Honest doubt here. What’s stopping China from taking over Bitcoin?

Recently discovered that Chinese mining pools control as much 80% of network hash rate. Since the Chinese government virtually runs a authoritarian government, what's stopping them from taking over these mining pools? Is there something I'm not aware of here?


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30 comments

  1. This is really simple to explain. You know how all is Americans aren’t teaming up to control Bitcoin? With China, it’s kinda like that. Just like the entire population of America is not a single person, the entire population of China is also not a single person.

  2. Kryptoboar

    |Author

    You ‘muricans are funny. The truth is no one here would bat an eye if 80% of the hash rate was in the USA.
    Somehow if its other countries, they become a single entity with an evil will that will “take over” stuff.

    But as long as its the glorious USA, it’s all fine, for boy we all know the USA only acts with the highest moral standards and for the common good and freedom of all mankind. Amen.

  3. They haven’t seen it as a serious threat yet I guess, if the do, there will be nothing stopping them from taking over the mining pool or even create their own to sabotage the network.

    Note: obviously I am taking about bitcoin and other proof of work cryptos here.

  4. thedesertlynx

    |Author

    Very true. Definitely [read this](https://dashnews.org/can-bitcoin-survive-china-mining-pool-attack-without-chainlocks/). We need to think about hybrid systems that don’t put all the eggs into one mining basket and leverage incentivized nodes for part of base protocol security. Node hosting distribution is quite different, and using both mining and sybil-resistant nodes together can significantly mitigate the China risk.

    Remember, decentralization is for censorship resistance, and if all your security is centralized in a system dominated by a single country, that isn’t so decentralized after all.

  5. marcustroit

    |Author

    Absolutely nothing, but it won’t be good thing for them due to the competition reasons. If China would dominate the cryptocurrencies sphere with such huge BTC takeover, many people would leave behind btc and other cryptos too. It would lost a value also.

  6. ded_ch

    |Author

    I always wondered why crypto currencies are seen as so hard to manipulate/control. What a lot of people seem to forget is, that Bitcoin relies completely on a free internet. No internet, no payments, no mining etc.
    And the internets freedom has been deteriorated massivly in recent years.

    Or am I wrong here?

  7. shadowofashadow

    |Author

    Any government could do this with their own resources.. it wouldn’t take the theft if the farms, they can just do it themselves. The protection is to have a strong community that can prevent a majority attack even by an entity as big as the government.

  8. Cryptography90

    |Author

    This is one of the questionable attributes BTC needs to have an honest and, open answer. Chinese miners controlling the majority of the mining pools. BTC as an peer to peer crypto assets also should be called into question.

    Why you say because clearly states in satsoshi white paper that BTC main use case to to be an Peer to peer exchange of value. BTC has failed to prove this at scale, speed and, cost. So now BTC is suddenly a store of value declared by the community and BTC whales.

    Hmm kinda strange we went from peer to peer transactions at scale to store of value.

    Let’s also discuss how BTC whales lobby Washington to bring down other projects. Chris Larsen from. Ripple has openly stated that BTC whales are lobbying Washington to destroy other digital assets via regulatory uncertainty.

    I know this will be disliked but heck if someone is going to be critical about btc and, have an opinion outside of this echo chamber I’m willing to put my head at this topic without hesitation.

    FYI I’m a huge crypto enthusasist and, I respect the fck out of bitcoin being the first of its kind in the crypto space. But this is technology and technology develops and, becomes superior overtime.

  9. Eksander

    |Author

    Why would they, if they can be secretly in control of btc and wait for it to take over the dollar, collapse western economy so that then they can impose btc as the global currency under their control? But by then we will have long sold our bags, so dont worry

  10. nanoissuperior

    |Author

    This is the proof of stake Vs proof of work argument

    Proof of work people will just say you can fork the network if they take over bitcoin and start changing it. But then technically it’s not bitcoin anymore, just like BCH isn’t bitcoin anymore.

    Proof of stake solves this but creates other problems because with proof of stake you don’t need to keep funding the 51% in order to continue doing it. You just need to get 51% and then bingo it’s over.

    Nobody knows which is the harder one to do because no large authority has tried to do either.

  11. ericla1014

    |Author

    There’s nothing stopping them. Is this likely though? I’m from China and I don’t think the government wants to spend the time and resources to kill btc as long as they don’t experience mass capital flight from btc. And that’s why they banned exchanges because now there’s no way most people can transfer large amount of money out of China with bitcoin. Maybe a little through localbitcoin but nothing substantial. People sometimes think the Chinese gov wants to do anything to kill freedom etc. just for the sake of it, but actually they really don’t care as long as their power and control is not violated. So really there’s no point of China spending resources to “kill” bitcoin when they can easily prevent the common people from getting btc with banning exchanges and propaganda.

  12. Kukri4321

    |Author

    Nothing stopping them.

    The issue lies with ASICs. There is nothing wrong with ASICs themselves, the problem is that China have access to very cheap manufacturing & very cheap electricity to run ASICs so have an unfair Monopoly.

    The solution lies in ASIC resistance. Monero are currently putting the final touches on the Random X mining algo (goes live in October update) that’s looking very likely to address the ASIC issue.

    As to wether Bitcoin can or will (we all saw the split caused by blocksize debate) implement their own version of randomX, it remains to be seen.

  13. Ma_tee_as

    |Author

    You have to explain what “taking” over means.
    -If China just seizes all Chinese miners and shuts them down: btc is fine, because there are more than enough elsewhere.
    -If they take the control and keep mining and we know about it, all non Chinese miners will literally just fork off. Does this hurt the btc value? I am pretty sure it does. Does it mean you won’t be able to transfer value without any central authority? No.

    You have to define what you are concerned about and ask more specifically.

  14. CannedCaveman

    |Author

    It is an attack vector, but it would be very costly to perform an attack. First of all they need to seize all the physical miners. Then they would have to spend a lot of energy. Then they could attack the network without certainty it would succeed. And even if they succeed and do a reorg or something, the price would tank because no one would want BTC anymore (or BCH and BSV, since they run on the same mining algo) so they would win worthless equipment and coins with paying a lot of money.

    And on top of that I think that developers and honest miners and users can think of solutions to create a fork or something, but I’m not smart enough to come up with those right now.

  15. [Absolutely nothing](http://galgitron.net/Post/How-China-Can-Kill-Bitcoin). They wouldn’t even have to gain anything financially. They could do it to prove a point or just because they felt like it.

    If they decided they wanted to kill BTC, all they have to do is hold a few guns to a few people’s heads and tell them to execute a double spend. Faith in the almighty security of BTC would suddenly be shattered and would never fully recover.

    Is it likely? All I know is China has a history of doing really ****** up **** to impose its will on those who want freedom, from Tienaman Square, to Tibetan genocide, re-education camps, assassinating business leaders who offered privacy solutions, Hong Kong, Internet and media censorship, etc.

  16. bryanwag

    |Author

    You are correct to be concerned. Actually, it’s not the mining pools that controls 80%. It’s that 78% of the physical miners locate in China. So you can’t just switch pools. The biggest miner manufacturer, Bitmain, headquarters in Beijing, right under the eye lid of Chairman-Mao-wannabe President Xi. In no way would he or the communist party let Bitcoin succeed and take financial power from the state. I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have eyes on all the large mining farms in China.

    Researchers at Princeton actually wrote a paper on it, covering many attack vectors when the Chinese government take over a significant portion of physical miners (scenarios of >50% and <50% included) in China. And no, full nodes can’t protect Bitcoin from those attacks. As soon as one of those attacks are successfully carried out, confidence in the “store of value” narrative will collapse.

    China is the black swan that Satoshi never anticipated. It is now Bitcoin’s single point of failure.

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1810.02466.pdf

    Edit: thanks for the corrections, 78% does not refer to physical miners. The actual data is unknown. But it’s still reasonable to assume that this number reflects nationality of the hash power to a large degree, given what we know about the massive mining facilities and operations in China.

  17. warche1

    |Author

    In this hypothetical scenario, there’s nothing stopping people from forking off the ledger before the Chinese takeover and calling it Bitcoin (social agreement based on non-hijacked miners hash rate). The hijacked ledger can afterwards be known as Bitcoin China (and be worthless).

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