Electrum builders apply repair after Apple Replace Bricks creates Bitcoin wallets


After the last Mac update caused major problems for one of Bitcoin's oldest wallets, the development team rolled out a fix.

Originally addressed as a problem on Github, the Big Sur update blocks MacOS Electrum clients, a Bitcoin software wallet popular with power users due to its complex tools and user controls. The Electrum team announced today that a new version addresses the issue.

“Currently, the latest version of Big Sur Electrum (for Mac devices) has completely destroyed. You can't open the app or load any of your wallets, ”one Electrum user, Nico, told CoinDesk.

The edition opened on Electrum's Github on August 1, around the time Apple released the Big Sur beta.

While the "root cause is still unknown," Electrum developer SomberNight said on the Github problems page, it relates to Big Sur's treatment of Python, the coding language in which Electrum is written.

To work around the problem, Electrum users can run the software from source (i.e., by manually compiling the source code) or bundle an older version of Python into their software. The fix from the Electrum team includes the latter solution.

The Snafu is the first time Apple's latest version disrupts the Bitcoin space, but it's not the first time the update has caused problems.

When version 11.0 was released last week, a bug on Apple servers caused the Mac hardware that was running the update to shut down worldwide. These servers process OCSP requests or data packets that validate user credentials for applications.

Mac users soon found that the Big Sur update and the bug were related. Big Sur sends OCSP requests for every online and offline application that a user opens. If these requests fail, the computer will also fail.

This activity logging feature has been around since Apple's Catilina update, but Big Sur makes it so that Mac users can no longer trick the feature with firewalls and VPNs like they used to.

These requests are transmitted unencrypted, which raises privacy concerns about the way in which this data can be intercepted and used by third parties. From a Bitcoin user's point of view, this feature is sent every time a wallet, coin mixer, or other Bitcoin service is used on their device.


Melinda Martin