Andreas Antonopoulos Won’t Back the Notion a 51% Attack from China’s Government on BTC Is Possible


Andreas Antonopoulos is most well-known for his work on Mastering Bitcoin, but he is in the news today for some interesting comments against the Chinese government. On Twitter, he commented that there is just no way that a successful 51% attack could be completed against the Bitcoin blockchain by the Chinese government.

The discussion stemmed from a post of Anthony Pompliano on Twitter, dated March 16th. The tweet noted that the scalability of Bitcoin should not be a concern, considering that it had just reached a new high in its network capacity.

A prominent XRP community member, Galgitron, asked Pompliano to compare XRP’s use to that of Lightning Network, which was likely an attempt to bring in the debate that XRP is capable of outdoing Bitcoin. He noted that the 51% would occur as soon as Bitcoin loses the top spot by market capitalization, which it has continued to hold for the last decade.

After being tagged by Galgitron, user @ptothehyphen disagreed, noting that there is a correlation between that kind of price action and the 51% attack. Even if a takeover of Bitcoin happened, there would be substantial power needed for the attack, but he added that, with crypto, “anything can happen.”

Galgitron quickly retorted that, since price and hash rate is connected, as well as hashrate and exposure to 51% attacks, then the risk of attack and the price should be connected as well. Realistically, this type of attack is entirely possible, but the resources needed could impede it.

Before the 2018 bear market, there was a major risk of being dominated by miners in China, considering the stake that Bitmain had in the mining pool at the time. However, that stake has since dwindled, making the risk smaller.

Galgitron was not done, taking the moment to go after Antonopoulos. He said that he would not be considered the “best authority” to discuss the potential for the attacks, considering that he avoids the events that led to the Chinese nearly holding a majority stake in Bitcoin.

James E Williams jumped in to describe the factors that he believes best shows the three threats to the industry for these attacks, with two of those threats involving hardware directly.

When Antonopoulos replied, he pointed out that a mining pool is different from actual mining, saying that the attack described simply wouldn’t be done because it wouldn’t work. He added that a 51% attack is the “least likely attack vector” to come against BTC.

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