- A recent chain fork at block height 788686 caused an unexpected event in the Bitcoin network, resulting in the double spending of nearly 10 bitcoins (BTC), as reported by Fork Monitor, a platform that monitors chain forks.
Today, prominent Chinese blockchain reporter Colin Wu highlighted a significant development in a tweet, referencing data from Fork Monitor.
According to ForkMonitor, a chain fork with a length of 2 occurred at block height 788686 of the Bitcoin network. In the longest chain, 13 transactions involving nearly 10 BTC have been double spent. https://t.co/hqBwocihDR
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) May 8, 2023
Colin Wu emphasized that the chain fork took place at block height 788,686, leading to the existence of two distinct versions of the Bitcoin blockchain. This caused a situation where certain network nodes observed one version of the blockchain, while others observed a different version.
In the longer version of the blockchain, which received the majority consensus from nodes and continued to be built upon, there were 13 transactions involving nearly 10 BTC that resulted in double spending. Double spending occurs when someone spends the same Bitcoin twice, which is typically prevented by the network’s consensus mechanism.
BitMEX Research, in addition to highlighting the event, disclosed that it took place yesterday at 20:44 (UTC). They also revealed a competition between two mining pools, Antpool and Foundry Pool USA, as they raced to mine the next block and extend their respective versions of the blockchain.
At around 20:44 UTC today there was a chainsplit on Bitcoin of length 2 and race between Antpool & Foundry Pool USA. Antpool waas the winner.
— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) May 7, 2023
Ultimately, Antpool emerged successful in mining the subsequent block, allowing them to extend their version of the blockchain. This longer chain prevailed and resolved the chain split, becoming the dominant chain.
With a length of only 2, this chain fork was relatively minor compared to other instances where chain forks can be longer and cause more substantial disruptions to the network. Chain splits can occur due to various factors such as software bugs, network congestion, or malicious attacks.
The recent chain split could be attributed to the increased network congestion witnessed on the Bitcoin blockchain, particularly concerning inscriptions and BRC-20 tokens. Binance had to temporarily halt BTC withdrawals on its platform due to the congestion, but the service has been reinstated since then.