A huge flaw in the Bitcoin network's underlying software that could have destroyed the cryptocurrency has been discovered.
The problem existed since March 2017, which meant someone could have exploited the network by influencing the way bitcoin transactions are confirmed.
Anyone mining the cryptocurrency would have been able to carry out the attack, though it would have cost 12.5 bitcoins to perform successfully, a total of roughly £64,000.
The attack could have been made by anyone conducting bitcoin mining, a process of generating new units of the cryptocurrency by solving complex mathematical puzzles.
"A denial-of-service vulnerability (CVE-2018-17144) exploitable by miners has been discovered in Bitcoin Core versions 0.14.0 up to 0.16.2," an anonymous developer wrote when disclosing the bug on Github.
"It is recommended to upgrade any of the vulnerable versions to 0.16.3 as soon as possible."
Bitcoin's core developers solved the issue before any hackers could utilise the bug, which has only been revealed publicly after it was privately fixed.
"A very scary bug in Bitcoin Core has just been fixed which could have crashed a huge chunk of the Bitcoin network if exploited by any rogue miners," Cobra Bitcoin tweeted.
However, bitcoin miners must still download the software update that fixed the bug, or large parts of the network could remain vulnerable to a crash, effectively taking Bitcoin down.