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Bitcoin Is Not Broken by Kashmir Hill,

Bitcoin Is Not Broken by Kashmir Hill,

Uh oh, Bitcoin is broken,’ said two researchers fromCornell University who released a paper to the press this week about a potential flaw in the hot cryptocurrency’s code. Computer science professor Emin Gün Sirer and grad student Ittay Eyal described a scenario by which selfish participants in the Bitcoin ecosystem could monopolize the profits to be made from “mining” the coins, and over time, drawing others to their cause, eventually oversee all Bitcoin transactions, centralizing control of the decentralized economic system. However lead Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen is skeptical, saying that even if potential attack described in the paper is accurate, its claim that it could ultimately fundamentally break the currency is based on a series of bad assumptions.

Andresen is not the only skeptic. Despite the spate of articles this week about Bitcoin being “fundamentally broken,” the cryptocurrency hit a record highthis Tuesday, passing $270 briefly on Mt. Gox.

“I’m not convinced it’s correct and I don’t think it’s been peer-reviewed,” said Andresen by phone from Australia. The researchers are only submitting the paper for peer review now, says a spokesperson for Cornell University, so it has not yet been looked at by academic colleagues for obvious holes. Andresen, who had read the 17-page research paper about a problem in Bitcoin’s core protocol that would allow selfish miners to build longer branches on the blockchain secretly and cut other honest ‘miners’ out from getting Bitcoins for their work, did not have an immediate pronouncement on whether the vulnerability exists or not.


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This entry was posted on November 6, 2013 by and tagged .

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