Craig Wright: Bitcoin as a security system

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Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer node design solves security problems, Dr. Craig Wright explained. Even if more than half the nodes are compromised—which would be hard—the network can still be recovered: “if there’s a single uncompromised node, it provides a legal evidence trail. So when people say ‘a 51 percent attack’, it’s actually more resilient than even that. If you have one percent of the network providing actual valid information and not the attack, you now have a legally verifiable evidence trail that can be rebuilt.”

In a wide-ranging interview in front of an audience of developers and entrepreneurs at the CambrianSV event in Lisbon in February, Dr. Wright, Chief Scientist of the London blockchain and Bitcoin research company nChain, was talking about the fundamentals of Bitcoin—his creation as Satoshi Nakamoto, back in 2009. He was in conversation with Ryan X. Charles, the founder of Money Button, who wanted to learn more about Dr. Wright’s thinking when he created Bitcoin.

Dr. Wright said that unlike security attacks on Windows or Linux, where the discovery of a single vulnerability can cause widespread problems, the development of a network of mining farms for Bitcoin SV means that an attempted attack would be the equivalent of “having to attack multiple companies with multiple different security policies, multiple implementations. And that’s far more difficult.”

And as the BSV ecosystem develops, its distributed nodes will become increasingly differentiated, making it even more secure: “In the future, I see the one [BSV] protocol, but I see individual mining farms will start developing their own software. Some of this already happens and it will be a more effective and efficient version for them …and that will make it more and more complex for anyone attempting to attack the network.”

What’s more, the incentive design behind the node system means that its size self-regulates as individual nodes join or leave: “If you have, say, 100 distributed global nodes in big companies and data centres …imagine what happens if something happens to one of the nodes – they’re suddenly taken out in a disaster or hacker attack or something like this …The profitability remains the same overall. So those other remaining nodes earn more. And this is the wonder of economics. So people see profit and once profit is distributed and noticed and seen, then other people will go, ‘oh, it’s time to turn on my node’ …And the network will self-heal because people will will see the money and see the suddenly increased profit margin from mining this area and will have idle machines that they turn on.”

After discussing the security design of Bitcoin, Dr. Wright went on to explain how, in contrast, private blockchains fall far short of what he had built with Bitcoin: “A private blockchain is an anathema. It’s anti security …It just means you’ve massively misunderstood the entire technology and have just used jargon to make up some junk because the entire security of the system is [based on] publishing widely.”

Hear the whole of Dr. Wright’s conversation with Ryan X. Charles in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

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