Bitcoin miner Marathon mines invalid block in failed ‘experiment’

Bitcoin (BTC) mining firm Marathon Digital has confirmed it mined an invalid Bitcoin block during an “experiment” aimed at optimizing the firm’s operations.

In a Sept. 27 X post, Marathon said it utilizes a small percentage of the firm’s hash rate toward these experiments and stressed they weren’t trying to alter the network in any way.

“In no way was this experiment an attempt to alter Bitcoin Core in any way,” Marathon said, emphasizing that they corrected the error as soon as they noticed the invalid block.

Marathon said the bug, which emanated from the firm’s internal development environment, wasn’t related to Marathon’s Bitcoin production pool or Bitcoin Core, the leading software used to connect to the Bitcoin network and run a node.

The incident occurred on Sept. 26 at 9:42 pm UTC on block 809,478, according to

Several Bitcoin developers, along with BitMEX Research, attributed the invalid block to a “transaction ordering issue.” Bitcoin developer “mononaut” believes Marathon mistake came from re-sorting the transactions in order of ascending absolute fees.

Bitcoin analyst Dylan LeClair suggested that Marathon should have conducted this experiment on a testnet before attempting it on Bitcoin’s mainnet.

In reflection, Marathon said Bitcoin “functioned exactly as designed” by excluding the invalid block:

“This incident, while unintended, underscores the robust security of the Bitcoin network, which rejected and rectified the anomaly.”

Related: Marathon Digital Q2 results miss revenue and earnings forecasts

Cointelegraph reached out to Marathon for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

Marathon’s (MARA) share price fell 2.91% to $8.01 during opening hours on Sept. 27, according to Google Finance.

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