Even the largest miners and mining pools can occasionally make mistakes, as evidenced by Marathon Digital’s error early Wednesday morning.
The publicly traded company mined an invalid block. This means that Marathon submitted a block — which is made up of 2,000 transactions on average — that the rest of the network rejected because it didn’t align with common protocol.
If the other nodes on the network detect an invalid transaction within the block, they can come together to reject using the consensus mechanism built into Bitcoin.
Jameson Lopp, a bitcoin engineer and chief technology officer and co-founder of Casa, told Blockworks that Marathon mining an incorrect block doesn’t present a problem for the network. It’s more just a matter of forfeited profit.
“It’s not a problem for the network, it’s only a problem for the money because [Marathon] gave up over $100k in revenue,” Lopp said.
The issue with block 809478 was first flagged by X user @0xB10C, but BitMex Research pinpointed the error: Marathon misplaced two transactions within said block. This misordering led to the block’s rejection by other network participants.