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Bitcoin The Almighty Buck Technology

Largest Bitcoin Mining Pool Pledges Not To Execute '51% Attack' 351

Posted by Soulskill
from the currency-with-an-option-for-hostile-takeover dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bitcoin transactions are confirmed by performing complex calculations, also known as 'mining.' If a single mining pool gains 51% of the overall computational power in the network, various forms of transaction manipulation become possible. Only a few years into Bitcoin's existence, this existential threat appears to be at hand, with Bitcoin mining pool ghash.io approaching 51% of mining power. ghash.io has now assured the Bitcoin community in a press release (PDF): 'GHash.IO does not have any intentions to execute a 51% attack, as it will do serious damage to the Bitcoin community, of which we are a part.' But can a network relying on such assurances survive in the long run?"
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Largest Bitcoin Mining Pool Pledges Not To Execute '51% Attack'

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  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:26AM (#45916689)

    Let me get this straight. In order to use Bitcoins, I don't have to trust any government ... but I *do* have to trust a group of random people on the Internet who have a massive stake in the market and say they would never manipulate that market.

    Choose your poison, I guess.

  • govt takedown (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cardoor (3488091) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:35AM (#45916801)
    what's to stop a central bank or government with unlimited funds (and that sees cryptocurrency as a threat) from deliberately buying up mining capacity and doing it themselves?
  • by 0p7imu5_P2im3 (973979) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:01PM (#45917165) Journal
    Ironically, the 51% attack is very similar to a phenomenon with the US Dollar that is commonly referred to with the politically correct monicker "Quanitative Easing" and the derogatory, though very applicable, term "bailouts."
  • by jythie (914043) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:33PM (#45917643)
    Some people are philosophically against inflation in general, there are also those that believe any planning or manipulation by regulators is inherently bad regardless of the outcome. There are all sorts of pop-economic arguments against quantitative easing, but their root tends to be mostly philosophical in nature.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:41PM (#45917749)

    There is very clear evidence that ghash.io ALREADY used their hashing power to execute a double-spend attack on the network (at less than 50% hashing power):

    https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=327767.60

    I wouldn't trust them an inch. Now the question is whether Bitcoiners are the same kind of sheeple that believe in the good intentions of governments. With ghash.io being a part of the new government of the Bitcoin world.

    I have the impression the miners are stupid enough to not care, to not switch, and Bitcoin will come crashing down when the next round of attacks happen due to this.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:16PM (#45918153) Homepage

    It depends which "us" we're talking about.

    People who should like inflation:
    - People with fixed-rate home mortgages
    - People currently holding gold (not because gold is a great investment - it loses to stocks and real estate - but because fear of inflation drives demand for gold)

    People who shouldn't care much:
    - People who are holding stocks or real estate
    - People living on government programs with automatic cost-of-living adjustments, like Social Security.
    - White collar and unionized workers who get annual raises to offset the effects of inflation.

    People who should oppose inflation:
    - People who have cash stuffed in their mattress
    - People living on fixed nominal incomes (this is fairly rare, but exists)
    - People making minimum wage, but only because Congress hasn't tied increases in the minimum wage to inflation like they should have decades ago.

    But you're right that typically moderate inflation isn't a problem, and in fact the Federal Reserve targets inflation at somewhere around 2% for a whole slew of good reasons.

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