An attacker would have to mine for two years to rewrite the Bitcoin blockchain

An attacker would have to mine for two years to rewrite the Bitcoin blockchain

Key facts:
  • This metric helps us to understand the robustness and security of Bitcoin.

  • Reorganization attacks are theoretically possible, but unlikely.

If someone wanted to rewrite the transaction history recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain, they would have to mine and accumulate work for 2 years to achieve it.

The statistic of how many days it would take to reorganize the blockchain is reflected on the page Bitcoin Stats, from the developer Pieter wuille, which shows this and other interesting data from the Bitcoin network.

It should be noted that this metric does not include the difficulty setting, which would increase as the malicious miner’s processing power also grows.

An attacker would have to mine for two years to rewrite the Bitcoin blockchain
As of January 2022, a miner would have to invest about 800 working days to mine a blockchain as long as Bitcoin. Source: Bitcoin Stats.

Reorganization attacks are theoretically possible, but not practical. A miner would have to invest colossal amounts of energy, processing power and time to create a blockchain that appears to be as valid as the one it is intended to replace.

Also, the network nodes, which maintain the consensus on which is the correct blockchain, would have to ignore that this new blockchain is different from the real one.

However, the metric helps us to estimate and assess how much work has been invested in making Bitcoin a robust, secure and practically unchangeable network, thanks to its mining.

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An attacker would have to mine for two years to rewrite the Bitcoin blockchain

CriptoNoticias recently reported how Bitcoin miners managed to exceed their processing power repeatedly for the past few weeks.

This year 2022, miners got off to a good start, reaching 209 exahashes per second (EH / s). However, as of today, January 4, the hash rate has fallen back to 170 EH / s, levels that it maintained on average during the month of December 2021.

An attacker would have to mine for two years to rewrite the Bitcoin blockchain
Bitcoin’s hash rate declined in mid-2021, but surpassed its all-time highs at the end of the year. Source: Glassnode.

In addition to this factor, Bitcoin mining took important steps in 2021, such as achieving geographically decentralization, listing on the stock market, making its energy consumption more efficient and sustainable, among other milestones that we have compiled in CriptoNoticias.


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