According to a new study, in the future, a full transition to ASIC-miners for bitcoin mining will help to increase the cost of an attack by 51% to 2,000 times, thus increasing the security of the network.
At the Unitize 10 conference, the University of California at Santa Barbara presented a study co-authored by Maarten van Oordt, a research consultant at The Bank of Canada’s currency Department.
The study examines the cost of a 51% attack on the Bitcoin network, depending on the type of hardware used to protect the network. The researchers concluded that a complete switch to ASIC miners for bitcoin mining will significantly increase the network’s security, and the cost of a 51% attack will increase up to 2,000 times.
The main reason is that ASIC miners are almost not used and have little value outside of the mining industry. An attacker will not be able to make a large profit from selling the hardware used in the attack. Therefore, in order to make a profitable attack, you will need to conduct a double spending attack on a huge number of coins, which is expensive and difficult.
The researchers found that to carry out a profitable 51% attack on the Bitcoin network after the next halving, attackers will need from 157,000 to 530,000 BTC, if all bitcoin mining is carried out by ASIC miners.
According to the analytical company Messari, the cost of a successful 51% attack on the Bitcoin blockchain in February of this year was more than $21 million per day. For comparison, a similar attack on the Ethereum network cost about $2.7 million.
In addition, at the beginning of last year, experts noted the danger of increasing the liquidity of the market for mining capacity, as in parallel, attacks of 51% using leased hashing power are becoming clearer and clearer.
Recall that in April of this year, it was reported that Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV became vulnerable to attack by 51% after halving the reward for miners, and in January, the Bitcoin Gold network was attacked by 51%.