Is bitcoin broken? Gavin Andresen responds to mining vulnerability paper

Gavin Andresen today formally addressed the recent paper titled 'Majority is not enough: bitcoin mining vulnerable'.

Nov 7, 2013 at 4:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2021 at 11:46 a.m. UTC

Gavin Andresen, writing on the Bitcoin Foundation blog today formally addressed the recent paper published by two academics at Cornell University titled 'Majority is Not Enough: Bitcoin Mining Vulnerable' saying:

"It is unfortunate (but entirely predictable) that the release of a not-yet-peer-reviewed paper generated so many sensationalistic headlines. Peer review works best when everybody involved is given time for conversation and debate without being contacted by reporters on deadline."

The paper, which drew the attention of major news outlets around the world on Tuesday has already been the subject of some controversy within the bitcoin developer community which largely rebuffed the claims.

Andresen even commented publicly on Twitter saying that it was 'Not a big deal'.

In today's post he continued:

"I’m not going to write about the specific claims in the paper; lots of smart people are, or soon will be, thinking really hard about the issues raised and whether or not the researcher’s model matches reality.

However, it is good to note that in my initial review, I believe the paper’s assertion of a fundamental flaw is based on some over-simplified assumptions about how the bitcoin mining market works.

This response is not meant to discourage academic research. In fact, as a Foundation, we believe that the strength of the open source development process is bringing together lots of incredibly smart people to consider and resolve long-term issues like those raised by researchers. To that point, we are proud sponsors of International Financial Cryptography Association. During their 18th international conference, they will be hosting the first Bitcoin Technical Workshop.

We encourage researchers to submit papers and expect to see excellent work that will add immense value to the protocol and community."

Indeed, intelligent responses have already started to emerge. For example, Ed Felten on 'Freedom to Tinker' today published the idea of a 'Fair Weather' mining strategy, where miners simply collude to do whatever is best for themselves at the cost of the Selfish Mining pool.

TJ3GY58TBCB2

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
After Armstrong Tweet, India's Crypto Policy Body Says No Contempt of Court Challenge vs. RBI

The Coinbase CEO last month suggested the RBI's "shadow ban" of crypto exchanges violated a Supreme Court ruling.

The Coinbase CEO last month suggested the RBI's "shadow ban" of crypto exchanges violated a Supreme Court ruling.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Portuguese Congress Rejects Two Bills Seeking to Tax Crypto

The proposals were submitted by two leftist parties. The government, which also seeks to apply taxes, hasn’t submitted a proposal so far.

The proposals were submitted by two leftist parties. The government, which also seeks to apply taxes, hasn’t submitted a proposal so far.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: Regulatory Attention on Terra Could Change South Korean Trading Environment; Bitcoin Goes Sideways

The founders of two prominent crypto-related organizations said tightened restrictions could make it difficult for foreign tokens to list on Korean exchanges, discouraging projects from trying.

The founders of two prominent crypto-related organizations said tightened restrictions could make it difficult for foreign tokens to list on Korean exchanges, discouraging projects from trying.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
A16z Doubles Down on Crypto Investments Despite Market Downturn, and NFL Launches Play-to-Earn NFT Game

The most valuable crypto stories for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

The most valuable crypto stories for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown