Bitcoin technology entrepreneur, author and supporter Andreas Antonopoulos shared his views on which factors or global events could seriously threaten the existence of Bitcoin in 2020 and beyond.
It turns out the list is quite short
Bitcoin likely to survive a 51 percent attack
First, Antonopoulos noted that 51 percent of attacks – usually the biggest problem in most situations when it comes to Bitcoin’s existential threats – aren’t really that scary. While it is theoretically possible for a large group of malicious entrants to try and gain control of 51% – or more – of Bitcoin’s hashing power to disrupt the network, such attacks are extremely expensive and not even very effective.
“Such attacks are very expensive to carry out, require enormous coordination, bring very little benefit and can be relatively easily prevented. So for such huge costs, so little pay and such a huge risk, we have not seen 51 percent attacks and I don’t think there will be any, “Antonopoulos said.
He added that even if such an attack occurred, Bitcoin would likely survive, as there were not many abuses that could actually be committed during the attack. They will not be able to steal people’s money, change the consensus rules or turn invalid transactions into valid ones. This is largely due to the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, as not only miners validate transactions – they are also nodes, exchanges and traders.
Is Bitcoin protected from disasters?
Speaking of more catastrophic events, Antonopoulos said that while the huge electrical damage would certainly affect Bitcoin badly, banks and existing financial systems would be hit much harder.
“Bitcoin would be one of the first things to return,” in the event of a large-scale electrical damage or natural disaster that damages infrastructures such as the Internet or the electricity grid, Antonopoulos said.
Bitcoin is not just a self-financing system; its decentralized community of users, miners and node operators has many incentives to rebuild their local infrastructures in a timely manner.
As recently reported, Bitcoin does not depend on an internet connection to work in some cases. For example, Blockstream’s satellite network allows transactions to be made only with a satellite TV antenna and a smart device. “Bitcoin simply requires a communication medium, ” Antonopoulos said; even shortwave radio or telephone lines could be used for a while.
Similarly, while concerted attacks on cryptocurrency equipment – such as viruses – could be alarming, the network could survive after them, and quick solutions to these problems could be found, Antonopoulos added.
When hackers and natural disasters are already commented on, what is the next biggest threat to Bitcoin?
What would happen if governments turned against Bitcoin?
If there is one thing that worries Antonopoulos, it is political attacks on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In particular, he is concerned about ” vile political attacks”, such as changing the tax status of the cryptocurrency in order to collapse.
“I think such attacks could alienate a large chunk of the middle class and speculative investors who will not take the risk of opposing governments to use Bitcoin, ” Antonopoulos explained.
He said he believed more than half of the human population lived under totalitarian, dictatorial or authoritarian regimes, where “opposition to government is a matter of life and death.”