What do you Know About a 51 Percent Attack on Bitcoin and Crypto?
Bitcoin and crypto evangelists can't help but rave about security, decentralization, censorship-resistance, and other distinguishing features that make the sphere so attractive.
Over the years, we have heard that Bitcoin is the most secure public chain in the world. Nefarious agents, try as they can, wouldn't override and usurp the system.
All this is thanks to the Bitcoin hash rate and the distribution of its mining nodes—read mining pools.
Taking over the network and peeling back BTC transactions requires an agent or a group of workers to control over 51 percent of its hash rate.
It has never happened in Bitcoin—considering the level of investment sunk in to prop the network.
But in case the impossible happens and agents control over 51 percent of the Bitcoin network, then that would be a 51% Attack.
It's also called a Majority Attack.
Hackers who would actualize this economically unfeasible act have latitude.
Because they control a transactional layer valued at over $1 trillion, they would, at their volition, single-handedly block BTC transactions or prevent them from being confirmed.
Those 1 million BTC said to be controlled by Satoshi? Give them enough time—rolling back time to genesis—they would unwind transactions and take control of those coins.
The good news is that this attack is virtually impossible in Bitcoin. From an economic perspective, it doesn't make sense. You'll need trillions to buy new miners and some more to cater for electricity costs. Rumors of such an attack would also force more miners to the system, making costs even higher. The attacker could even be boxed out.
Since this is in the open, being caught is also high.
A combination of monstrous costs and jail time has so far been an effective deterrent.