After two years, the time that such an attack would take has doubled. The largest mining pool barely exceeds 15% of Bitcoin’s processing power.
An attacker would require at least 600 days to reverse the 12 years of records on the Bitcoin blockchain. That would happen even if he controlled the entire hash rate (or processing power) of the network.
Time has passed and the blockchain has grown, making an attack that reconfigures the Bitcoin network increasingly difficult. It is also not possible to reverse its history of mined blocks, processed transactions, and issued coins, according to data from bitcoin.sipa.be.
The Time that It Would Take to Rewrite the Bitcoin Blockchain
A graph on this website indicates the historical equivalent of Bitcoin’s proof of work (PoW). The mining and validation process of the chain reflects a clear increase in this difficulty. After just two years, the number of days that such an attack would require has doubled.
The calculation arises from “dividing the ratio of the entire proof of work by the estimate of the hash rate accumulated on the network during that time.” In other words, it is “the amount of time that an attacker with 100% of the hash rate would require to rewrite the blockchain.”
The factor that determines the probability of finding blocks and mining coins on the Bitcoin network is miners’ hash rate. If someone had full control of that processing power, he could extract all the coins without mining on Bitcoin. Even in that case, it would not be very easy for anyone to attack the network, given that it currently accumulates more than 678,000 blocks.
Bitcoin Mining Power Distribution and the Increase in Difficulty
The Bitcoin Code includes various mechanisms that control the relationship between the processing power and the mined blocks. This process seeks to maintain the probability of finding a block approximately every 10 minutes. Therefore, greater accumulated processing power on the network increases the difficulty of the mathematical processes that the miner must solve.
The difficulty level has reached all-time highs above 23.13 T after the most recent difficulty adjustment. With this increase, the mining difficulty exceeds last year’s all-time high. On the other hand, the mining power on the Bitcoin network is around 160 EH/s, according to data from statoshi.info.
That situation would make it difficult to attack the Bitcoin network to rewrite its history. Besides, the total processing power of the network remains distributed enough whereby a single group can control 100% of it.
AntPool is currently the largest pool (or group of miners) although it barely controls just over 15% of Bitcoin’s hash rate. Only BTC.com, Poolin, F2Pool, and Binance Pool, individually, exceed 10% of the network’s hash rate, according to data from BTC.com. This scenario shows that the decentralization of the power of the network makes it robust and secure against attacks.
By Alexander Salazar