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posted by martyb on Monday June 16 2014, @11:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the mine!-mine!-mine! dept.

Fears and warnings about the consequences of a single entity obtaining majority network power have been known for some time, but have generally been dismissed as not conveying enough control to be worthwhile.

For the first time, and for several extended periods, the GHash mining pool delivered 51% of the bitcoin network hashing power, despite promises that they would never cross the 50% threshold.

Although GHash did not take advantage of its monopoly power during these times, it does seem that we have crossed a threshold. How do you trust the blockchain to an anonymous monopoly?

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16 2014, @06:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16 2014, @06:27PM (#56041)
    • With a sane definition of "fake", they can't generate (nor validate) fake transactions (they would not be accepted by the rest of the network anyway)
    • They can't steal your bitcoins
    • They can, with a higher probability than before, generate a transaction with their own bitcoins, wait for the recipient to accept it in exchange for money/goods/..., then generate a second block that will replace the first one and cancel this transaction ("double spend attack"). They could also probably cancel a transaction by someone else by the same method.
    • But this probability is not all-or-nothing when they reached 51% of hashing power; anyway, for large amounts, recipients wait more than 1 block confirmation, and rather up to 6 blocks. They would need a far higher hashing power to replace 6 blocks in a row to do a double-spend.
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