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Reddit/r/bitcoin is flooding with news that the Bitcoin blockchain has forked, in that versions 0.7 and 0.8 are accepting different blockchains. What does this mean for the users?

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Gavin Andreson has tweeted this: https://twitter.com/gavinandresen/status/311290936527298561

The bitcointalk post linked by Gavin is a post by Peter Wuille, which says this:

Hello everyone,

there is an emergency right now: the block chain has split between 0.7+earlier and 0.8 nodes. I'll explain the reasons in a minute, but this is what you need to know now:

  • After a discussion on #bitcoin-dev, it seems trying to get everyone on the old chain again is the least risky solution.
  • If you're a miner, please do not mine on 0.8 code. Stop, or switch back to 0.7. BTCGuild is switching to 0.7, so the old chain will get a majority hash rate soon.
  • If you're a merchant: please stop processing transactions until the chains converge.
  • If you're on 0.7 or older, the client will likely tell you that you need to upgrade. Do not follow this advise - the warning should go away as soon as the old chain catches up.
  • If you are not a merchant or a miner, don't worry.

An announcement has also been made at bitcoin.org.

  • What about miners against public pools? I'm assuming we should check the pool website for status, but is there anything specific we can do? – Jed Daniels Mar 12 '13 at 2:48
  • @JedDaniels, yes, you could also check bitcointalk to find a pool operator that is clearly running the correct version. – Highly Irregular Mar 12 '13 at 2:56
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If you are a user, Don't do anything, including transactions.

If you are a miner, Stop mining on 0.8.

If you are a merchant, Don't do anything, including transactions.

  • 1
    Poor wording. E.g. merchants need to do something, unless they sell stuff by hand: turn off their automated bitcoin processing. – nealmcb Mar 12 '13 at 4:32

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