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Saturday, June 18, 2022

How Trustless is Bitcoin?

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How 'Trustless' Is Bitcoin, Really?

The New York Times. Siobhan Roberts, June 6, 2022

Rice University's Alyssa Blackburn and colleagues have dissected the anonymity of bitcoin, reporting in a paper that "information leakage erodes the once-impenetrable blocks, carving out a new landscape of socioeconomic data." The researchers aggregated multiple leakages and bitcoin addresses, determining 64 key agents mined most of the existing bitcoin in the first two years since the cryptocurrency's launch. Blackburn devised hacks for this period, and tapped human lapses like insecure user behavior, operational features innate to bitcoin's software, and methods for connecting pseudonymous addresses. She said very few people serve as network arbiters, "which is not the ethos of decentralized trustless crypto." Blackburn also noted that the concentration of resources undercut the network's security, with a miner's computing resources found to be commensurate to their mining income.

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