Developers report vulnerability that could have taken Bitcoin down in 2018, IRS wants to trace Lightning payments

3 min readSep 16, 2020
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Developers discover vulnerability that could have taken Bitcoin down

A vulnerability in the Bitcoin network (which is luckily fixed now) could have led to entire systems of nodes being shut down. Hackers never took advantage of the bug.

The two developers Braydon Fuller and Javed Khan fixed the vulnerability, named INVDoS, on the Bitcoin blockchain in 2018, but published a research paper this week. They explain how they found the problem in several other blockchain iterations as well Btcd and Decred.

“There has not been a known exploitation of this vulnerability in the wild,”

The attack works like this: one hostile blockchain node floods another one by spamming them with calls for non-existent transactions. This DoS would cause problems to validate valid/existent transactions and it would slow and shut down the network.

Source: Decrypt

Internal Revenue System wants to crack Lightning

According to its latest announcement, the Internal Revenue Service has declared an offer to fund the development of a tool(s) that can help it crack open the second layer solution of Bitcoin, the Lightning Network.

Known because of the fast and cheap payments, Lightning also gives more also financial privacy. There’s not one single distributed database of all the Lightning payments, but invoices are routed through a peer-to-peer network of nodes.

That’s why the Federal organization is inviting applications with demonstrated working prototypes that can break into the network and trace transactions on the second layer solution. IRS will offer $625,000 for the same.

“Currently, there are limited investigative resources for tracing transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins such as Monero, Layer 2 network protocol transactions such as Lightning Labs, or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illicit actors.”

In the first phase, the IRS will pay $500,000, and the development team will have to deliver the ‘privacy cracking product prototype’ within eight months.

The payout for the remaining $125,000 will happen if the pilot run is successful, and the government okays the model.

Buy a $40 million Gulfstream private jet with Bitcoin

Aviatrade just introduced a new payment platform for its aircraft inventory. It allows buyers to pay with any kind of cryptocurrency. The first plane available for purchase with the virtual money is a Gulfstream G650ER, which costs $40 million.

This type of plane had also been purchased by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but they did it ‘just’ with dollars.

The 7,500-nautical mile range of the aircraft makes it a favorite among frequent intercontinental jet setters who don’t have to make as many time-wasting fuel stops when using the G650ER.

Source: Business Insiders

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