The Morning After: Cryptocurrency may be more centralized than you thought | JP

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One of the boons of cryptocurrency is meant to be that no particular company, central bank or government has control. Er, right?

That might not be true. Researchers for a report commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) found there can be “unintended centralities” in these supposed decentralized systems.

Cryptocurrency power is concentrated among people or organizations with a large chunk of the pie. Almost like any other capitalist system? Gasp.

“Unintended centralities” was the term used, defined as circumstances where an entity has sway over a so-called decentralized system. This could give them the opportunity to tamper with records of ownership. The report also notes three ISPs handle 60 percent of all bitcoin traffic.

The report said 21 percent of nodes are running an old, vulnerable version of the core bitcoin client. Attackers could target these nodes and take over the majority of a blockchain network. Theoretically, at least. But there have been plenty of cryptocurrency attacks in the last few years. Nothing wrong with some skepticism.

Real-life examples already exist: Read CNBC’s report on . It’s had issues with one major account holder wielding influence over the entire platform.

— Mat Smith

 

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Las Vegas News Magazine

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