[bitcoin-dev] New paper: On Bitcoin Security in the Presence of Broken Crypto Primitives

Ethan Heilman eth3rs at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 18:06:56 UTC 2016

"*Abstract: *Digital currencies like Bitcoin rely on cryptographic
primitives to operate. However, past experience shows that cryptographic
primitives do not last forever: increased computational power and advanced
cryptanalysis cause primitives to break frequently, and motivate the
development of new ones. It is therefore crucial for maintaining trust in a
crypto currency to anticipate such breakage.
We present the first systematic analysis of the effect of broken primitives
on Bitcoin. We identify the core cryptographic building blocks and analyze
the various ways in which they can break, and the subsequent effect on the
main Bitcoin security guarantees. Our analysis reveals a wide range of
possible effects depending on the primitive and type of breakage, ranging
from minor privacy violations to a complete breakdown of the currency.
Our results lead to several observations on, and suggestions for, the
Bitcoin migration plans in case of broken cryptographic primitives."

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