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How Plausible is a 51% Attack on Bitcoin?

Sep 10, 2018

  • A 51% attack involves a group of crypto miners that control more than 50% of a cryptocurrency’s total hash rate or mining power. 
  • By controlling over 50% of a cryptocurrency’s hash rate or mining power, the mining group can prevent new transactions or reverse old transactions, allowing double-spend and theft.  
  • As seen in the chart below, at least four of the seven largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining groups would need to come together to successfully execute a 51% attack.
  • While unlikely because of the size and mining distribution of BTC, the threat is very real. 
  • Within the last three months, Bitcoin Gold, Zencash, Verge, Monacoin, and Litecoin Cash have all sustained 51% attacks.