Will the slump trigger a bitcoin attack? Meeting!

BlockBeats 0x22 source block rhythm BlockBeats

When you open this article, there is already a coin hit by 51% force.

In the context of the recent fall in the currency price, the worst man is actually a miner. On the other day, the price of the currency was stared at the close of the machine. The mine, which was fried in the sky, had been dump with the pots and pans and piled pots. Even on the other side of the United States, Giga Watt, the top mining company, also made a bankruptcy petition to the court on 20 November and owed $70 million in debt.

The mining machine is shut down and the mine is bankrupt… What does that mean? According to blockchain.com data, from October this year, the total network computing power began to continue to decline. In October 31st, the total network calculation was about 60EH/s, and today, only 39EH/s was left, and more than 1/3 fell in a month. Before this, including this year’s continued bear market, the whole network calculation is basically in line with the trend of exponential growth.

Before we further analyze the deep meaning behind this, we need to know about the principles of the mining of bitcoin and the economic principles behind it.

So-called Bitcoin mining, in simple terms, is to convert electricity into money. With a professional ASIC chip to calculate the hash function of the bitcoin SHA-256, the more the miners have, the more likely he will be able to figure out the right value first, that is, to dig out the next bit. In this process, a large amount of electricity will be consumed, and the cost of electricity constitutes the main part of the cost of mining.

Because of this, it has come into being. “The energy of bitcoin mining is equivalent to 4 Chernobyl nuclear power plants.” The statement. Natural miners will stop the loss of money when the income of bitcoin falls below the cost of mining.

And a mechanism for bitcoin mining is The difficulty of digging (that is, the difficulty of solving the hash function) is adjusted every 2 weeks. The speed of the block is not too fast when the force is too high, and the speed of the block is not too slow when the force is too low. It can always be stable in 10 minutes or so.

The following figure is the data provided by bitcoinwisdom, which changes the difficulty of the mining of bitcoins. It can be seen that the reduction in the difficulty of mining has also begun to decline since October. In the recent difficulty adjustment, the difficulty of mining was reduced by 15% more than ever before. Before that, the bitcoin power was reduced only 2 times, almost all the rest of the time was growing, nearly 3 times higher in less than a year.

According to the theory of microeconomics, In a fully competitive market, the miners’ profits should be close to zero. . Because when the price of bitcoin is rising and the profits are profitable, the profits of the miners will increase in the short term, but it will soon be available. The new miners joined, This means the increase of the total network calculation force and the increase of the whole network calculation force. The difficulty of mining is improved.

For a miner with constant power, his chances of digging into the next bit are lower. So the increase in profit was soon passed away by the competition that followed.

From the data, the increase in computing power and the decline in the price of bitcoin, Miners’ profits have been in a steady slide this year. Gradually approaching to zero. However, in this, the mine owners should be divided into two parts.

According to the statistics of Diar, At the time of 9 and October, the profits of the small miners with high electricity prices were almost zero, while the profits of the large mine owners with low electricity prices continued to decline, but the profits were about 59% in October. That is to say, while a large number of small mine owners leave the field, there are still a considerable number of large mine owners in the state of profit, which can continue to produce, and the price of the coin still continues to fall.

Fall again, will the bitcoin world have a 51% force attack?

So, what is the deeper meaning of the miner’s shutdown and the decline in computing power? Some people have put forward the view that: The cost of bitcoin 51% force attacks has fallen, and the security of bitcoin is likely to be threatened.

At first hearing, such a point of view surprised people in a cold sweat.

But in fact, how likely is the possibility of a successful 51% – force attack on special currency?

According to the estimates of Cryptoslate, The 51% – force attack on the special currency requires $1 billion 400 million. 2 million 400 thousand specialized ASIC mines are needed, with a power consumption of about 29.3TW a year, which is equivalent to the power consumption of the whole country of Morocco for one year. About $two hundred and fifty million in infrastructure for the storage of these mines, including mine construction, ventilation, and so on; And if you want to run these equipment for a day, the electricity bill for a day is about $2 million, and the manpower and other costs are $240 thousand…

The reason for the high cost of bitcoin attack is that besides the large number of calculations, one reason is it. Checkpoint (check point) mechanism. By hard coding a set of blocks and their hash in the code, the nodes synchronize the block automatically to check whether the checkpoint can be checked before, and if the chain is not honest, it will be discarded.

Usually the checkpoint will be set far away, and the transaction before the checkpoint is not modifiable. If an attack is to be made, a chain must be separated from the farther checkpoint. The calculation force is very high and the cost of attack is greatly improved.

The main feature of bitcoin is to resist the malicious node and anti censorship system. In order to achieve such safety, it is necessary to carry out mining. Through an ingenious combination of cryptography and behavioural economics, miners can be rewarded for honest behavior and the maintenance of network security.

There is a weakness in such a system, that is If a malicious party controls more than 50% of the power, it can attack the whole system. However, such an attack is expensive for bitcoin. Some people say bitcoin has wasted a lot of resources, but bitcoin is intended to be designed to make it an expensive and unrealistic idea to compare 51% force attacks against special currency.

Therefore, it is difficult to imagine a person or enterprise willing to pay such a cost to attack special currency. Moreover, even if someone is willing to pay high costs, such an attack will lose the confidence of the special currency system, and when the confidence of the consensus is lost, the bitcoin will become worthless, and what benefits can the attacker get?

Unless his only purpose is to destroy it.

We are more worried about the other block chains than the bitcoin attack.

A large network such as bitcoin does not have to worry about 51% force attacks for the time being, but for smaller block chain networks, the 51% attacks have appeared many times before (bitcoin gold, Verge, ZenCash were attacked earlier this year), and now the force has fallen sharply, and the attackers are more likely to move.

According to the data of the PeckShield situational awareness platform, between 2 29-12 months of November, The encrypted currency, Vertcoin (VTC), was attacked by 51% double flowers. The attack occurs at the block height: between 1043103 and 1044333, the block 104311010436191044432 of the attacker all contains double flower attack. It is understood that this is the fourth time that VTC suffered 51% attacks in the last two months, with a total loss of more than $100 thousand.

When an attacker mastered most of the power, they could choose any previous block, starting from here to extend another block chain until the block chain was longer than the “real” chain and became the longest chain. The blocks of the original chain are covered off and become invalid blocks.

It was reported that in the recent attack on Vertcoin, 310 blocks were covered, far more than a few previous attacks. During the four attacks, Vertcoin lost more than $100 thousand.

The Crypto51 site provides the cost data for each block chain 51% attack, which shows that, The cost of an hour of force attack on Vertcoin is only $125.

On twitter, a netizen commented, “only more than 100 dollars per hour to hire power is enough. It is inevitable that Vertcoin is attacked.” “So what is the cost of the other 51% power attacks on other networks? According to the Crypto51 data, the one hour attack cost more than the Vertcoin smaller chain to be outrageous.

How is the cost of attack on Crypto51 calculated?

It is based on the cost of leased power on the NiceHash. NiceHash is the world’s largest market for encrypted money calculation in the world, and can provide more than 20 different algorithms for calculating force buyers.

An attacker would have to pay a little rent and rent a force on such a platform to attack a large number of block chains in 51%. There is no need to pay the cost of the ground infrastructure, the manpower, and so on, as the Cryptoslate estimates the cost of the bitcoin attack.

The media also pointed out that the exchange would be the main object of an attacker’s attack. Because the exchange supports users to recharge, deal, and cash in the assets in a short time. After the attacker recharges the asset A into the exchange, it can trade quickly and replace it with another asset, B and cash. The 51% attacks on A are then launched to invalidate the recharge to the exchange.

As long as the asset recharge of the exchange may be ineffective, An attacker will not give up such a method of attack. So there will be more and more such attacks in the future.

In the face of this situation, how can an exchange deal with it? As long as there is one day in the presence of 51% attack risk assets, the exchange may suffer losses for more than one day. Then one day, the exchange may have to go down the assets, and the market will have a new shuffle.

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