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We hope you understand, and consider subscribing for unlimited online access. All day Friday, a bitcoin-mining company known as GHash. IO was in a position to blockade transactions or spend bitcoins more than once. Contributing computing power to the network is rewarded with newly minted bitcoins, so a considerable industry has grown around the practice.
Nakamoto had foreseen how such an attack could work, but he had designed the system under the assumption that it would be impractical for anybody to amass so much computing power. In fact, as the currency has grown in value, a handful of very large players such as GHash. IO have come to dominate bitcoin mining. Although an attack would be quickly detected, the effect on the perception and price of bitcoins would be severe.
IO is a mining pool, a collective that people join to make the returns from running mining software more predictable. A pool operator shares out the sporadic wins of members across the entire pool, taking a small cut. IO became so large because it made it so easy for miners to get started and to convert their winnings into other currencies.
IO had come to control the majority of mining power was brought to light in a blog post by two researchers at Cornell last Friday. One of them, postdoctoral researcher Ittay Eyal , told MIT Technology Review that the Bitcoin protocol should be updated to prevent mining pools from being able to amass so much computing power.
Discussion about how to do that has begun, but no easy-to-implement front-runners have yet emerged. In a blog post Monday , the bitcoin exchange CEX. IO , which operates the GHash. IO pool, said it was trying to convene discussions between major mining operations and the Bitcoin Foundation, which exists to support the core software, about ways to guard against majority attacks. In the short term, negative attention may offer some deterrent against anyone amassing a majority of mining power again.
The power of GHash. However, someone that managed to hack or coerce GHash. IO and one or two more mining pools could still stage a majority attack. Gavin Andresen, chief scientist for the Bitcoin Foundation and previously core maintainer of the Bitcoin code, has long warned that mining has become too centralized.
In a blog post reacting to concerns about GHash. Nonetheless, many people and companies are heavily invested in the cryptocurrency. Catch up with our coverage of the event. Content creation is hugely expensive for video-game makers. A way to automate some of the process would be hugely valuable, and this could be it. Experts suggest that having AI systems try to outwit one another could help a person judge their intentions.
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Intelligent Machines Rise of Powerful Mining Pools Forces Rethink of Bitcoin Design Bitcoin may need to be redesigned to fix a flaw that gave one company a chance to manipulate the cryptocurrency.
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