Tuesday, March 28

Bitcoin has an expiration date, says user who discovered a kind of “millennium bug”

Jared Pierce, a cryptocurrency enthusiast, revealed that Bitcoin has an expiration date. At the time, Pierce claims that this is like the “millennium bug”, a problem faced by computers at the turn of 1999 to 2000.

This millennium bug originated in the way the date system was built into operating systems. In short, the arrival of the year 2000 would cause the date of some computers to go back from 1999 to 1900, which could have serious consequences in several sectors.

In Bitcoin, there is a maximum limit of blocks to be created. In other words, it’s like an expiration date, after all, without blocks there are no transactions.

What is the expiration date of Bitcoin?

According to Jared Pierce, the maximum number of blocks is 2^32 — 2 raised to the 32nd power — which results in a maximum number of 4,294,967,296 blocks.

“A very significant bug in bitcoin has been discovered. Described as a millennium bug-style bug, Satoshi didn’t plan for enough digits at block height. For those who are more technical, the maximum height is […] 2^32 – 1. Not enough!”

In other numbers, there are almost 4.3 million blocks. As each is found every 10 minutes on average, that’s ~42,949,672,960 minutes. That is, the Bitcoin expiry date is around 81,715 years.

Obviously you get the point here, Bitcoin was made to last a long time, unlike fiat currencies that rarely turn a century due to inflation, and this tweet is a joke.

Beware of the FUD

Just like the millennium bug, which caused more panic than real problems, Pierce’s tweet is actually a warning to people not to fall into a FUD, which stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt.

“To be safe, you should learn as much as possible about bitcoin and stop looking for FUD, you naive idiot”

After all, it is hard to imagine what the world will be like in 81,715 years, and if Bitcoin remains alive for so many millennia, it is likely that someone will fix this problem sooner. Taking advantage of the joke, some users are already asking for the opening of a BIP, that is, a proposal to improve Bitcoin.