While The Dust Has Settled, Is Binance’s Idea Of Rolling Back The Bitcoin Blockchain Feasible?

Is Binance’s Idea Of Rolling Back The Bitcoin Blockchain Feasible?

Following the $40 Million hack, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange startup Binance publicly discussed whether the company might seek to encourage bitcoin miners and node operators to “rollback” the bitcoin blockchain, reversing transactions confirmed by the network to return the funds.

This would require pushing for consensus from major miners and mining pools to gather over 51 percent of the network’s total hashing power.

Zhao said:

“To be honest, we can actually do this probably within the next few days. But there are concerns that if we do a rollback on the bitcoin network at that scale, it may have some negative consequences, in terms of destroying the credibility for bitcoin.”

To try and roll back the network without an agreement between the entire industry and community would most likely be seen by many as effectively an attack on the bitcoin network, which is intended to be immutable. Nevertheless, the idea is not without context, as it has been brought up in the wake of exchange hacks in years past, and, on at least one smaller blockchain network, actually executed.

Many people were very skeptical of the move, one of them being WhalePanda. He said:


Prominent Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song explained via Twitter that the amount of time it takes to create a secondary, hack-free blockchain is reduced as more hash rate is collected. This makes for less mining revenue sacrificed during a re-organization. Basically, more mining pools can roll-back Bitcoin for cheap when compared to fewer colluding parties.

Zhao ultimately agreed he simply doesn’t have the power to “unhack” the $40 million worth of Bitcoin stolen, albeit after being educated on the matter by those close to him. It should also be made clear that the cost of re-organizing Bitcoin does not define the security of the Bitcoin blockchain entirely. In fact, the value of Bitcoin really comes from the impossibility of schemes like the one proposed by Zhao.

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