Explaining 51% Network Attacks - What Price Does It Take To Hack A Network?

Explaining 51% Network Attacks - What Price Does It Take To Hack A Network?

2021-10-14 | Big Bob

Explaining 51% Network Attacks - What Price Does It Take To Hack A Network?

A 51% assault on a blockchain network occurs when a group of miners controls more than 50% of the network's mining hash rate — the total computer power allocated to mining and processing transactions. A blockchain is a data storage and recording ledger system. Simply said, a blockchain is a continuously updated and reviewed distributed ledger of transactions. A blockchain is made up of a decentralized network of nodes, which is one of its most important characteristics (a crucial piece of ensuring that a cryptocurrency remains decentralized and secure). A blockchain is decentralized in the sense that it is not controlled by a single person or a small group of individuals. This decentralization is critical since all blockchain participants must agree on the present state of the network. The validity of the block's state may be guaranteed by requiring a whole network of dispersed participants to agree. Consider it a request for a movie suggestion. It's possible that even if you ask someone whether a movie is excellent and they say yes, it's still bad. However, if you asked 1,000 different individuals about the movie and they all answered yes, there's a far greater probability it's good because it's been confirmed by a large number of people. This "consensus" ensures that a miner may verify a new block of transactions only if the network nodes agree on the block's validity in proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains like Bitcoin. These consensus algorithms are the blockchain equivalent of fussy movie critics: they will only see a new film if everyone believes that it is excellent. In the case of a PoW blockchain, "everyone" refers to all of the mining nodes, or "miners." These miners compete by using their machines to produce a code (known as a hash) with an equal or greater number of zeros at the beginning than the goal hash (the code every miner needs to beat). Whoever creates the winning hash that beats the target hash gets to fill a new block with transaction data and receive free crypto and transaction fees.

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