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Cryptos' Achilles Heel: The Rise of the '51% Attack'

Acadian examines the rise of attacks on cryptocurrencies and explains why they threaten the very core of an entire class of cryptocurrencies - those based on the “proof-of-work” paradigm, which includes Bitcoin.

Written by Acadian Asset Management

 

  • As of January 8th, Ethereum Classic is experiencing a “51% attack,” whereby malicious agents have stolen over $1.1 million by assuming control of enough computing power to falsify the currency’s transaction history. During 2018, several other cryptocurrencies were subject to similar attacks that netted fraudsters over $20 million.
  • We believe that these attacks threaten the very core of an entire class of cryptocurrencies, those based on the “proof-of-work” paradigm, which includes Bitcoin.
  • Paradoxically, the threat to this class of currencies has been exacerbated by their very success; namely, their integration into mainstream financial institutional frameworks.

 

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