06 Nov '13, 3pm

The Bitcoin flaw that could bring the currency down #selfishminers

The Bitcoin flaw that could bring the currency down #selfishminers

Bitcoin contains a hitherto unnoticed flaw which threatens to upset the balance of the $1.5 billion economy built on the virtual currency. Ittay Eyal and Emin Gun Sirer, of Cornell University in New York have discovered the "devastating" potential for Bitcoin "mining" – the process by which Bitcoins are generated – to be manipulated (arxiv.org/abs/1311.0243v1). Bitcoins are generated when people connect their computers to the network and set them to work on a cryptographic puzzle. This is known as mining. When a puzzle has been solved it adds a digital "block" to the public record of all Bitcoin transactions, known as the "blockchain". The miners are then rewarded with a set amount of Bitcoins. The blockchain is occasionally split into branches when separate users generate blocks from the same previous block. Miners agree to work on the longest branch, so as soon as one of...

Full article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24534-bitcoin-flaw-...

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