Defensive Consensus: Getting to a Multi-Implementation Bitcoin Network

In its early days, Coinbase used a Ruby implementation of Bitcoin for some part of its internal blockchain validation. In 2013, Coinbase had a number of outages, followed by days of withdrawal delays, when a difference between the Ruby and C++ implementations caused Coinbase and other Ruby users to be forked away from the rest of the Bitcoin network: while most of the network continued to mine blocks and advance the blockchain, Ruby implementations didn’t recognize the proper chain as valid.


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