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Issue #309: Year 2038 problem

Sep 3, 2018
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #309: Year 2038 problem

It's been a slow news week around these parts, so I figured I'd spend today introducing you freaks to an issue in Bitcoin that will force a hard fork in the future; the year 2038 problem. Now before we dive into the (poorly explained) details, I want to reassure you that everything is going to be okay, probably. The incentive for the entire network to reach consensus on this issue is extremely high and is what most would consider a "no-brainer", so we should be gucci.

Now for the meat of the #content, the year 2038 problem is similar to the Y2K bug that scared the shit out of everyone around the turn of the century. It has to do with how Unix stores time. Unix uses a signed 32-bit binary integer to timestamp and store the number of seconds that have past since January 1st, 1970. Implementations of this system cannot encode time after 03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038 because there isn't enough capacity in the storage unit. Once this storage capacity is reached, apparently things will just stop working. Not ideal for a digital currency that has hopes of becoming the reserve currency of this planet. Luckily for us, the way this system is implemented in Bitcoin gives us until the year 2106 to come to an agreement that a hard fork is necessary to avoid.

There's no better time than the present to start making the world aware of this problem and begin the campaign to reassure Bitcoin users that everything is going to be okay if we all agree that a hard fork to fix this problem. Coming to this agreement should be common sense for everyone, but I'm sure this issuewill be used as a social attack vector in the future, so let's get ahead of this. Spread the word, freaks.

Final thought...

Ever wake up to write and get your day started, but your eyes hurt? Like hurts to keep them open? That happened to me this morning. Sorry for the tardiness.

Enjoy your weekend, freaks.


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