Crushing Bitcoin via a Graph Attack?

Kumar Thangudu

August 22, 2017

In operations research, one of my specialty areas was graph-node attacks on polymer supply chains.

This exercise consistently requires a decent level of math, thinking at the gigascale, lots of situational context, and plenty of simulation.

Cryptocurrency is out of my realm/I can’t read the source code….so I’m quite a bit out of my element….

One question I have about cryptocurrency is how many $M of dollars would it take to shut down a Proof of Work Bitcoin Blockchain?

Assuming you can’t shut down the internet or prosecute anonymous nodes that are leveraging decentralized monero carrying exchanges……

Assume access to energy is cheap because you can buy surplus solar energy stock from countries during the day and burn natural gas peaker plants at night.

Let’s toy around with the idea a bit though.

Let’s say you get mining rigs with the following characteristics:
16 x 1⁰¹² Hashes/second
$1500 a miner.

6 exahashes/second — Bitcoin’s network.

I don’t have a calculator on me but that means you’d need about 300K to 500K of the miners I described to even think about attacking the bitcoin network graph.

That would be something like $300M to $1B with all the electricity costs smacked in….I’m guessing you could get electricity for cheaper than 4 cents a kilowatt.

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