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Author Topic: Sabatoge: "Losing" Bitcoins (AKA the Goldfinger Attack)  (Read 5117 times)
indicasteve
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June 24, 2011, 06:04:31 PM
 #21

We used to put pennies on the railroad tracks....then my cousin took a few to the store to try and spend them....lol...the old lady at the store gave him shit and told him it was illegal to do that.

hmm.../me wonders what a bitcoin on the railroad tracks would look like.   Huh

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kjj
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June 24, 2011, 06:09:10 PM
 #22

Just like a regular bitcoin, but slightly larger.

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nhodges
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June 24, 2011, 09:22:26 PM
 #23

Can you be more specific please?

You made the analogy to burning dollars. This is obviously a very poor analogy. We can always print more dollars unless you also destroy all the ink in the world, and all the printing presses. Not to mention the fact that only a small fraction of dollars actually exist in physical form. In fact, if I burn a billion dollars, that may theoretically impact the economy in a positive way, since commissioning the printing of a billion dollars in cash will create economic growth.

Does the answer to the hypothetical sabotage lie in creating a new blockchain, or Bitcoin 2.0?

I think your question is a Neo/Matrix question. Who is such a true anarchist they would take something that represents everything they stand for and throw it away? Only the "one" who was destined to destroy the system. Hardly anyone, IF anyone, would do something to such effect. People are driven by greed.

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June 25, 2011, 01:04:58 PM
 #24

Is it possible to sabotage Bitcoin by accumulating coins (through purchase, theft, or exchange breach, etc.) and then deliberately destroy the wallet that contains the key to these coins?

Presumably these coins are henceforth lost, essentially.


The way to do this with greater certainty would be by actually sending the bitcoins to an inaccessible address, rather than deleting the wallet. Never know when some pesky thief, who copied the wallet via a trojan a while back, might decide to access the coins himself.

But really, you'd just be redistributing wealth to all the other holders of bitcoins. It would take acquisition of a significant majority of the bitcoins in existence before any lack of liquidity affects the marketplace. Right now, we're only using 4 digits beyond the decimal point, right? So there's still plenty of room left for finer divisions. Even acquiring (somehow) and wiping out 50% of the 6-7 million bitcoins that have been mined so far probably wouldn't require any greater accuracy.

And then the remaining 14-15 million bitcoins eventually get mined.

Any attacker attempting to use this method just to "sabotage Bitcoin" is not one to be feared, but rather laughed at.

But hey, if you know anyone wanting to burn their own money, have at it:

1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE

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The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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June 29, 2011, 06:21:01 AM
 #25

EVEN IF somehow, someone destroyed ALL the bitcoins ever, what would be the point?

The next week they'd have to go after the UberMark, the iPoints, NetNotes and Digi-Dollars.

Seriously, eliminating the Bitcoin would only give rise to currencies far stronger and entrenched.
BkkCoins
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June 29, 2011, 11:45:10 AM
 #26

Read up on "moving the decimal". If the reduced amount of BitCoins after such an attack caused them to surge in value such that buying them cost too much, then the system will be able to do what is essentially a "stock split" operation. Move the decimal over 1 and re-calibrate. If it was costing $1000 to get a coin then it now costs $100 or $10. Whatever.

It just needs some agreement or co-ordination. How that gets arranged I do not know. I guess the devs decide to code it and the software makes it sync up.

This is how countries re-value their money too.

bitplane
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June 29, 2011, 12:47:37 PM
 #27

Completely feasible. A good strategy would be to pay for a multi-pronged attack taking advantage of 0-day vulnerabilities in all the popular clients that are connected to the network, then send all the money somewhere like here:

http://blockexplorer.com/address/1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE

These coins would not be retrievable using the current system
harik
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June 29, 2011, 10:29:34 PM
 #28

For all the "Why would they do it instead of cashing out?!?!?"  remember that a sufficently notorious theft could be tracked and the address-tree blacklisted.   But destroying them makes your own stash more valuable, and makes any link between your profit and the destruction immensely difficult to prove.

bitplane
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June 29, 2011, 11:21:05 PM
 #29

For all the "Why would they do it instead of cashing out?!?!?"  remember that a sufficently notorious theft could be tracked and the address-tree blacklisted.   But destroying them makes your own stash more valuable, and makes any link between your profit and the destruction immensely difficult to prove.

Exactly. If you had a huge number of bitcoins then introducing innocent-looking bad code into the official client to destroy a larger number of bitcoins would be a cheaper option than trying to take over the block chain.
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