EBA: Bitcoin’s biggest problem is still the threat of a 51% attack

FinTech | June 19, 2015 By:

Bitcoin’s biggest problem is still the threat of a 51% attack, according to Dr Dirk Haubrich, head of consumer protection and financial innovation at the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Haubrich said his main concern about the widespread adoption of bitcoin is the risk of a 51% attack, where a single entity contributes the majority of the network’s mining hashrate and, thus, gains full control of the network and can manipulate the blockchain.

Haubrich added, that he had spoken to numerous members of the virtual currency world two years ago and at the time, he was assured majority power would never occur. After it did, people assured him it didn’t matter, as the 51% would not abuse the system.

“As a financial regulator, I don’t believe it. I’ve seen so much stuff happen from the financial institutions that created the financial crisis – and that is partly what brought about virtual currencies in the first place – so I don’t believe in those promises any more,” said Haubrich.

Haubrich feels the European Banking Authority could probably find a way to split up mining pools to prevent a 51% attack, but he is reluctant to go down this route.