While the media and national governments point out that the main danger associated with Bitcoin is money laundering, high volatility and uncertainty over the long-term value, the real threats to the protocol are completely different. There are two main ways on which to block chain can be attacked to steal Bitcoins – by attempting to fraudulently add or
modify blocks. Although the BTC system defends the chain against such practices using digital signature and key encryption – theoretically a risk, however, always exists.
The most popular types of attacks
Attacks on the security of the BTC system have happened and they still happen very often but in the entire protocol history, only one large incident had place – a gap was used that allowed to create almost unlimited number of coins. However, the problem was solved within few days, the core of the system was updated and from now on the whole sstem works without major security leaks.
Types of attacks that users have so far used to do (usually with low efficiency) are primarily:
- race attack – when transactions are not confirmed, stores and service providers may be exposed to a race type attack. In this case, two transactions are created for the same funds to fund the portfolio of two different entities. The principles of the protocol ensure that only one of them can be implemented and added to the block chain.
- finney attack – once again applies to transactions without confirmation. In this case, participation of the miner who dig the block is necessary. While the likelihood of such an event is very small, even with the appearance of almost ideal factors transferred by the BTC fraudster, they may return to his portfolio again.
The operation of the BTC protocol and its security system means that finding any gaps and stealing coins is practically a miracle. The only way to illegally acquire Bitcoins is to use human naivety, lack of knowledge or irresponsibility. The more Bitcoin becomes more popular, the more websites that encourage you to invest your funds in virtual coin trading appear.
A brief history of BTC shows an example of many exchanges that collected money from their clients and suddenly disappeared in the least expected moment. Determining your rights in this case is extremely difficult – the market is not regulated and nothing really protects the investor.
In 2012, it was assumed that 5-9% of all transactions on BTC stock exchanges were carried out in order to buy drugs or weapons on the illicit market in a dark net (a secure network with difficult access). The confirmation of this fact was, according to some, a temporary drop in the BTC price as soon as the US authorities closed Silk Road in 2013 – an online marketplace operating in the TOR network (dark net), where most of the exchanged goods were illegal