Cryptocurrency mining drop leads to fresh security fears

Fears rise of a 51% attack, as the number of people mining crypto drops by over a third…
Over the past few months, the number of people mining crypto has been falling, in line with the reduced price across the board of most crypocurrencies.

Now, according to research from Autonomous Research LLP (and reported by Bloomberg), it’s been estimated that at least 100,000 individual miners have such down their operations, simply because it’s no longer cost effective to continue mining. Furthermore, some 1.4 million servers have been unplugged from the network since the start of September.

It’s believed that the level above which mining Bitcoin can be profitable is $4500, and the price of the currency crashed through that level last month. At the time of writing, it’s not recovered its position either, and remains below the $4000 mark.

Which has all led to the hash rate on the Bitcoin network falling by more than a third since the summer. This, in turn, has led to only big operations being able to make a return from mining. And consequently, concerns are being raised that with fewer and fewer companies and individuals still in the market, that the threat of a possible 51% attack is growing.

A 51% attack is where someone controls just over half of the underpinning blockchain, and is suddenly able to wield way too much power over transactions. In the worst case scenario, doing so that allows them to make off with a lot of money.

This would all be offset by a Bitcoin market recovery, of course. But confidence in that happening in the immediate future doesn’t appear to be too high. Whilst Bitcoin continues to trade at its current level, mining levels are likely to remain suppressed too.

Image: BigStock

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