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Proof of work is a new technology, and it has amazingly protected Bitcoin for five plus years. Still, there may be no greater point of weakness in Bitcoin. While a 51% attack doesn't appear to offer a lot of financial gain, monetary gain may not be the motive of the attacker. In part one, we go through a cost analysis of the current hardware needed to launch a successful 51% attack to get a better picture how much it might cost. Unfortunately, the numbers are lower than expected, and most of the previously published values come in three to fifty times higher than actuality. In part two we will talk more about what an attacker might be able to do (double spending is not the worse tool at their disposal) and we prod at some possible solutions. Stay tuned.
Welcome to WBN's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard Series -- a full beginner to expert course in bitcoin. We hope you enjoy. And remember the official WBN launch is coming up : July 1st, 2014.