2 Bitcoin Developers Explain How The Cryptocurrency Could Still Fail

Kevin Mwanza
Written by Kevin Mwanza
bitcoin developers
Bitcoin developers are more concerned with the survival of the most popular cryptocurrency than the forecasts involving its pricing in the coming years. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The developers behind Bitcoin are more concerned with making sure the digital currency does not fail completely rather than the cryptocurrency’s price predictions.

The price is predicted to reach $42,000 by the end of 2019 and rise to $100,000 two years later, according to Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra.

The notion that the Bitcoin system could face the “51 percent attack” could get more attention than the meteoric rise in the digital coin’s price, according to MIT’s Cory Fields and former Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell.

A “51 percent attack” refers to the hypothetical ability for a group of miners who control more than 50 percent of a network’s computer power to prevent new transactions from being confirmed or reverse transactions completed while they are in control of the network.

“I think people obsess far too much about “51 percent” — it has some kind of attractive mystery to it that distracts people,” Maxwell wrote on Reddit.

“If you’re worried that someone might reorder history using a high hash-power collusion — just wait longer before you consider your transactions final.”

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Bitcoin developers working to mitigate possible attack

Although improvements related to mining decentralization are in the works to try and mitigate the possibility of such an attack, impending government crackdowns on Bitcoin are likely to hurt the cryptocurrency.

This sort of attack could also materialize in the form of an altcoin – such as Facebook’s Libra – that starts from scratch with a more centralized model and overtakes Bitcoin’s network effects to become the world’s preferred form of digital money.

“My answer though is that the most likely sudden death scenario for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is an accidental bug that gets introduced internal to the system,” Fields said during a recent talk at the 2019 MIT Media Lab Cryptoeconomic Systems Summit.