july 1st

july 1st

Bitcoin 101 - The Nightmare of a 51% Attack - Part 2 - What an Attacker Can Do

8h ago
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There is no greater point of weakness in Bitcoin than a 51% attack. A fifty-one percent attack can shut down the network. This video discusses all the attack vectors and angles available to an attacker. Unfortunately, the devastation available is catastrophic. While a 51% attack doesn't appear to offer a lot of financial gain, this is not often the motive of all attacks. James goes through Transaction Denial of Service, Selfish Mining, Monopoly Mining and Double Spending. As Gavin Andresen understates, if someone was able to run a 51% attack "that would be bad". We agree. It would be very bad. At the end of the video we discuss protocol changes that would make an attack much more difficult. We highlight Proof of Stake as a fallback algorithm. The biggest advantage is that POS provides a MUCH higher cost to the attacker for perpetrating such an attack. That, would be good. In part one, we go through a cost analysis of the current hardware needed to launch a successful 51% attack to get a better picture how much it might cost. Unfortunately, the numbers are lower than expected, and most of the previously published values come in three to fifty times higher than actuality. In part two we will talk more about what an attacker might be able to do (double spending is not the worse tool at their disposal) and we prod at some possible solutions. Stay tuned. Here's the links referenced in the video Gavin's Blog Post from May 2012 http://gavintech.blogspot.com/2012/05/neutralizing-51-attack.html The wiki page referencing the 51% attack https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Attacks#Attacker_has_a_lot_of_computing_power Vitalik Buterin's article discussing Selfish Mining http://bitcoinmagazine.com/7953/selfish-mining-a-25-attack-against-the-bitcoin-network/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter Welcome to WBN's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard Series -- a full beginner to expert course in bitcoin. We hope you enjoy. And remember the official WBN launch is coming up : July 1st, 2014. Please like, subscribe, comment or even drop a little jangly in our bitcoin tip jar 1javsf8GNsudLaDue3dXkKzjtGM8NagQe For World Bitcoin Network's GitHub Page https://github.com/wobine/blackboard101 For a great introduction to Python watch this 2-hour class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrPZza_vZ3w Thanks, WBN