Andreas M. Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin, explained why the Chinese government couldn’t launch a successful 51% attack on the Bitcoin blockchain.
The argument whether China could launch a 51% attack on the BTC blockchain erupted from a tweet posted by Anthony Pompliano on March 16, 2019.
“The Lightning Network hit a new all-time high of over 1,000 BTC in network capacity today.
Don’t listen to the noise. Bitcoin is going to scale just fine ”
Galgitron, a prominent person in the XRP community, requested Pomp to compare the use of Lightning Network to XRP. This comment led to the age-old topic that “XRP does everything that Bitcoin can and better”. Some of the users argued that Bitcoin could become a store of value if not peer-to-peer cash.
“What you fail to understand is that once Bitcoin loses first spot, the price will drop, miners will defect, a 51% attack will occur, confidence will be lost, and it will collapse. Bitcoin isn’t a rookie baseball card”
@ptothehyphen disagreed with Galgitron as he replied:
“That price action and 51% attacks are correlated….also even if a party managed a takeover of bitcoin, the power needed to mantain the attack for a prolonged period is astronomical (but anything can happen in crypto)”
Although 51% attack on the Bitcoin blockchain is widely debated, it certainly is not impossible. However, the amount of resources required to do the same is massive and it does not make any sense considering the upsides of the attack.
Before the BCH hash wars and the bear market of 2018, the mining pool of Bitcoin came eerily close to being completely dominated by the Chinese miners. Bitmain played a very important role and held a subsequently large stake of the mining pool. However, the stake in the mining pool by the Chinese counterparts has since reduced down.
“Ya, @aantonop isn’t the best authority to elucidate PoW attacks. In this video, sure, the attacks he describes are ludicrous, but he conveniently sidesteps the Chinese govt commandeering 4 mining pools to double-spend Bitcoin, which can be done literally today with zero warning.”
Andreas Antonopoulos addressed these topics in-depth and explained how a 51% attack by China was not possible. Antonopoulos replied to the comment:
Jason A. Williams, a founder of Morgan Creek Digital, added:
“I have thought a lot about the 51% attack. Technically possible, yes. Financially improbable. 3 real threats –
1. Hardware maker attack (state)- they run their inventory already and sell used gear
2. Hardware backdoors –
3. Spying technology – access users private keys”
Antonopoulos jumped in and replied to Galgitron:
“I feel comfortable knowing that China *cannot* instantly destroy Bitcoin.
Trying to destroy bitcoin this way will not only fail, but it will demonstrate its resilience by failing. That’s a worse scenario than simply throwing shade at BTC with propaganda”
Antonopoulos also elucidated that the 51% attack would not be over in an hour but would take an hour to start and even if the attack did start, those pools would be abandoned by the users.
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