Strengths And Weaknesses Of Bitcoin

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I. INTRODUCTION Claimed to be the successor of the Internet for its booming popularity, Bitcoin has recently surpassed yet another benchmark. The Economist reports on the 25th of May 2017 that one bitcoin is now valued more than twice the price of an ounce of Gold, more precisely and less figuratively, more than $2,600. However, Bitcoin’s revolutionary idea stems from the way it builds its own cryptosystem. Disregarding the bank or any central authority for that manner, Bitcoin sows a global, interconnected network of peers that tries to reach consensus despite adversity. It boils down to the Byzantine Generals Problem that, in many ways, emulates the real challenges any distributed system must face. Voting in the presence of propagation delays, …show more content…

The miner gets a reward, a portion of the system’s transactions becomes public so everyone can read it, and accordingly verify if everything is in order. All seems to work in theory, but as we shall see, some of what Bitcoin brings to the table isn’t always theoretically proven. Indeed, some of the implementations, despite being unproven are rather pragmatic, yet still fall under scrutiny and the vast umbrella of research. Like any system, Bitcoin has its strengths and weaknesses. A booming popularity now eggs the question: will Bitcoin be scalable in the future? Just because the mass is bombarded by articles claiming Bitcoin is the new revolution does not make it prone to attacks. In fact, quite the contrary, thanks to its popularity and the digital aspect of the currency, we can expect attackers to multiply and try to take advantage of every available vulnerability at each adequate time to steal bitcoins, or more generally, disrupt the entire system. Many alternatives, less popular than the original, have been erected. Their roles and takes vary depending on the issue they want to tackle. This article will focus on cryptocurrencies that were based off the Blockchain. Alternative chains and protocols/extensions will be discussed; however, altcoins will

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