Recently, Bitcoiners became aware that Blockchain.info displayed bitcoins supposedly controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, as being sent to another bitcoin address. As theories ran wild, many quickly pointed out that other block explorers did not show this transaction. It was eventually discovered that Blockchain.info had a bug that allowed transactions to be displayed that weren’t signed with the correct private keys to verify which address sent the coins.
Also read: The Future of Blockchain.info
A post by redditor PhiMinD stated that “Satoshi’s coins have NOT moved”; the post quickly reached the front page of /r/Bitcoin, amassing 736 points. In the comments, users posted their theories as to why this error occurred, with some sharing their belief that Blockchain.info is not a good block explorer. Less than 20 minutes after the post, Blockchain.info’s official reddit account, blockchainwallet, wrote that “Funds attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto have not moved — they are unconfirmed by the bitcoin network and likely spoofed.”
About 18 hours later, redditor ShadowShark_ made a post explaining that he created the spoofed transaction and that it’s “a problem with blockchain.info’s pushtx-api that could be used to trick sites which have implemented the 0-confirmation-api.”
Blockchain.info tweeted that they fixed the problem, but many are still upset with them and are recommending users switch to other block explorers and payment APIs (Application Program Interface).
We've updated our PushTX endpoint to guard against improperly signed transactions.
— Blockchain (@blockchain) August 5, 2015
A transaction of Satoshi‘s coins would be a huge event for Bitcoin, as the coins have not moved since they were mined more than six years ago. It is assumed that Satoshi mined Bitcoin’s second block, considering that he is believed to be the only one mining at the time. The bitcoins obtained from mining the first (genesis) block are not spendable due to the way Bitcoin is coded. A spending of Satoshi’s coins would be his first public activity in almost five years (except perhaps a post made on his Ning forum profile, which may have been compromised).
False alarm, everyone. Satoshi did not spend any coins; it was merely a mistake by Blockchain.info. If Satoshi ever spends his coins for real, however, rest assured that the Bitcoin world will be in a frenzy.
Does this blunder render Blockchain.info untrustworthy? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Blockchain.info.