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Bitcoin [BTC]: Any reorg can potentially undo the foundational features of Bitcoin, claims Adam Back

Arijit Sarkar

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Bitcoin [BTC]: Any reorg can potentially undo the foundational features of Bitcoin, claims Adam Back
Credit: Pixabay


Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s consideration of an ‘urgent reorg’ as a measure for damage control divided the Twitter community. With most supporters despising CZ’s decision, Peter McCormack discussed the probable outcome on the crypto-ecosystem with Adam Back (Blockstream) and Bryan Bishop (Bitcoin Core Developer), if such a block reorg were to happen in the future.

The interview questioned CZ’s intent behind the block re-org for returning the stolen funds, with Back explaining the technical complications that can compromise exchanges. He further clarified that any type of “reorg can potentially undo the foundational features of Bitcoin like censorship resistance and unfreezability.”

Back added,

“It’s a mockery to electronic cash systems. It loses interesting properties that are baked into the way people use it [BTC] in exchanges.”

Supporting Back’s statement, Bishop shared that few exchanges cannot undergo a reorg as it will require a wholesale replacement of expensive mining equipment. He also explained how this ‘limitation’ helps business leaders like CZ to avoid such decisions during ‘panic mode.’ He backed his explanation by saying,

“If you want to reassemble 51% of the network, you have to coordinate with more people and all these power users are far less likely to follow the expediency of the day.”

Back also highlighted Greg Maxwell’s idea of introducing smart contracts and immutable hardware configurations as a way to prevent GPU-based miners to change/bend the rules. When McCormack stressed on miner’s capability to perform a reorg, Bishop stated that “it will kill the network.” He clarified,

“The existence of alternative blockchains that use the same proof of work function is actually a bad thing because that actually splits up the hash rate onto multiple networks and it lowers the cost of forging an alternate history.”

While CZ was quick to put out the reorg fire with a followup tweet, the crypto ecosystem is yet to find closure after the 7000 BTC hack.





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