 BTC that was consumed by it does. It appears to have come from a faucet and has not been used since.[7]


Posted on the Bitcointalk Forums:

Strange block 74638

The “value out” in this block #74638 is quite strange:

{
“hash” : “0000000000790ab3f22ec756ad43b6ab569abf0bddeb97c67a6f7b1470a7ec1c”,
“ver” : 1,
“prev_block” : “0000000000606865e679308edf079991764d88e8122ca9250aef5386962b6e84”,
“mrkl_root” : “618eba14419e13c8d08d38c346da7cd1c7c66fd8831421056ae56d8d80b6ec5e”,
“time” : 1281891957,
“bits” : 469794830,
“nonce” : 28192719,
“n_tx” : 2,
“tx” : [
{
“hash” : “012cd8f8910355da9dd214627a31acfeb61ac66e13560255bfd87d3e9c50e1ca”,
“ver” : 1,
“vin_sz” : 1,
“vout_sz” : 1,
“lock_time” : 0,
“in” : [
{
“prev_out” : {
“hash” : “0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000”,
“n” : 4294967295
},
“coinbase” : “040e80001c028f00”
}
],
“out” : [
{
“value” : 50.51000000,
“scriptPubKey” : “0x4F4BA55D1580F8C3A8A2C78E8B7963837C7EA2BD8654B9D96C51994E6FCF6E65E1CF9A844B044EEA125F26C26DBB1B207E4C3F2A098989DA9BA5BA455E830F7504 OP_CHECKSIG”
}
]
},
{
“hash” : “1d5e512a9723cbef373b970eb52f1e9598ad67e7408077a82fdac194b65333c9”,
“ver” : 1,
“vin_sz” : 1,
“vout_sz” : 2,
“lock_time” : 0,
“in” : [
{
“prev_out” : {
“hash” : “237fe8348fc77ace11049931058abb034c99698c7fe99b1cc022b1365a705d39”,
“n” : 0
},
“scriptSig” : “0xA87C02384E1F184B79C6ACF070BEA45D5B6A4739DBFF776A5D8CE11B23532DD05A20029387F6E4E77360692BB624EEC1664A21A42AA8FC16AEB9BD807A4698D0CA8CDB0021024530 0x965D33950A28B84C9C19AB64BAE9410875C537F0EB29D1D21A60DA7BAD2706FBADA7DF5E84F645063715B7D0472ABB9EBFDE5CE7D9A74C7F207929EDAE975D6B04”
}
],
“out” : [
{
“value” : 92233720368.54277039,
“scriptPubKey” : “OP_DUP OP_HASH160 0xB7A73EB128D7EA3D388DB12418302A1CBAD5E890 OP_EQUALVERIFY OP_CHECKSIG”
},
{
“value” : 92233720368.54277039,
“scriptPubKey” : “OP_DUP OP_HASH160 0x151275508C66F89DEC2C5F43B6F9CBE0B5C4722C OP_EQUALVERIFY OP_CHECKSIG”
}
]
}
],
“mrkl_tree” : [
“012cd8f8910355da9dd214627a31acfeb61ac66e13560255bfd87d3e9c50e1ca”,
“1d5e512a9723cbef373b970eb52f1e9598ad67e7408077a82fdac194b65333c9”,
“618eba14419e13c8d08d38c346da7cd1c7c66fd8831421056ae56d8d80b6ec5e”
]
}


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