Hacked By Scammers For A Few Minutes. Someone Sent Them 0.4 BTC

Hackers took over the website and displayed the classic double your money scam for a few minutes today. Apparently, it was a DNS hack. Luckily, the Bitcoin community took notice and alerted Cobra, the pseudonymous website owner, as well as the company that hosted the domain. A few minutes later, was down. Sadly, a credulous person was faster than them and sent 0.4 BTC to the displayed address… or did he?

The transaction exists, but there’s a rumor that it might’ve been the scammers themselves, trying to make the operation look reputable. Just like a busker who put some change in his hat to encourage others to contribute. However, that’s just a rumor. Someone might’ve been scammed.

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Related Reading | Old Bitcoin Miner Proves Craig Wright has No Access to 145 Tulip Trust Addresses

In any case, everybody else should thank Matt Corallo, a Bitcoin Core contributor who took it upon himself to contact the domain name registrars and managed to convince them to temporarily take down the site before some catastrophe happened. 

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What Does The Owner Think About All Of This?

When Cobra announced the hack, he or she said, “Currently looking into how the hackers put up the scam modal on the site.” So far, there’s no information on that. Cobra also said that “May be down for a few days,” but luckily that wasn’t necessary.

Earlier in the day, Cobra contacted via Twitter their new hosting company Cloudflare and told them that the website has never been hacked, and now that he moved to their servers, this happened. The company responded, and eventually, the original tweet disappeared.  

BTCUSD price chart for 0923/2021 - TradingView

BTCUSD price chart for 0923/2021 - TradingView

BTC price chart for 09/23/2021 on Bittrex | Source: BTC/USD on

Does This Have Anything To Do With Craig Wright AKA Faketoshi Nakamoto?

A few months ago, both Cobra and made worldwide news. Craig Wright, Australian entrepreneur and Satoshi Nakamoto cosplay artist, got a UK court to order the website to remove the Bitcoin Whitepaper from its servers. At the time, Yahoo! finance informed:

“Cobra, the pseudonymous creator of the website, has been ordered by London’s High Court to discontinue hosting its copy of the Bitcoin white paper.

Citing copyright infringement brought forward by nChain Chief Scientist Craig Wright, the judge had no option but to rule a default judgment because Cobra chose not to make an appearance.”

Does the hack have anything to do with Craig Wright? There’s not a single clue to indicate that, but, rumors are flying. He’s the only one incentivized to attack, they say. However, 0.4 BTC is a pretty great incentive. Maybe the scammers were just interested in scamming.

Related Reading | Craig Wright Wins Lawsuit On Hosting Bitcoin Whitepaper

In any case, to close all the loops, Yahoo quotes Cobra explaining why he chose not to make an appearance in court:

“Unfortunately the court rules allowed for me to be sued pseudonymously, however, I couldn’t defend myself pseudonymously. So I was put in an impossible situation of losing my privacy or losing the case in a default judgment.”

So, to sum it all up, is back up again and no one scammed you. All is well that ends well. 

Featured Image: Screenshoot from the hacked website | Charts by TradingView


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Bitcoin Core 22.0 Explained

The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado has rebranded, and is now called Bitcoin, Explained!

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In this episode of Bitcoin, Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss Bitcoin Core 22.0, the latest major release of the Bitcoin Core software client, currently the de facto reference implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. 

Van Wirdum and Provoost highlight several improvements to the Bitcoin Core software. The first of these is hardware wallet support in the graphical user interface (GUI). 

While hardware wallet support has been rolling out across several previous Bitcoin Core releases, it is now fully available in the GUI. 

The second highlighted upgrade is support for the Invisible Internet Project (I2P), a Tor-like internet privacy layer. 

Van Wirdum and Provoost also briefly touch on the differences between I2P and Tor. The third upgrade discussed in the episode is Taproot support. While Taproot activation logic was already included in Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 Bitcoin Core 22.0 is the first major Bitcoin Core release ready to support Taproot when it activates this November, and includes some basic Taproot functionality. 

The fourth upgrade that Aaron and Sjors discuss is an update to the testmempoolaccept logic, which paves the way to a bigger package relay upgrade. This could in a future release allow transactions to be transmitted over the Bitcoin network in packages including several transactions at the same time. 

Additionally, Aaron and Sjors briefly discuss an extension to create multisig and add multisig address, the new NAT-PMP option, and more.


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How Marco Falke Maintains The Bitcoin Network

Now Bitcoin Core’s most prolific developer, Marco Falke’s work is the daily maintenance and testing of an open-source project that must reject error.

Last week, Bitcoin Developer Marco Falke logged his 1,752nd commit to Bitcoin Core’s codebase, passing W. J. van der Laan to become the most prolific Core Dev in terms of the sheer number of individual changes submitted to the project.

As a full-time Bitcoin Core repository maintainer since 2016, Falke himself is the first to point out that many of his commits represent minor tweaks that are merged to the codebase relatively easily, and that this milestone in and of itself does not make him Bitcoin’s most important or enterprising contributor. But, after all, Bitcoin is code, and the work that Falke does as a maintainer of that code every day — reviewing contributions to ensure that they provide improvement to the protocol, maintaining continuity across the network and organizing the code so it is easy for developers to work with — is critical.

“When it comes to my contributions, I think the majority are smaller improvements, which are each exciting for their own reasons,” Falke told Bitcoin Magazine. “I’ve mostly continued to improve testing and spend time on quality assurance and review.”

The most substantive of Falke’s development work on Bitcoin has probably been his contributions around its testing infrastructure, something he identified early on as an inefficiency in the project that he was passionate about improving. Bitcoin’s test environment is used to review potential changes to the codebase, allowing developers to peer review one another’s work and identify potential problems. Falke has dedicated much of his career to improving this test environment so this process is more efficient.

“When I saw what a critical project Bitcoin Core was, that was the same time I realized that the testing infrastructure for Bitcoin Core was not in any way sufficient, and I was motivated to improve it,” said Falke, who started “lurking” on the Bitcoin project in 2014 and began contributing to the code the next year. “For example, the functional tests back then were mostly superficial or even completely broken — incapable of detecting any issues at all. I started off by fixing the obvious bugs in the tests and rewrote the test framework to use modern Python 3, instead of Python 2, which was being deprecated back then.”

Until last year, Falke was based in New York City, working full-time for Bitcoin research and development firm Chaincode Labs. But now he works remotely from an undisclosed location thanks to an open-source developer grant from cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, a revenue source that he said makes it much easier for developers to work on open-source projects like Bitcoin Core.

“Apart from my work, I do enjoy getting (mostly) regular and enough sleep, since my brain will refuse to work when I am on less than eight hours of sleep for a few days,” Falke added. “Also, I try to exercise at least every second day to give my brain more time to recover and also stimulate the remainder of my body through sport.”

It should not be surprising that Bitcoin’s most active maintainer, who is also one of its quality assurance leaders, sees the project’s notorious resistance to change as one of its standout qualities.

“One major difference is the level of scrutiny,” Falke said of Bitcoin Core as a software project. “Every change to Bitcoin Core needs to go through code review. Changes that touch critical areas (consensus or networking code, for instance) or are deemed riskier, need to go through code review by multiple people… Which is a good thing for Bitcoin, because Bitcoin users wouldn’t want the consensus rules to change willy nilly.”

As possibly the world’s most important open-source software project, Bitcoin is a pioneer in a few ways. From Falke’s perspective, another one of the most critical things that sets the Bitcoin project apart is the opportunity given to users to verify new code releases (provided as “compiled release binaries,” or compiled versions of the application for computers to read and implement) and protect against malware injection. To help users authenticate the new releases, Core Devs provide “reproducible builds,” software compilations that serve as instructions to verify new code — something that Falke said should be a standard way to ship releases in the world of open-source software, but is not yet.

Finally, Falke also highlighted Bitcoin’s thorough “fuzz testing,” a quality assurance technique that helps discover code errors that otherwise might lead to security breaches or other malfunctions.

“Bitcoin Core is also extensively fuzz tested, which is also not yet the norm for the average open-source project,” he said. “I am already happy with the overall state of our testing infrastructure, but I think an area of still low-hanging fruits for improvement are the fuzz tests.”

Falke also sees education as a major need in the Bitcoin Dev community, something that he helps with as he can.

As someone whose work is in the daily nurturing of Bitcoin Core, now leading its history in the number of successful changes made to the code, Falke is clearly happy maintaining the network and keeping it running for the rest of us.


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Compass Mining Sponsors Bitcoin Core Developer Jon Atack For $80,000

Through the facilitation of the Human Rights Foundation, Compass has committed to a one-year donation of $80,000 to Jon Atack.

Through the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), Compass Mining has announced their newest commit to sponsor Bitcoin Core contributor, Jon Atack, with a one year donation worth $80,000.

Atack began his contributions to Bitcoin Core over two years ago in March 2019, reviewing code, discovering bugs, and testing fixes all while proving himself as a prolific code author. And after providing lots of value, it wasn’t too long until he joined the Bitcoin Core developers team later that year in November.

“Without contributors like Jon, the speed and quality of Bitcoin’s development would noticeably suffer. Our entire team is excited to build a relationship with Jon and support his important work,” said Compass CEO Whit Gibbs. “As the largest and fastest growing retail-focused bitcoin mining companies, we believe it’s essential for Compass to support the development of the protocol our entire industry is built on.”

The HRF, a non-profit organization who helped facilitate the sponsorship, has sponsored others in the Bitcoin space in the past such as Spector, Lot49, Calvin Kim, Ecosystem Grants, and Jesse Posner, Muun Wallet, Janine Roem and Blockchain Commons, and six other Bitcoin projects, including developers and Lightning apps.

“HRF is delighted to work with Compass to support Jon and Bitcoin Core,” said Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at HRF. “Jon has been a vital contributor to the world’s open source money project and we look forward to helping make his work possible this year.”

Compass now joins the only other two bitcoin mining companies (Braiins and Marathon Digital Holdings) to sponsor a Bitcoin Core developer to help develop this open monetary system. Antminer has also supported Bitcoin Core developers in the past, but none at the moment.


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Bitcoin network node count sets new all-time high

The number of reachable Bitcoin network nodes has crossed the 13,000 mark for the first time. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the previous all-time high was 11,613 achieved back in January.

According to data from Bitcoin network statistics dashboard, this milestone was reached back on July 5 when the number of reachable nodes clocked 13,374. As of the time of writing, Bitnodes’ data puts the current network node count at about 12,835,

Coin.Dance, another tracking website also has Bitcoin’s (BTC) node count at a new all-time high of 12,825. Nodes running the Bitcoin Core software make up 98.77% of the number with the remaining scattered across less popular implementations like Bitcore and Bitcoin Knots.


Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 was released back in May with a Taproot activation code and at almost 5,000 nodes (according to Coin.Dance), it is currently the most utilized version of the software among entities running reachable nodes. Figures from Bitnodes put the number at 5,125, or 40% of the total network node count.

Bitnodes’ data also shows at almost half of the network node count is running on Tor. Back in January, only about a quarter of all reachable nodes were running on the hidden network Tor. Running a client like Bitcoin Core using Tor provides an additional privacy layer since the IP addresses of connecting nodes are obfuscated.

Related: Tor-enabled Bitcoin nodes are back after bug on network

According to Bitnodes’ data, the network node count has increased by 2,739 nodes in the last year reinforcing Bitcoin’s decentralization ethos.

The growth in the network node count is also akin to the expansion currently taking place in the Lightning Network ecosystem where capacity has gone up over 70% in less than six months.

Earlier in July, public Lightning Network capacity crossed 1,800 BTC after adding 100 BTC in less than a week. Data from Lightning Network statistics tracker Bitcoin Visuals puts the number of LN nodes at above 12,800 which is also an all-time high value.