Zcash Stumbles on Blockchain Bug Tied to Old Software

The zcash network ran into trouble yesterday, triggering fears of a blockchain fork.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2017 at 8:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:04 p.m. UTC

The zcash network ran into trouble yesterday, triggering fears of a blockchain fork.

Project founder Zooko Wilcox took to the zcash forums earlier today to detail what appears to have been an issue tied to an older version of the anonymous cryptocurrency’s software. The move came after F2Pool founder Wang Chun first reported the problem on Github.

While initially suspected to be a chain fork – in which nodes on the network diverge into more than one transaction history – zcash team members later identified a bug in an older release that was addressed in an update published in November as the culprit. Nodes that haven't updated “just stop and refuse to follow any chain after they see the triggering block”, Wilcox wrote.

Wilcox went on to advise users to update to the latest release in order to avoid any potential problems.

The zcash team is planning to release more analysis of the bug, according to team member Sean Bowe.

“I will do a more detailed analysis of the cause, whether or not there was a sustained fork, etc. as soon as possible. I believe there wasn't a chain fork,” Bowe wrote. “Based on the nature of the bug, nodes that encounter the problem should just stall and fail to process new blocks. Indeed, this is how we discovered the bug in the first place.”

The bug also appears to have impacted the price of the anonymous cryptocurrency, according to data from Poloniex. Prices slid to a low of $33, and are down overall roughly 2.5% in the past 24 hours.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Zcash Company.

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