A 51% attack on the Bitcoin network requires $ 21 million
According to Messari Pro, we only need about $ 21 million a day to sustain a 51% attack on the Bitcoin network. If this figure is correct, this cost makes Bitcoin nearly eight times more expensive than the cost of attacking the Ethereum network. At the same time, you only need to pay almost $ 2.7 million to attack Ethereum for a whole day.
What is a 51% attack?
They are commonly known as an attack on the Blockchain system. This attack is performed by a group of miners controlling over 50% of the network’s hashrate. The purpose of this attack is to prevent new transactions from being verified, thus causing network congestion. If more serious, the transaction will be reversed if the attacker has complete control over the network.
A 51% attack cannot change old blocks in the Blockchain system. Therefore, hackers will not be able to destroy the Bitcoin network or other cryptocurrency networks. However, this attack will still have many negative consequences.
51% attack on Bitcoin network
A 51% attack is said to be one of the biggest threats to many Blockchains. Because, once a group of miners or some evil entity has more than half of the network’s hasharte, they will gain control of Blockchain.
To attack Bitcoin, you will need to have enough mining machines to control half of the hasharte Bitcoin. And that means matching the existing hashrate. According to Messari estimates, the cost of an attack is based on the hashrate rental cost on NiceHash – a cryptocurrency mining market.
Similarly, hackers can gain control of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Litecoin, etc. Blockchains for less than $ 1 million each time. Meanwhile, the Ethereum Classic Blockchain can be destroyed (again) for only $ 326,000, at the current price.
If carried out successfully and sustained long enough, a 51% attack can allow someone to selectively block new transactions, reverse recent transactions and maybe even perform a block Blockchain when rewriting previously validated blocks and causing temporary chain splits. However, it has been argued that the costs associated with securing sufficient mining power long enough to execute a 51% attack on a well-protected Blockchain make most coins running the Proof-of-Work algorithm safe from such attacks.
However, some less prominent blockchains have been attacked like this in the past. This includes Bitcoin Gold, Verge, and Vertcoin. All because they lack enough hashrate to make it cost-prohibitive. But for $ 21 million, someone will need to be quite motivated to take out Bitcoin.
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