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Issue #403: Full-on attack, a hypothetical

Issue #403: Full-on attack, a hypothetical

Jan 22, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #403: Full-on attack, a hypothetical

Here's an important thread that anyone interested in Bitcoin should read. If only to get an understanding of a potential worst-case scenario, all-out assault on Bitcoin and the people who use it.

Your jolly Uncle Marty isn't bringing this to your attention to fear monger but to highlight the attacks we should have in mind when working to fortify the Bitcoin Network as quickly (and carefully) as possible. As our friend Richard Myers points out, "This is the lens we need to use when we evaluate any new Bitcoin technology. How does it help or hurt in a worst case scenario? Survival is more important than short term adoption."

The fact that 7d5x9's thread doesn't seem very implausible means Bitcoin probably isn't where it needs to be to survive a nation-state level attack. Bitcoin has remained a non-threat in the eyes of the state up to this point in time. This dismissal has allowed Bitcoin to get to a pretty solid state, being secured by billions of dollars of geographically dispersed energy. However, I would argue, it is still easy for governments to target and crack down on individual users with relative ease. We witnessed this in Venezuela when the government started monitoring the grid to identify Bitcoin miners so they could seize their hardware and mine for themselves.

We must be careful as we build out this network so that we do not leave it open to be ultimately taken over and controlled, or worse, destroyed by a motivated government with relative ease. This is why I am so critical of other projects that approach these problems haphazardly, making tradeoffs to attain ease of use while making their networks more susceptible to attacks similar to the one described above. Or worse, attacks that are significantly less extreme, like showing up to one of Amazon's server farms and unplugging a few machines.

Always vigilant.

Final thought...

Been having vivid dreams about skateboarding this week. May need to cop a deck.


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