Around 2 million coins of Bitcoin Private — an altcoin which bears the name of the «big daddy» — has been premined suspiciously when there was no such intention. The dev crew behind the altcoin confirmed it, saying these units were never intended to exist in the unaltered ledger.
Rumours and Further Confirmation
On December 23 Coin Metrics, a virtual assets analytics platform reported that extra 2.04 million coins of Bitcoin Private (BTCP) were secretly created during the import of Bitcoin chain data. The pile of altcoin units equalled 3.9 million USD at that moment. According to BTCP’s white paper, there were supposed to be mined approximately 20.4 million units. In fact, as it turned out, the initial supply went up to 22.6 million due to suspicious mining.
A day later, on December 24, BTCP development crew confirmed the additional secret mining. They also said that once learnt about the case, they instantly started the investigation to see whether the rumour was true. The internal audit showed that the coins indeed were secretly generated. At the same time, the core team admitted it had no idea about the place, time, purpose and the recipient of the suspicious mining.
Who Mined The Extra Coins?
As per the team’s statement, anyone could have exploited the DLT dev knowledge could have as the code was open-source while the fork-mine was posted on social media — Twitter. Also, the statement sheds lights on the sequence of events. In particular, there was a bounty announced for a specific issue. Then a developer accepted it, becoming a BTCP dev.
Subsequently, the person turned into a GitHub contributor and, thus, became able to merge pull requests. Reportedly, the same dev later finalized the issue, merged own code and got the reward. Later on, the dev left the BTCP project and took benefit from the bug by generating 2 million altcoin units. That happened during the public fork mine. Right now, the storage place of coins remains unknown.
The team also noted that the fork mine had already taken place this year, but «it is impossible for this particular bug to exploit to occur again, nor can it be further exploited.» They had no idea about additional mining before Coin Metrics released the report. They also contacted one of the largest cyber-money exchanges HitBTC.
As of writing, Bitcoin Private is $1.76, it is 8.39% down within the past 24 hours. The coin’s price drastically dropped from $2.44 on December 23. It is highly probable that the drop occurred amid the news of the secret premining. Since December 23 BTCP has barely approached the margin of $2.00.