Over the past few years, Bitcoin has experienced a huge number of attacks and external criticism, getting a reputation of Antifragile. This term was coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and describes the phenomenon when something becomes popular under unfavorable conditions.
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile.”- says Taleb.
From this point of view, probably, in order to kill Bitcoin, you just have to stop criticizing it. However, in the world of constantly competing currencies and precious metals, this is very unlikely to happen.
Attacks on Bitcoin: Past, Present, and Future
Several months ago, the user of the Reddit network, under the nickname themetalfriend, compiled a list of all attacks that can be aimed at killing Bitcoin. In his opinion: there are three most common types of attacks on Bitcoin:
Attacks to slowdown the Bitcoin development
Attacks to slowdown the Bitcoin adoption
Attacks to reduce the efficiency of the Bitcoin infrastructure
From all the above it follows that all three types of attacks are interrelated. At the very least, they lead to the same result. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.
To ‘Kill’ Bitcoin
By imposing bans on using Bitcoin, governments can cause some inconvenience to the owners of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was banned in many countries, particularly in Ecuador, Afghanistan, Morocco, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Bolivia, but these bans did not bring any results. At the same time, such countries like the United States and the European Union countries, do not even plan to prohibit cryptocurrencies.
In China and South Korea, even banal rumors about the possible prohibition of Bitcoin were immediately reflected on its exchange rate. But even at the times of general public fear, Bitcoin continued and continues to exist.
Despite the fact that many countries are trying in every possible way to prohibit the use of this cryptocurrency, they simply cannot stop the interaction of this citizens with the network. Today, services like Blockstream Satellite broadcast real-time blockchain data from satellites to almost all countries including Africa. Satellites enable everyone on the planet to connect to the Bitcoin blockchain even without access to the Internet.
As for transactions, there are several anonymous ways to send Bitcoins, including Tor browser, top VPN services, SMS messages, encrypted messages or even stenography and ordinary postal services.
It is useless to prohibit Bitcoin or any specific cryptocurrency since its code may change very quickly, much faster than the next legislative ban is ready. Even a well-coordinated legal attack from the UN and the WTO is likely to lead only to the fact that Bitcoin will go underground. There is a high probability that Bitcoin can become a subject of contraband, as it happened with drugs.
If we talk about the persecution of those who are engaged in mining and owns big sums in crypto, then this has already happened. For example, Charlie Shrem was sentenced for aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Despite such cases, underground black markets continue to gain momentum, so we can conclude that even the most severe punishments and bans do not stop users, but only fuel their interest in the cryptocurrency.
Because of the fight against money laundering, various governments constantly increase their pressure on cryptocurrencies. Authorities dictate their own rules and require that exchanges and wallets share their users’ personal data under the guise of KYC and AML rules. It is possible that tax authorities will soon become interested in data of Bitcoin traders, as it already happened with Coinbase. It is necessary to take into account the fact that, one way or another, anonymous trade takes place anyway.
Cyberwarfare includes hacking and various kinds of illegal manipulations in social networks. Bitcoin, in spite of multiple hacking attempts, demonstrated its excellent resistance to such attacks. Bitcoin owes its high level of protection to its Proof-of-Work system.
If even cyber crooks manage to change the Bitcoin code or alter transaction records, the network will immediately reject such actions. The more decentralized are the nodes in the network, the less likely such attacks succeed. At the moment, more than 12,000 such attacks have been recorded.
It should be noted that Bitcoin owners and various services related to it (like exchanges and wallets) are exposed to attacks much more often than the cryptocurrency itself.
Companies serving the cryptocurrency industry often get compromised, and data leakage occur. For example, large Bitcoin exchanges, such as Mt.Gox and Bitfinex, have been…