Marathon Digital, a mining firm, has admitted that it produced an invalid Bitcoin block while conducting an “experiment” to optimize its operations.
We can confirm that Marathon did mine an invalid block. We utilize a small portion of our hash rate to experiment with our development pool and research potential methods to optimize our operations. The error was the result of an unanticipated bug that came from one of our…
— Marathon Digital Holdings (NASDAQ: MARA) (@MarathonDH) September 27, 2023
The firm posted on X on Sept. 27 that it uses a small fraction of its hash rate for these experiments and assured that it had no intention of modifying the network in any way.
The firm said that the error was caused by a bug in its internal development environment and that it had nothing to do with its Bitcoin production pool or Bitcoin Core, the main software for connecting to and running a node on the Bitcoin network.
The firm fixed the error as soon as it detected the invalid block.
The invalid block was mined on Sept. 26 at 9:42 pm UTC on block 809,478, as shown by Mempool.space.
Some Bitcoin developers and BitMEX Research explained that the invalid block resulted from a “transaction ordering issue.” According to Bitcoin developer “mononaut”, Marathon made a mistake by reordering the transactions based on ascending absolute fees.