Bitcoin protocol

Multi Billion Dollar Bounty to Crack the Bitcoin Protocol

Bitcoin Protocol is an Impenetrable Fortress

While hackers are having their way by launching 51% attacks on Bitcoin Gold’s blockchain and double-spending to steal millions of dollars worth of digital currency and also while other malicious cyber criminals are stealing millions of dollars worth of Verge’s XVG by injecting fake timestamps onto to its blockchain, the flagship cryptocurrency’s Bitcoin protocol remains an impenetrable fortress.

There are those who will bring to your attention a number of incidents in Bitcoin’s early days when its ledger fell victim to a value overflow incident. In a nutshell, what happened was that an entity was able to mint 180 billion Bitcoins “out of thin air”. In order to resolve this issue, programmers back then used a soft fork, a backward-compatible upgrade, to remove the bug in the Bitcoin protocol. The possible disaster was quickly prevented and the highly skilled developers were able to reorganize network transactions, thus stabilizing and securing Bitcoin’s blockchain.  

Security Experts Fail to Hack Bitcoin

Of course, there are arguments in the crypto community regarding which specific word to use to describe the stack overflow incident. Also depending on who you ask, a number of people will tell you that the Bitcoin protocol has never been hacked. At the same time when the stack overflow incident occurred (2010), a post on Quora by Brian Schuster – Head of Founder Solutions at Ark Capital – states that Wences Casares, a fintech entrepreneur, hired a number of security experts and paid them $500,000 just to try to crack the Bitcoin protocol.

The post further mentions that:

“After six months of serious investigation, they came back and said that it couldn’t be done. The software was built well and the network did what it was supposed to.”

Experienced Software Architect Weighs In On Bitcoin Security

Meanwhile, Evar Dion, a software architect with more than 16 years of programming experience, brought up a rather interesting point to the discussion. He noted first that if a hacker was able to infiltrate the Bitcoin blockchain, then he could execute a BTC transaction via any address. Therefore, he says there’s a multi-billion dollar bounty that could be rewarded to anyone if they were able to crack Bitcoin’s protocol. The reason for this would, according to Dion, be that the value of all the Bitcoins (BTC) would take a sharp nosedive once the hack becomes know to the public.

Despite almost 10 years since the Bitcoin whitepaper was published and its blockchain implemented, there have been ZERO bounty winners. That’s obviously because the flagship cryptocurrency has never been hacked. Moreover, as the years have passed, the bounty has skyrocketed due to a dramatic rise in Bitcoin’s market capitalization. What’s even more mind-boggling is that Bitcoin’s source code is open-source, which means literally anyone in the world can view it. In spite of this, nobody has managed yet to hack Bitcoin.

Dion elaborates on Bitcoin’s super high-level security:

“We know that nobody has tampered with the ledger itself because everyone who runs a full node has access to every single transaction that ever existed, so they can independently check the books and verify the integrity of the block-chain at any time.”

Waiting For Quantum Computers

Although there have been many hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges, as Dion mentions, and advises crypto traders not to leave too many coins on an exchange where you do not have control over your private keys, it remains a verifiable fact till this day that the Bitcoin protocol has never been cracked. Dion confidently asserts that until quantum computers are capable of breaking Bitcoin’s SHA-256 encryption, the Bitcoin blockchain is immune to hacks. Interestingly, the experienced programmer says that we don’t quite know exactly when quantum computers will become powerful enough to break into Bitcoin’s impenetrable fortress.

Reference: 

Post / Discussion On Bitcoin’s Security