What Is A 51% Attack?


Jake Morr


August 25, 2023

A 51% Attack is when an entity attempts to control over half of Bitcoin's mining power, aiming to manipulate the blockchain. However, executing this on Bitcoin has become virtually impossible. While feasible with nascent altcoins (i.e., shitcoins), Bitcoin's advanced computational strength prevents even large nation-states from overthrowing it through computation. In such an attack, the malicious actor must recreate the Proof-of-Work for altered blocks and produce new ones faster than all honest miners combined, as nodes recognize the longest chain as the valid one. Achieving this requires immense computational resources, making the attack highly improbable. Notably, as Bitcoin matures, executing such an attack becomes increasingly challenging and economically unviable, ensuring the security and integrity of the blockchain.

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