[CRITICAL] Update your Blockstack Core nodes to

Dear node operators,

If you haven’t noticed yet, your Blockstack Core node has just crashed. This is because the master branch optimistically assumed that the next set of Blockstack Core features (released as a hard-fork every year at around this time) was set to be active by block 541843. This block came and went, and since the block number was not incremented, the node software concluded that it did not know what to do at this point in time and halted. This version removes this problem.

Why Did This Happen?

Blockstack has a history of executing an annual hard fork at or around the beginning of Q4 to add new but incompatible consensus features. The node software itself expects in advance that new upgrades will be available at about this time each year, and is wired to halt if it goes over a year without new features being added (think of it as self-imposed deadline). But, because Bitcoin’s blockchain had advanced slightly faster this year than we expected, this block came a few weeks early. As such, all nodes halted on block 541843 (we were intending for this to happen in the second week of October).

What Are We Doing About It?

This “feature” has been removed and will never come back. Blockstack Core will keep running indefinitely, regardless of what the block height is.

Since we caught this just as it happened, no Blockstack transactions should be determined invalid due to stale consensus hashes.