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QEHedge
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December 18, 2019, 02:51:23 AM
Merited by amishmanish (1)
 #1

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?

What if the nation states try to stop Bitcoin by setting up their own farms and forcing the miners to adhere to their rules otherwise face death?

Is there a backup plan for if Bitcoin goes down due to collusion? Or is BTC screwed?

Thanks guys.
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December 18, 2019, 03:08:19 AM
Merited by hugeblack (2), fillippone (2), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #2

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?

Nothing. They can attack the network by mining on the same fork. The attackers just need to be in agreement.
What if the nation states try to stop Bitcoin by setting up their own farms and forcing the miners to adhere to their rules otherwise face death?

Nothing that they can do. With 51% attacks, you can't change the network rules. You would mainly only affect the transaction's confirmation and the ability to double spend.
Is there a backup plan for if Bitcoin goes down due to collusion? Or is BTC screwed?
It'll be pretty screwed. If BTC somehow gets attacked, the main damage would probably be done with the first double spend. Subsequently, people would probably realise that it is under attack and people would switch to another coin which has a different algorithm. This could render the attack pretty useless but it'll still cripple bitcoin.

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December 18, 2019, 03:38:36 AM
Merited by fillippone (2)
 #3

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?
The cost and the total available hardware.
The cost might not be a huge problem for a state but after the attack, what will they do to those ASICs that they've used for the attack?
But before that, where will they get the necessary hardware to gain 51%+ of the current network hashrate? Produce their own?

(They will be needing more than half of the current hashrate since their own hash power will be added to the total).
Forcing the Pools (not the miners) is more effective and cheaper than than "setting up their own farm" but a lot harder to pull off.

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December 18, 2019, 11:24:25 AM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1), hugeblack (1), bitmover (1), PrimeNumber7 (1)
 #4

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?
Economical rationality ?

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December 18, 2019, 11:52:19 AM
 #5

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?

Nothing. They can attack the network by mining on the same fork. The attackers just need to be in agreement.
What if the nation states try to stop Bitcoin by setting up their own farms and forcing the miners to adhere to their rules otherwise face death?

Nothing that they can do. With 51% attacks, you can't change the network rules. You would mainly only affect the transaction's confirmation and the ability to double spend.
Is there a backup plan for if Bitcoin goes down due to collusion? Or is BTC screwed?
It'll be pretty screwed. If BTC somehow gets attacked, the main damage would probably be done with the first double spend. Subsequently, people would probably realise that it is under attack and people would switch to another coin which has a different algorithm. This could render the attack pretty useless but it'll still cripple bitcoin.

But if BTC is the Global Reserve for all Cryptos , Wouldn't that hinder the entire crypto space? If i took down BTC value and made it plummet to 0 , all the other alt coins would follow , and if this does happen , then everything is worth 0 in fiat and 0 in BTC value because BTC no longer has value correct? If all of the money were to leave the ecosystem , then everything goes to 0 right?

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?
The cost and the total available hardware.
The cost might not be a huge problem for a state but after the attack, what will they do to those ASICs that they've used for the attack?
But before that, where will they get the necessary hardware to gain 51%+ of the current network hashrate? Produce their own?

(They will be needing more than half of the current hashrate since their own hash power will be added to the total).
Forcing the Pools (not the miners) is more effective and cheaper than than "setting up their own farm" but a lot harder to pull off.

I'm assuming at this point , that they would move to something that allows for ASICs for SHA-256...? But if Nation states were to extort or try to kill miners , we would be screwed if they managed to take over the network.

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?
Economical rationality ?

Well if BTC is the digital gold standard by which all other Cryptos are backed by (Assuming DCR / BTC value) , It would make everything else plummet... in fiat and BTC value because they no longer have value thus nation states or governments which may have an interest in destroying the world of crypto (and the trustless nature of it) and bring on their centralized shitcoins that they control , maybe backed by gold or fiat money?

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December 18, 2019, 02:38:33 PM
Merited by ViceOfBTC21 (3), Welsh (2), hugeblack (2), bitmover (2), gmaxwell (1), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #6

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?

It would be a VERY EXPENSIVE attack, with very little to gain.  In most cases, they'd gain more value by using all that hash power to mine honestly than by attacking the network.

What if the nation states try to stop Bitcoin by setting up their own farms and forcing the miners to adhere to their rules otherwise face death?

Again, it would be very expensive, and wouldn't gain them much.  Nation states have better things to spend their money on.  That being said, there aren't many Nation States that have more than 50% of the global hash power within their own borders.

Is there a backup plan for if Bitcoin goes down due to collusion? Or is BTC screwed?

Bitcoin has a built in incentive structure to discourage collusion to attack.  If this incentive structure works, then Bitcoin is a success.  If this incentive structure does not work, then Bitcoin is a failure.  After more than a decade of operation, so far, Bitcoin is a success. Only time will tell if that remains true.

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December 18, 2019, 05:44:28 PM
 #7

I'm assuming at this point , that they would move to something that allows for ASICs for SHA-256...? But if Nation states were to extort or try to kill miners , we would be screwed if they managed to take over the network.

It's possible, but it's very unlikely because :
1. Wasting their limited resource
2. Nation's reputation would plummet down
3. Bitcoin would be worthless, which turn ASIC into expensive/inefficient heater and Bitcoin into money game

If a few miners were to control a majority of the hash rate (say over 51% of the network)

What would stop them from colluding and trying to 51% attack the network?

It would be a VERY EXPENSIVE attack, with very little to gain.  In most cases, they'd gain more value by using all that hash power to mine honestly than by attacking the network.

Unless the attacker think they could fool exchange or merchant by making transaction with big amount, then invalidate it by perform 51%/double spend attack (by include conflicting transaction in mined block).

But i doubt exchange and merchant are that stupid since such attack already happened once with Bitcoin Gold.

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December 19, 2019, 09:22:12 AM
 #8

Even if the pools work together to ruin the whole network, why should they initially carry out such an attack on the bitcoin? It would ruin their own company or the profits they were gaining all these days mining bitcoin. For instance, Ghash once had 51% of the total hashrate, but they requested the miners to move onto other pools making the network decentralized again. Same goes for the Bitmain and its hashrate as well. They made over $4 billion in profits in 2017 through mining and selling of ASIC chips and if they were to attack the network, it would ruin their future business completely.

Checkpoints were one such thing which could prevent 51% attack to happen, but they were removed citing they created unnecessary confusions and I agree to that. They were introduced in code to prevent DOS attacks and were not meant to prevent 51% attacks on the network. But if some mining company/pool in future tend to involve in such an attack, developers would write a new code and insist miners to run that. As ranochigo pointed out, 51% is basically making fake transactions to get accepted by the network and if the node has sensed a fake transaction/double spend it would make the subsequent blocks as invalid I guess.




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December 19, 2019, 10:01:44 AM
Merited by Gyfts (1)
 #9

For the first part of question, a random group of miners CAN collude but only at the expense of rendering their expensive hardware meaningless. A credible threat in this direction is from Bitmain due to their pro-BCH stance. They are the only entity with an alternate network to bet on, in case they try to attack Bitcoin. That scenario is gradually getting implausible due to the ongoing diversification of mining hardware.

If you consider the threat from a nation-state, there isn't a way to do this covertly. It'll be open war and grant legitimacy to bitcoiners stand that Governments are afraid of the money properties that Bitcoin has. It'll only make people want more of it.  Why would they do it?

Still, Let us assume they people actually begin questioning the Fed and Govts over legitimacy of their monopoly on money supply. They grow tired of being constantly questioned and decide to demonstrate that bitcoin is not the answer. They will need to show it to be insecure with a double spend/ bug. This is all that needs to be done:

  • Secretly takeover mining operations in China while opening up fast connections bypassing the Great firewall. Doing it anywhere outside China would take away any chance of doing this covertly.
  • Whisking away all the core devs to a secret location in a way that nobody knows something is amiss...ooohh..
  • Build up 65-75% of network hashrate without anyone getting to know it. This can include seized miners hardware that has been custom made in some super-secret lab. Keep in mind that the sudden surge in hashrate from the second case will be a noticeable event.
  • Now that they have the hashpower, what do they do? How do they show that it is not an "attack" but a bug? How do they let all the full nodes accept their "buggy"/ "double spend" transactions without letting it be known that it is a fork.

Whatever they do next is a noticeable event, assuming that it hasn't already been caught. This is where the full nodes and the independent miners come into picture. It'll be a flurry of maddening activity with internet restrictions and cypherpunks revving up their judgement day radios to broadcast messages to each other about potential fightback. It'd be a glorious few days and in the end, they would have only proven bitcoin right.
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December 23, 2019, 08:27:34 PM
 #10

First, a large entity or government would need much more than just 51% of the network. They'd need at least maybe 70% or 80% of the network hash power, sustained at that rate for several hours or days.

And the most they could do is a double spend ... any sufficiently large private organization would be more interested in how it can benefit them, and I don't see how else than to just mine bitcoins honestly and normally and receive a few hundred coins a day as they get the block rewards.

50% of the network implies they get 50% of the block rewards in a day, so that means 72 blocks * 12.5 BTC = 900 BTC per day.

I think a private company would do much better to simply keep $6 million dollars a day a secret, rather than try to do anything else and fail at making any profit. Unless it's controlled by some crazy dude who doesn't care about the money.

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December 23, 2019, 08:39:24 PM
Last edit: December 24, 2019, 04:38:30 AM by Khaos77
 #11

First, a large entity or government would need much more than just 51% of the network. They'd need at least maybe 70% or 80% of the network hash power, sustained at that rate for several hours or days.

And the most they could do is a double spend ... any sufficiently large private organization would be more interested in how it can benefit them, and I don't see how else than to just mine bitcoins honestly and normally and receive a few hundred coins a day as they get the block rewards.

50% of the network implies they get 50% of the block rewards in a day, so that means 72 blocks * 12.5 BTC = 900 BTC per day.

I think a private company would do much better to simply keep $6 million dollars a day a secret, rather than try to do anything else and fail at making any profit. Unless it's controlled by some crazy dude who doesn't care about the money.

Hmm, No!

PoW networks only needs 51% to totally dominate Bitcoin,
You are confusing PoW 51% with a PoS coin where they would need 80% or higher due to PoS coins dormant period after staking to maintain control.

They can double spend or they can block all new transactions,
meaning you still own your bitcoins, but you can't spend it!
In effect freezing the entire network for as long as they have 51%.


Easy way to do this , is for the Governments to compromise the top 4 mining pool operators and force them into compliance.
It costs almost nothing for them to pull this off and they never have to expend 1 resource in actual mining.
* Their are less than 10 Major mining pool operators for bitcoin.*

FYI:
As far as double spends go, anyone can double spend right now with any vendors dumb enough to accept zero confirmations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLkiu8zs318&feature=emb_title

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December 24, 2019, 08:45:02 AM
 #12

But if BTC is the Global Reserve for all Cryptos , Wouldn't that hinder the entire crypto space? If i took down BTC value and made it plummet to 0 , all the other alt coins would follow , and if this does happen , then everything is worth 0 in fiat and 0 in BTC value because BTC no longer has value correct? If all of the money were to leave the ecosystem , then everything goes to 0 right?

Uhm I mean, why would fiat become worth 0 when Crypo space goes down? Like Fiat is a seperate market system from cryptospace though? Plus, BTC plummeting to zero doesn't necesarily mean that Altcoins would also follow, though the possibility of them following is high, it isn't a 100%. Plus, if what you were to say DOES happen ( in which I case I doubt it is) that everything goes to zero, the world would go back to the bartering system of the old age, where no currency was upheld between trading parties.

Plus, starting from the initial idea, it is plainly a worthless and wasteful endeavor for the part of whoever is gonna lead the attack through using miners. I mean, that is over 51% of the mining network, who would spend an astronomous amount to do that. And if it does happen, the guy or group doesn't even take profit in there since they are pretty much crashing the BTC market.

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December 24, 2019, 01:58:18 PM
 #13

I've seen some miners or entities approach 51%. They need much more than 51%.. or 50% + 1. It has to be sustained too. I'm not talking about PoS, we are talking about miners, proof of stake was never in the discussion. I'm not confused.

I've yet to see any miner or group of miners or government even attempt to try to do 51% (or more, as needed). You say it's so easy, but why haven't they done it? There's also a lot of bureaucracy involved.

As for vendors, if they just wait 10 seconds after they first see the transaction and then check the transaction in question, they can determine if a double spend is likely or not. Part of that would be to not immediately accept if RBF was used.

That video is mostly false propaganda, but I stopped watching after about 20 seconds when they started using the usual "bad" words to describe bitcoin. Waste of time to watch the rest of it. The first few comments says a lot already.

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December 25, 2019, 06:19:11 AM
 #14

I've seen some miners or entities approach 51%. They need much more than 51%.. or 50% + 1. It has to be sustained too. I'm not talking about PoS, we are talking about miners, proof of stake was never in the discussion. I'm not confused.

I've yet to see any miner or group of miners or government even attempt to try to do 51% (or more, as needed). You say it's so easy, but why haven't they done it? There's also a lot of bureaucracy involved.

As for vendors, if they just wait 10 seconds after they first see the transaction and then check the transaction in question, they can determine if a double spend is likely or not. Part of that would be to not immediately accept if RBF was used.

That video is mostly false propaganda, but I stopped watching after about 20 seconds when they started using the usual "bad" words to describe bitcoin. Waste of time to watch the rest of it. The first few comments says a lot already.

No , they only need 51% with a PoW coin,
but it is the same as having a loaded gun, if no one pulls the trigger then no one gets hurt,
as long as the top 4 mining pool operators don't collude to pull off a 51% attack, then no harm.
But you are not trusting hashrate to secure bitcoin, you are trusting the top 4 mining pool operators.  Tongue

As far as when the Governments are planing an all out attack on bitcoin, contact your local CIA office for the details.  Smiley

The video demonstrates anyone foolish enough to accept a crypto coin without waiting the recommend confirmations is just asking to be double spent on. And accepting zero confirmations is an idiot move, bitcoin has always recommended waiting 3 confirmations.


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December 26, 2019, 10:10:42 AM
 #15

No , they only need 51% with a PoW coin,
but it is the same as having a loaded gun, if no one pulls the trigger then no one gets hurt,
as long as the top 4 mining pool operators don't collude to pull off a 51% attack, then no harm.
But you are not trusting hashrate to secure bitcoin, you are trusting the top 4 mining pool operators.  Tongue

People trust those pool prefer steady and stable income by being honest rather than quick profit (e.g. fooling exchange/merchant by double-spend sent Bitcoin) by perform 51% attack.
Your statement is only true if they prefer quick profit, don't care about losing money/reputation or pool operator is being illogical.

bitcoin has always recommended waiting 3 confirmations.

bitcoin don't have conscious nor intelligence to make such recommendation Tongue

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December 26, 2019, 02:35:04 PM
 #16

No , they only need 51% with a PoW coin,
but it is the same as having a loaded gun, if no one pulls the trigger then no one gets hurt,
as long as the top 4 mining pool operators don't collude to pull off a 51% attack, then no harm.
But you are not trusting hashrate to secure bitcoin, you are trusting the top 4 mining pool operators.  Tongue

People trust those pool prefer steady and stable income by being honest rather than quick profit (e.g. fooling exchange/merchant by double-spend sent Bitcoin) by perform 51% attack.
Your statement is only true if they prefer quick profit, don't care about losing money/reputation or pool operator is being illogical or Coerced!

bitcoin has always recommended waiting 3 confirmations.

bitcoin don't have conscious nor intelligence to make such recommendation Tongue

Someone woke up on the literal side of their bed this morning.


Clarification:
Most Bitcoin exchanges recommended waiting 3 confirmations for deposits before considering a transaction complete.

Satoshi originally recommended waiting 6 confirmations.

The point is only fools recommend zero confirmations for any coin.

FYI:
https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/confirmations/
Quote
How many Bitcoin Confirmations are Enough?
0
Payments with 0 confirmations can still be reversed! Wait for at least one.
1
One confirmation is enough for small Bitcoin payments less than $1,000.
3
Enough for payments $1,000 - $10,000. Most exchanges require 3 confirmations for deposits.
6
Enough for large payments between $10,000 - $1,000,000. Six is standard for most transactions to be considered secure.
60
Suggested for large payments greater than $1,000,000. Less is likely fine, but this is to be safe!



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December 27, 2019, 01:13:47 AM
 #17

But you are not trusting hashrate to secure bitcoin, you are trusting the top 4 mining pool operators.  Tongue

If the pool operators collude...

Why won't the pool participants just leave the pool and join some other pool?

Khaos77
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December 27, 2019, 05:03:44 AM
 #18

But you are not trusting hashrate to secure bitcoin, you are trusting the top 4 mining pool operators.  Tongue

If the pool operators collude...

Why won't the pool participants just leave the pool and join some other pool?

Sure, they can do that, but the damage will already be done.
* Currently only 10 major pools to choose from.*

The Powers that could collude 4, could collude all 10.
That is the problem when a coin is not really decentralized.

Pooling would have to be banned to return security to the hashrate and not the pool operators.


ETFbitcoin
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Use SegWit and enjoy lower fees.


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December 27, 2019, 06:50:15 PM
 #19

* Currently only 10 major pools to choose from.*

The Powers that could collude 4, could collude all 10.

I hope you don't forget http://p2pool.in/

That is the problem when a coin is not really decentralized.

Are there any coin that really decentralized from all aspect Tongue

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December 27, 2019, 11:25:52 PM
 #20

miners have sunk costs and depend on selling coins to cover the sunk costs

at equilibrium the coin rewards and costs are nearly equal, forcing sale of majority of coins

by selling coins miners depend on the users on the market to give them value

if coin owners don't like what miners are doing, they can sell the coins costing miners money so miners are unable to cover sunk costs

miner abuse could easily cause a fork via algorithm change or user activated forks

then coin owners can sell only on specific forks to effectively
1. crash the security of that chain
2. profitability of miners on that chain (i.e. losses)
3. crash value of every owner of coins on that chain (exodus)

Big difference in 25 coins/block worth $7000 each and 25 coins/block worth $1 each

miners answer to users, both depend on each other.

https://i.imgur.com/eDY9gGY.png



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