[Cryptography] Yet another way to create Blockchain misery

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Tue Jan 4 21:10:57 EST 2022

I despise the notion of Proof of Work. It is morally and technically

The notion that the good guys with a crypto mining rid will outnumber the
bad guys is stupid and wrong.

People have talked about the 51% attack for some time but the dynamics of
the system make it possible for an attacker whose sole interest is to
disrupt and damage the chain to sustain an attack with considerably less
than 51% of the mining capacity. All they need to do is to have sufficient
mining capacity to ensure that it is unprofitable to out-mine them.

Consider the consequences of a complete collapse of Tether, without the
ability to magic a few billion 'dollars' into existence, what happens to
the price of BTC?

As everyone knows, China has 'cracked down' on BTC mining. Only it hasn't
really. Authoritarian government is weak government, the miners haven't
moved their rigs, the miners have paid off the officials. And that will
work for a while, and then the electricity will run out and then it will be
crackdown #2 this time with some of the operators being shot.

So forget the coinsplainer threat model in which the only motive for
attacking the chain is to make more money. I am playing Xi here and I want
to destroy the chain because to me it represents evil, because I want the
greedy capitalist leeches who feed off it to suffer and squirm.

And don't ask why Xi would want to stop BTC when it threatens the hated
yankeee dollar. First, remember the fact that China owns trillions of
yankee dollars in US debt. Second, why would authoritarian Xi not see an
authoritarian Libertopian currency scheme as a threat to his own position?

What I am going to do is to wait for Western regulators to demolish the
stable coins which are clearly securities, are unregulated and thus
criminal. Without the price support from Tether, the price of BTC etc. will
go into free fall, far below the cost of mining. The difficulty will fall
as well.

At this point I am going to confiscate and repurpose as much mining
capacity as I can find. But I am not going to use it to make money mining,
I am going to use it to sabotage the chain.

First priority is going to ensure I can maintain control by denying blocks
to every other miner. I don't need 51% of the potential mining capacity, I
only need to have more than the other active mining capacity.

So I use my capacity to mine 4, 5 blocks ahead of the rest of the chain,
then I dump my blocks out, taking away the reward. I don't do this
immediately, I wait so that I avoid increasing the work factor.

This is not the most profitable way to mine but I am not interested in your
filthy post-capitalist pseudo-money. My goal is making that money worthless.

I don't have to stick to a single strategy either. The miners decide to
force me out by mining even though they are losing money. So now I mine
blocks as fast as I can and we send the work factor many times above

The more miners I can train to learn that they will not make money mining,
the more rivals shut down and the easier it is for me to maintain control.

And now I just shut down my rigs entirely and wait for the
miners-for-profit to burn electricity trying to get the system restarted.
And after playing the game that way a few times, I change tactics again.

The point is that this is a cooperative game and I am not playing to win, I
am playing to make you lose. My only goal here is to make it so that it
costs you more to play the game than you win. I am not going to process any
transactions from any wallet that has received rewards from mining. I am
going to double and triple spend. I am going to use the coins I mine to
manipulate the price of BTC to hurt rivals even more.

The fallacy underneath the PoW silliness is the notion that a random
assemblage of Libertarian ubermenschen must win because the desire for
profit trumps all rival ideologies (which by the way cannot possibly exist).

Nor is Xi the only actor who might be motivated to simply destroy. To the
extent BTC works at all, it is creating a rival store of value to the
dollar and is thus intrinsically dilutive to very rich people whose wealth
is in dollars.

Thought experiment, imagine there is a button that if you press it will
cause every bored ape NFT to vanish. Do you press it? What if you had to
pay? $100 of course, $1,000... maybe $100,000... ?

Contrary to the facile ideology of rational choice, people do act from
irrational motives:
BBC NEWS | Europe | Liquidising goldfish 'not a crime'
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