Connect with us

Bitcoin

What is a 51% Attack?

Published

on

51% attack

The Bitcoin network is one of the most secure financial payment networks in the world. As a decentralised network, it lacks a focal point of failure and since its inception in 2009 it has never been successfully hacked, despite various attempts.

However, there exists the danger of a so-called 51% attack against the Bitcoin network, which would cause massive internal disruption to bitcoin to the extent where the currency could become unusable.

A 51% attack refers to one bitcoin mining operation taking control of more than half of the bitcoin network’s hashrate.

Until very recently, most bitcoin holders believed the chances of a 51% attack ever happening to be very slim. The notion that a single entity would one day control more than half the computing power used to mine bitcoin was seen as an almost impossible task. For seasoned bitcoin users, however, the threat of a 51% attack has been an ongoing conversation in the crypto community, especially in light of large mining operations emerging in China, which would eventually collude to take over the network.

How would a 51% attack work?

For people who aren’t regular bitcoin users, the existence of such a threat is probably new. To get a better understanding of the danger this threat poses to bitcoin, here is a simple explanation on how it works.

Presently, they are close to 13 million bitcoins in existence and every 10 minutes 12.5 new coins are added through a process called mining. To mine bitcoins you need to deploy specialised bitcoin mining hardware that are specifically designed for the task. These computers will join other machines, which run the same program, in attempting to solve a complex mathematical algorithm to process transactions and, thereby, mine new blocks in the blockchain. For the new blocks mined, the miners are then rewarded in the form of new bitcoins. Currently, most miners are in mining pools with the aim of uncovering more blocks regularly and sharing the rewards.

Once a single mining operation would take control of more than half of the network’s hashrate it would have the power to reverse transactions and, therefore, engage in double spending. Once double spending occurs in the Bitcoin network, no more trust will be left in it and it would most likley become unuseable as a financial payments network.

With the Bitcoin network being open and accessible to anyone, nothing is really stopping a company from making a massive investment in mining hardware capable of taking over the entire Bitcoin network. However, one could argue if this would be in the best interest for such a company. Even if someone were able to initiate a successful 51% attack, complete control of bitcoin would still be out of their grasp. While it would present a significant threat, controlling more than half of the hashrate is not enough to shut down bitcoin.

They may be able to reverse transactions, but only for those sent by wallets under their control. If two different users transact between each other, but neither is part of the entity holding more than half of the hashrate, their transfers cannot be reversed. However, they would have to put up with no network confirmations for some time. The perpetrators of such an attack would not remain in control for that long, making the entire undertaking quite inefficient to carry out.

In some ways, this seems as an important crossroad for bitcoin as an issue that has often been discussed in a theoretical sense is now within the realms of possibility. With mining pools in China holding large percentages of network hashrate, collusion can be a possibility.

It remains to be seen whether a 51% attack will ever happen but given the amount of vested interest in the Bitcoin network staying decentralised, I would be surprised to see such as an attack taking place.

Bitcoin

Paxful’s #BuiltwithBitcoin Initiative to Fund Rwanda Water Project and Afghan Scholarships

Published

on

Paxful Fund Rwanda Water Project

Peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful has announced a new development in its #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative. The company is launching a Rwandan water tank project that will be spearheaded by AnthemGold, their new initiative member; additional classroom resources for the Rwandan nursery school that was built as the first #BuiltwithBitcoin project, and award more than $15,000 scholarships for female Afghan refugees to pursue their careers in the United States.

Paxful’s scholarship beneficiaries include Susan Naseri who is interested in non-profit work and law; Dunia Azizi, who will pursue a mathematics degree; and Farzana Nawabi, who is working towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The beneficiaries were chosen by Zam Zam – a non-profit organization partner for the program – based on the personal essays they wrote describing the hardships encountered while getting an education, migrating to the U.S. and blending into the American society while pursuing their careers and raising families.

Susan Naseri, one of the beneficiaries, said: “As a recipient of the Zam Zam Water scholarship, I’d like to express endless gratitude and appreciation to Paxful and everyone involved in the donation process. Receiving this scholarship is not only an immense honor and privilege; it also eases my financial stress significantly. I’m beyond humbled and thankful for this scholarship; thank you eternally for helping me expand my education and fulfill my dreams.”

Paxful Expansion and Partnership

Paxful Fund Rwanda Water ProjectFor the initial scholarship, winners were given $5,000 paid in two installments each of $2,500. Zam Zam Water will continue running the scholarship as an annual program. In addition, both Paxful and Zam Zam welcomed AnthemGold to the #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative after the virtual currency provider contributed enough bitcoin to construct a 35,000-liter water tank as well as fund the cultivation of more than 80 sustainable community gardens and 30 goats for two villages in Rwanda.

Speaking of the initiative, AnthemGold’s CEO, Anthem Hayek Blanchard said: “I am grateful to participate in a project that builds sustainable and essential projects for communities in need. We hope to use Zam Zam’s knowledge to provide people with the building blocks needed to foster and grow.”

Paxful’s announcement comes after its May announcement regarding its investment expansion in Africa by electing a new African Regional Director and building an incubation hub for blockchain technology in Lagos, Nigeria. The hub is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018 and will be a co-working space that will provide services such as mentorship, advice on ICOs, and individual and corporate blockchain training. Paxful will also be sponsoring various crypto-focused events in Nigeria and plans to hold talks with similar events in Kenya, Ghana, and Cameroon.

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Crypto-Finance Platform Nebeus Enters the Africa Market

Published

on

Nebeus
Image by Nebeus

Cryptocurrency users in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana now have full access to the suite of Nebeus services. The “crypto bank” Nebeus enables users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, enjoy remittance services, and access crypto-collateral loans, among many other services related to crypto-finance.

Opening access to Crypto-Finance services in Africa

Nebeus is a London-based fintech startup that runs a P2P exchange platform, offers crypto-collateral loans and incorporates a user-friendly bitcoin wallet. Nebeus was founded in 2014 with the aim of delivering a cheap, convenient and highly efficient service that catered to the demands and challenges of the evolving cryptocurrency landscape.

The crypto-finance platform will take advantage of local telcos and mobile money to penetrate these new markets, according to a company press release. Mobile banking has enabled African countries to leapfrog many developed nations by tapping into a previously unbanked segment of the population. The success of mobile money platforms, such as MPESA in Kenya, has attracted a number of fintech and blockchain companies to the African market.

The pay-in and pay-out corridors for the trading service include MPESA in Kenya, Airtel mobile money in Uganda, mobile money (Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo) for Tanzania, mobile money (MTN) Cameroon, Mobile Money (MTN) for Nigeria and MasterCard, Verve (Cards) and online banking for Nigeria. The established network of local payment partners will provide access to crypto-services for a population of over 400 million people.

Nebeus also aims to play a greater role in serving the African remittance market, which is estimated to receive billions of dollars annually. The company’s objective is to become the focal provider for this section of the African economy.

Alex Lempka, Nebeus’ Director of Communications, said: “Cryptocurrencies have a potential to make a significant impact on developing countries in many ways by providing a bridge into the global economy. Nebeus is looking forward to playing a major role in that by providing necessary infrastructure for all participants”.

Continue Reading

Bitcoin

Golix Relaunches ICO and Expands Into Kenya, Uganda and South Africa

Published

on

Golix Launches ICO

Zimbabwe’s digital currency exchange, Golix is relaunching its token sale, which was planned for mid-May but abandoned after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a cryptocurrency ban which was later overturned by the Harare High Court.

The exchange, which has been operational for three years, has also announced that it has launched its services in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda as from Friday 1 June 2018.

“As part of our strategy starting from Friday 1 June, people in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda will be able to start trading from Golix. This is one of our plans to be the leading exchange in Africa, which inspired by the vision to provide financial autonomy in the continent, ” said Golix’s Head of Growth, Panashe Tapera.

Out of 54 countries in Africa, only three have local cryptocurrency exchanges while the rest are still to realise the potential held by the blockchain technology.

Golix has set its target to avail its services across the entire African continent to address the cryptocurrency infrastructure shortage which has slowed down the adoption of digital currencies.

Golix Lead of Special Projects, William Chui, stated that the token sale was an initiative they set afoot to enable instant remittances and international payments through cryptocurrencies.

The Token Sale

“Since from onset our main agenda is to provide financial autonomy in Africa. The GLX token is going to be used to facilitate and realise this agenda. People from respective different countries will be able to buy the GLX token from the exchange using their fiat currencies. The GLX token will be used to buy other Altcoins in the exchange, all this will be done at zero transactions fee.

“The GLX token will also be used to facilitate remittances and international payments at lesser fees, compared to current banking methods. This cascade immensely towards contribution of GDP growth in African countries,” said Chui.

The GLX token, an Ethereum ERC20 token, will be available for purchase from Friday 1 June 2018 10 AM UTM/GMT on the Golix token sale website, tokensale.golix.com.

Potential buyers can use bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) to buy the GLX token, which has been priced at $0.05612.

1,274,240, 097 tokens will be availed but only 637,120,049 are going to be sold during the token sale and the public will only be able to buy half of the tokens.

*Disclaimer: This post is informational only. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this article.*

Continue Reading

Popular Posts