Bitcoin Private core developers plan hard fork to remove covertly premined coins

In response to Coinmetrics' forensic analysis of Bitcoin Private's coin supply, which found over 2 million additional BTCP coins that were covertly premined, Bitcoin Private core developers are offering their community members two options moving forward:

  • Hard forking the Bitcoin Private network to remove all shielded coins from existence
    • This option would remove 1.7-1.8 million illegitimate coins from circulation
  • Hard forking the Bitcoin Private network to remove all unmoved coins
    • This option would remove an estimated 12 million BTCP coins from circulation, but would not remove the illegitimate coins

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While the core developers are waiting for community consensus, they have proceeded to begin coding the first option (removing all shielded coins). The core developers also note that a bad actor could move the illegitimate coins out of their shielded pools to avoid removal. However, in this case, the developers "could use a snapshot of the chain just prior to deshielding the 1.7 million coins and roll the chain back in time."

The core developers also state that the cause of the covert premine was due to a missing line of code merged pull request from a Bitcoin Private code contributor. This missing line of code allowed the "fork mine to be exploited due to the nodes not properly verifying the falsified fork blocks."