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Coinbase director Conor Grogan, who goes by the name "Conor" on X, recalls a rare incident that occurred on the Bitcoin blockchain several years ago.
This was obviously at the time Satoshi was still around, in August of 2010. Bitcoin's pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto walked away from the community in December 2010, according to recorded history.
Grogan recounts that over 13 years ago, someone exploited a bug to create 184,467,440,737 BTC. Bitcoin experienced a value overflow incident at BTC block 74,638 mined on Aug. 15, 2010, at 7:53:59 a.m.
The above-named block was responsible for the value overflow incident, otherwise known as the "184 billion bitcoin bug," which resulted in the creation of 184,467,440,737.09 Bitcoins that were split equally, sending 92233720368.54 Bitcoin to two addresses.
This was possible because the code used for checking transactions before including them in a block did not account for the case of such large outputs that they overflowed when summed.
BTC creator Satoshi Nakamoto immediately swung into action. The blockchain was forked by Satoshi within five hours, and the transaction (along with all of the others between the fork) was thrown out. Surprisingly, the perpetrator of the exploit attempt was never identified.
A new version of the Bitcoin client was published within a short period, within five hours of the discovery, and 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 output for any reason.
Bitcoin continues to prove functional and secure
Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has come a long way. What has remained constant is the hard limit imposed by Satoshi Nakamoto, its pseudonymous creator, whose genuine identity remains unknown.
Satoshi left the Bitcoin maximum supply capped at 21 million in the source code, meaning that no more can be mined or distributed.
Because the Bitcoin blockchain is regularly reviewed by the entire network, it is considered hack proof. As a result, attacks on the blockchain are extremely unlikely. Bitcoin has never been 51% attacked, and it has never been taken down, even for a brief period.