Crypto Tip: What is a Double Spend in Bitcoin
People appreciate Bitcoin and public chains because of their robustness, reliability, and security.
These distinctive properties are defined by the level of participation tied directly to the value of the network's coin.
However, the security of the public chain is paramount.
Extreme measures have been taken to protect public chains in their baby steps. It is even said that Satoshi Nakamoto used to run an ASIC in the early days of Bitcoin when there were only a bunch of miners, periodically and cheaply harvesting 50 BTC per block.
And this was for good reasons.
Bitcoin proved a concept, successfully demonstrating that a system could be launched where value can be moved without a third party in a self-auditing system.
What's more? Within the same network, a user couldn't spend the same coin twice.
Therefore, the running of the first version of Bitcoin software was a Eureka moment for finance, computer scientists, and the CryptoPunks.
The act of digitally spending the same coin twice, or a 'double spend,' was solved using a public ledger.
Every miner-confirmed transaction in the public ledger is immutable.
It, therefore, cannot be spent twice, permanently solving the 'double spend' problem that had nagged developers for years.