Beam, a newly launched privacy oriented cryptocurrency, experienced a bug that caused a sudden, but brief stoppage in its blockchain, the company announced in a Tweet on January 21, 2019.
Technical Difficulties Cause a Halt in Beam’s Blockchain
One of two recently released implementations of the Mimblewimble privacy protocol, the Beam Mimblewimble blockchain, experienced technical difficulties that caused it to stop functioning.
According to Beam Privacy, the chain’s developer team has already the problem has already been fixed and issued a clutch patch.
Official release with issue fix. https://t.co/qlEvIUw2xv
— @Beamprivacy (@beamprivacy) January 21, 2019
The bug was first reported by the company on January 21, 2019, only ten minutes after the chain went down. The blockchain stopped at block 25,709, Beam Privacy said, and was down for about two and a half hours.
According to the company’s Github issue notes, the technical difficulties were caused by “improper wallet usage.” A flaw in the block construction code generated a wrong commitment to the UTXO state that should be obtained after the block would be interpreted, the company explained.
“It resulted from the untypical transactions (yet valid), which in turn were caused by improper wallet usage,” Valdok, one of Beam’s developers explained in the notes. He added that cloning wallet files might have led to the creation of identical UTXOs by different instances of the wallet in different transactions.
First Issue For The Recently Updated Blockchain
The brief blockchain stoppage was the first issue the newly updated Beam blockchain experienced. The new version of the network, the 1.1.4194 “Agile Atom,” enabled faster transactions and removed some of the bugs identified in the blockchain’s previous iteration.
At the time of the release, Beam Privacy warned that whilst the new update was “state of the art,” it was also “likely to contain bugs, defects, or errors that materially and adversely could affect the use, functionality, or performance of Beam.”
Launched at the beginning of January 2019, Beam is currently the only cryptocurrency built on the Mimblewimble protocol. Despite the protocol being regarded as inherently private, Beam’s team discovered a “critical vulnerability” in its wallet software as early as January 9, 2019.
The company asked its users to uninstall the wallet app immediately and re-download a safer patched version of the wallet from the website as soon as they identified the bug. And while no major problems have been reported since then, it left its users wondering whether they were open to other risks.