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What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Mine an Invalid Block?

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Marathon Digital, a US-based Bitcoin miner, recently mined an invalid block due to a transaction ordering issue.
  • The Bitcoin network's distributed ledger technology allows for easy detection and rejection of invalid blocks by other nodes.
  • This incident underscores the tamper-proof nature of the Bitcoin network, minimizing chances for double-spending.
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Multiple nodes verify the transactions in the Bitcoin network. Hence, while Marathon Digital mined an invalid block, other nodes rejected it.

Bitcoin network runs through the distributed ledger technology (DLT). The other nodes can easily detect an error by a single node, which will cancel the invalid block through the consensus mechanism.

How Marathon Digital Mined Invalid Block

While the company has been in the Bitcoin mining business for over a decade, it still managed to mine an invalid block. But how did it happen?

According to the Bitcoin developer, 0xB10C, the invalid block was at the height of 809478. A transaction ordering issue was the primary reason for the invalid block. BitMEX Research explained the situation on X (Twitter):

“The invalid block included this txn (A)

“Spending an output from this txin (B):

“However, txin B was included in the block after txin A, therefore the block was invalid”

Later, other nodes rejected the block, and finally, Foundry USA mined the valid block.

Bitcoin invalid block, Marathon Digital
Miner of block 809478 block. Source:

Bitcoin uses the Distributed Ledger Technology, wherein transactions’ data are decentralized and distributed. The screenshot below shows that while Peer A mined an invalid node, Peer B and Peer C can verify it. They follow the consensus mechanism, and the invalid block is finally rejected.

Read more: What is Distributed Ledger Technology

Marathon Digital, Bitcoin network, Bitcoin invalid block
A distributed blockchain. Source: GitHub

Marathon Digital’s invalid block incident indicated that the Bitcoin network is indeed tamper-proof, leaving a minimum chance for double-spending. A community member wrote:

“The #BTC engineering never ceases to amaze me.”

Read More: How To Build a Mining Rig: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Do you have anything to say about Marathon Digital or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTok, Facebook, or X (Twitter).

For BeInCrypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist at BeInCrypto, who writes about various topics, including decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), tokenization, crypto airdrops, decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins, and altcoins. Before joining BeInCrypto, he was a community consultant at Totality Corp, specializing in the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Harsh was a blockchain content writer and researcher at Financial Funda, where he created educational reports on...