[bitcoin-dev] Miner dilution attack on Bitcoin - is that something plausible?

Richard Hein richard.hein at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 18:58:01 UTC 2018


It's important therefore to ensure that everyone can make ASICs, IMHO.

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 2:34 PM, Артём Литвинович via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Dilution is a potential attack i randomly came up with in a Twitter
> arguement and couldn't find any references to or convincing arguments of it
> being implausible.
>
> Suppose a malicious actor were to acquire a majority of hash power, and
> proceed to use that hash power to produce valid, but empty blocks.
>
> As far as i understand it, this would effectively reduce the block rate by
> half or more and since nodes can't differentiate block relay and block
> production there would be nothing they can do to adjust difficulty or black
> list the attacker.
>
> At a rough estimate of $52 per TH equipment cost (Antminer pricing) and
> 12.5 BTC per 10 minutes power cost we are looking at an order of $2 billion
> of equipment and $0.4 billion a month of power costs (ignoring block
> reward) to maintain an attack - easily within means of even a minor
> government-scale actor.
>
> Is that a plausible scenario, or am i chasing a mirage? If it is
> plausible, what could be done to mitigate it?
>
>
> -Artem
>
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