Web3 & Crypto
Farhan Ali Khan
1 month ago
Introduction to Zero-Knowledge Proofs: The Art of Proving Without Revealing
Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Beginners
Published here originally.
I Spy—did you play as a kid? One person chose a room object, and the other had to guess it by answering yes or no questions. I Spy was entertaining, but did you know it could teach you cryptography?
Zero Knowledge Proofs let you show your pal you know what they picked without exposing how. Math replaces electronics in this secret spy mission. Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are sophisticated cryptographic tools that allow one party to prove they have particular knowledge without revealing it. This proves identification and ownership, secures financial transactions, and more. This article explains zero-knowledge proofs and provides examples to help you comprehend this powerful technology.
What is a Proof of Zero Knowledge?
Zero-knowledge proofs prove a proposition is true without revealing any other information. This lets the prover show the verifier that they know a fact without revealing it. So, a zero-knowledge proof is like a magician's trick: the prover proves they know something without revealing how or what. Complex mathematical procedures create a proof the verifier can verify.
Want to find an easy way to test it out? Try out with tis awesome example! ZK Crush
Describe it as if I'm 5
Alex and Jack found a cave with a center entrance that only opens when someone knows the secret. Alex knows how to open the cave door and wants to show Jack without telling him.
Alex and Jack name both pathways (let’s call them paths A and B).
In the first phase, Alex is already inside the cave and is free to select either path, in this case A or B.
As Alex made his decision, Jack entered the cave and asked him to exit from the B path.
Jack can confirm that Alex really does know the key to open the door because he came out for the B path and used it.
To conclude, Alex and Jack repeat:
Alex walks into the cave.
Alex follows a random route.
Jack walks into the cave.
Alex is asked to follow a random route by Jack.
Alex follows Jack's advice and heads back that way.
What is a Zero Knowledge Proof?
At a high level, the aim is to construct a secure and confidential conversation between the prover and the verifier, where the prover convinces the verifier that they have the requisite information without disclosing it. The prover and verifier exchange messages and calculate in each round of the dialogue.
The prover uses their knowledge to prove they have the information the verifier wants during these rounds. The verifier can verify the prover's truthfulness without learning more by checking the proof's mathematical statement or computation.
Zero knowledge proofs use advanced mathematical procedures and cryptography methods to secure communication. These methods ensure the evidence is authentic while preventing the prover from creating a phony proof or the verifier from extracting unnecessary information.
ZK proofs require examples to grasp. Before the examples, there are some preconditions.
Criteria for Proofs of Zero Knowledge
Completeness: If the proposition being proved is true, then an honest prover will persuade an honest verifier that it is true.
Soundness: If the proposition being proved is untrue, no dishonest prover can persuade a sincere verifier that it is true.
Zero-knowledge: The verifier only realizes that the proposition being proved is true. In other words, the proof only establishes the veracity of the proposition being supported and nothing more.
The zero-knowledge condition is crucial. Zero-knowledge proofs show only the secret's veracity. The verifier shouldn't know the secret's value or other details.
Example after example after example
To illustrate, take a zero-knowledge proof with several examples:
Initial Password Verification Example
You want to confirm you know a password or secret phrase without revealing it.
Use a zero-knowledge proof:
You and the verifier settle on a mathematical conundrum or issue, such as figuring out a big number's components.
The puzzle or problem is then solved using the hidden knowledge that you have learned. You may, for instance, utilize your understanding of the password to determine the components of a particular number.
You provide your answer to the verifier, who can assess its accuracy without knowing anything about your private data.
You go through this process several times with various riddles or issues to persuade the verifier that you actually are aware of the secret knowledge.
You solved the mathematical puzzles or problems, proving to the verifier that you know the hidden information. The proof is zero-knowledge since the verifier only sees puzzle solutions, not the secret information.
In this scenario, the mathematical challenge or problem represents the secret, and solving it proves you know it. The evidence does not expose the secret, and the verifier just learns that you know it.
My simple example meets the zero-knowledge proof conditions:
Completeness: If you actually know the hidden information, you will be able to solve the mathematical puzzles or problems, hence the proof is conclusive.
Soundness: The proof is sound because the verifier can use a publicly known algorithm to confirm that your answer to the mathematical conundrum or difficulty is accurate.
Zero-knowledge: The proof is zero-knowledge because all the verifier learns is that you are aware of the confidential information. Beyond the fact that you are aware of it, the verifier does not learn anything about the secret information itself, such as the password or the factors of the number. As a result, the proof does not provide any new insights into the secret.
Explanation #2: Toss a coin.
One coin is biased to come up heads more often than tails, while the other is fair (i.e., comes up heads and tails with equal probability). You know which coin is which, but you want to show a friend you can tell them apart without telling them.
Use a zero-knowledge proof:
One of the two coins is chosen at random, and you secretly flip it more than once.
You show your pal the following series of coin flips without revealing which coin you actually flipped.
Next, as one of the two coins is flipped in front of you, your friend asks you to tell which one it is.
Then, without revealing which coin is which, you can use your understanding of the secret order of coin flips to determine which coin your friend flipped.
To persuade your friend that you can actually differentiate between the coins, you repeat this process multiple times using various secret coin-flipping sequences.
In this example, the series of coin flips represents the knowledge of biased and fair coins. You can prove you know which coin is which without revealing which is biased or fair by employing a different secret sequence of coin flips for each round.
The evidence is zero-knowledge since your friend does not learn anything about which coin is biased and which is fair other than that you can tell them differently. The proof does not indicate which coin you flipped or how many times you flipped it.
The coin-flipping example meets zero-knowledge proof requirements:
Completeness: If you actually know which coin is biased and which is fair, you should be able to distinguish between them based on the order of coin flips, and your friend should be persuaded that you can.
Soundness: Your friend may confirm that you are correctly recognizing the coins by flipping one of them in front of you and validating your answer, thus the proof is sound in that regard. Because of this, your acquaintance can be sure that you are not just speculating or picking a coin at random.
Zero-knowledge: The argument is that your friend has no idea which coin is biased and which is fair beyond your ability to distinguish between them. Your friend is not made aware of the coin you used to make your decision or the order in which you flipped the coins. Consequently, except from letting you know which coin is biased and which is fair, the proof does not give any additional information about the coins themselves.
Figure out the prime number in Example #3.
You want to prove to a friend that you know their product n=pq without revealing p and q. Zero-knowledge proof?
Use a variant of the RSA algorithm. Method:
You determine a new number s = r2 mod n by computing a random number r.
You email your friend s and a declaration that you are aware of the values of p and q necessary for n to equal pq.
A random number (either 0 or 1) is selected by your friend and sent to you.
You send your friend r as evidence that you are aware of the values of p and q if e=0. You calculate and communicate your friend's s/r if e=1.
Without knowing the values of p and q, your friend can confirm that you know p and q (in the case where e=0) or that s/r is a legitimate square root of s mod n (in the situation where e=1).
This is a zero-knowledge proof since your friend learns nothing about p and q other than their product is n and your ability to verify it without exposing any other information. You can prove that you know p and q by sending r or by computing s/r and sending that instead (if e=1), and your friend can verify that you know p and q or that s/r is a valid square root of s mod n without learning anything else about their values. This meets the conditions of completeness, soundness, and zero-knowledge.
Zero-knowledge proofs satisfy the following:
Completeness: The prover can demonstrate this to the verifier by computing q = n/p and sending both p and q to the verifier. The prover also knows a prime number p and a factorization of n as p*q.
Soundness: Since it is impossible to identify any pair of numbers that correctly factorize n without being aware of its prime factors, the prover is unable to demonstrate knowledge of any p and q that do not do so.
Zero knowledge: The prover only admits that they are aware of a prime number p and its associated factor q, which is already known to the verifier. This is the extent of their knowledge of the prime factors of n. As a result, the prover does not provide any new details regarding n's prime factors.
Types of Proofs of Zero Knowledge
Each zero-knowledge proof has pros and cons. Most zero-knowledge proofs are:
Interactive Zero Knowledge Proofs: The prover and the verifier work together to establish the proof in this sort of zero-knowledge proof. The verifier disputes the prover's assertions after receiving a sequence of messages from the prover. When the evidence has been established, the prover will employ these new problems to generate additional responses.
Non-Interactive Zero Knowledge Proofs: For this kind of zero-knowledge proof, the prover and verifier just need to exchange a single message. Without further interaction between the two parties, the proof is established.
A statistical zero-knowledge proof is one in which the conclusion is reached with a high degree of probability but not with certainty. This indicates that there is a remote possibility that the proof is false, but that this possibility is so remote as to be unimportant.
Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (SNARKs): SNARKs are an extremely effective and scalable form of zero-knowledge proof. They are utilized in many different applications, such as machine learning, blockchain technology, and more. Similar to other zero-knowledge proof techniques, SNARKs enable one party—the prover—to demonstrate to another—the verifier—that they are aware of a specific piece of information without disclosing any more information about that information.
The main characteristic of SNARKs is their succinctness, which refers to the fact that the size of the proof is substantially smaller than the amount of the original data being proved. Because to its high efficiency and scalability, SNARKs can be used in a wide range of applications, such as machine learning, blockchain technology, and more.
Uses for Zero Knowledge Proofs
ZKP applications include:
Verifying Identity ZKPs can be used to verify your identity without disclosing any personal information. This has uses in access control, digital signatures, and online authentication.
Proof of Ownership ZKPs can be used to demonstrate ownership of a certain asset without divulging any details about the asset itself. This has uses for protecting intellectual property, managing supply chains, and owning digital assets.
Financial Exchanges Without disclosing any details about the transaction itself, ZKPs can be used to validate financial transactions. Cryptocurrency, internet payments, and other digital financial transactions can all use this.
By enabling parties to make calculations on the data without disclosing the data itself, Data Privacy ZKPs can be used to preserve the privacy of sensitive data. Applications for this can be found in the financial, healthcare, and other sectors that handle sensitive data.
By enabling voters to confirm that their vote was counted without disclosing how they voted, elections ZKPs can be used to ensure the integrity of elections. This is applicable to electronic voting, including internet voting.
Cryptography Modern cryptography's ZKPs are a potent instrument that enable secure communication and authentication. This can be used for encrypted messaging and other purposes in the business sector as well as for military and intelligence operations.
Proofs of Zero Knowledge and Compliance
Kubernetes and regulatory compliance use ZKPs in many ways. Examples:
Security for Kubernetes ZKPs offer a mechanism to authenticate nodes without disclosing any sensitive information, enhancing the security of Kubernetes clusters. ZKPs, for instance, can be used to verify, without disclosing the specifics of the program, that the nodes in a Kubernetes cluster are running permitted software.
Compliance Inspection Without disclosing any sensitive information, ZKPs can be used to demonstrate compliance with rules like the GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. ZKPs, for instance, can be used to demonstrate that data has been encrypted and stored securely without divulging the specifics of the mechanism employed for either encryption or storage.
Access Management Without disclosing any private data, ZKPs can be used to offer safe access control to Kubernetes resources. ZKPs can be used, for instance, to demonstrate that a user has the necessary permissions to access a particular Kubernetes resource without disclosing the details of those permissions.
Safe Data Exchange Without disclosing any sensitive information, ZKPs can be used to securely transmit data between Kubernetes clusters or between several businesses. ZKPs, for instance, can be used to demonstrate the sharing of a specific piece of data between two parties without disclosing the details of the data itself.
Kubernetes deployments audited Without disclosing the specifics of the deployment or the data being processed, ZKPs can be used to demonstrate that Kubernetes deployments are working as planned. This can be helpful for auditing purposes and for ensuring that Kubernetes deployments are operating as planned.
ZKPs preserve data and maintain regulatory compliance by letting parties prove things without revealing sensitive information. ZKPs will be used more in Kubernetes as it grows.
2 months ago
What the World's Most Intelligent Investor Recently Said About Crypto
Cryptoshit. This thing is crazy to buy.
Charlie Munger is revered and powerful in finance.
Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is noted for his wit, no-nonsense attitude to investment, and ability to spot promising firms and markets.
Munger's crypto views have upset some despite his reputation as a straight shooter.
“There’s only one correct answer for intelligent people, just totally avoid all the people that are promoting it.” — Charlie Munger
The Munger Interview on CNBC (4:48 secs)
This Monday, CNBC co-anchor Rebecca Quick interviewed Munger and brought up his 2007 statement, "I'm not allowed to have an opinion on this subject until I can present the arguments against my viewpoint better than the folks who are supporting it."
Great investing and life advice!
If you can't explain the opposing reasons, you're not informed enough to have an opinion.
In today's world, it's important to grasp both sides of a debate before supporting one.
Does your Wall Street Journal article on banning cryptocurrency apply? If so, would you like to present the counterarguments?
I don't see any viable counterarguments. I think my opponents are idiots, hence there is no sensible argument against my position.
Consider his words.
Do you believe Munger has studied both sides?
He said, "I assume my opponents are idiots, thus there is no sensible argument against my position."
This is worrisome, especially from a guy who once encouraged studying both sides before forming an opinion.
National currencies have benefitted humanity more than almost anything else.
Hang on, I think we located the perpetrator.
Munger thinks crypto will replace currencies.
I doubt he studied cryptocurrencies because the name is deceptive.
He misread a headline as a Dollar destroyer.
Cryptocurrencies are speculations.
Like Tesla, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.
Crypto won't replace dollars.
In the interview with CNBC, Munger continued:
“I’m not proud of my country for allowing this crap, what I call the cryptoshit. It’s worthless, it’s no good, it’s crazy, it’ll do nothing but harm, it’s anti-social to allow it.” — Charlie Munger
Not entirely inaccurate.
Daily cryptos are established solely to pump and dump regular investors.
Let's get into Munger's crypto aversion.
Rat poison is bitcoin.
Munger famously dubbed Bitcoin rat poison and a speculative bubble that would implode.
But the bubble broke. Since 2021, the market has fallen.
Scam currencies and NFTs are being eliminated, which I like.
Why does Munger doubt crypto?
Mungers thinks cryptocurrencies has no intrinsic value.
He worries about crypto fraud and money laundering.
Both are valid issues.
Yet grouping crypto is intellectually dishonest.
Ethereum, Bitcoin, Solana, Chainlink, Flow, and Dogecoin have different purposes and values (not saying they’re all good investments).
Fraudsters who hurt innocents will be punished.
Therefore, complaining is useless.
Why not stop it? Repair rather than complain.
Regrettably, individuals today don't offer solutions.
Blind Areas for Mungers
As with everyone, Mungers' bitcoin views may be impacted by his biases and experiences.
But Munger has always advocated classic value investing and may be wary of investing in an asset outside his expertise.
Mungers' banking and insurance investments may influence his bitcoin views.
Could a coworker or acquaintance have told him crypto is bad and goes against traditional finance?
Do you respect Charlie Mungers?
Yes and no, like any investor or individual.
To understand Mungers' bitcoin beliefs, you must be critical.
Mungers is a successful investor, but his views about bitcoin should be considered alongside other viewpoints.
Munger’s success as an investor has made him an influencer in the space.
Influence gives power.
He controls people's thoughts.
Munger's ok. He will always be heard.
I'll do so cautiously.
Crypto Zen Monk
3 months ago
How to DYOR in the world of cryptocurrency
We must create separate ideas and handle our own risks to be better investors. DYOR is crucial.
The only thing unsustainable is your cluelessness.
On social media, there is a lot of false information and divergent viewpoints. All of these facts might be accurate, but they might not be appropriate for your portfolio and investment preferences.
You become a more knowledgeable investor thanks to DYOR.
DYOR improves your portfolio's risk management.
My DYOR resources are below.
Messari: Major Blockchains' Activities
New York-based Messari provides cryptocurrency open data libraries.
Major blockchains offer 24-hour on-chain volume. https://messari.io/screener/most-active-chains-DB01F96B
What to do
Invest in stable cryptocurrencies. Sort Messari by Real Volume (24H) or Reported Market Cap.
Coingecko: Research on Ecosystems
Top 10 Ecosystems by Coingecko are good.
What to do
Invest in quality.
Leading ten Ecosystems by Market Cap
There are a lot of coins in the ecosystem (second last column of above chart)
CoinGecko's Market Cap Crypto Categories Market capitalization-based cryptocurrency categories. Ethereum Ecosystem www.coingecko.com
Fear & Greed Index for Bitcoin (FGI)
The Bitcoin market sentiment index ranges from 0 (extreme dread) to 100. (extreme greed).
How to Apply
See market sentiment:
Extreme fright = opportunity to buy
Extreme greed creates sales opportunity (market due for correction).
Glassnode gives facts, information, and confidence to make better Bitcoin, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency investments and trades.
Explore free and paid metrics.
Stock to Flow Ratio: Application
The popular Stock to Flow Ratio concept believes scarcity drives value. Stock to flow is the ratio of circulating Bitcoin supply to fresh production (i.e. newly mined bitcoins). The S/F Ratio has historically predicted Bitcoin prices. PlanB invented this metric.
Utilization: Ethereum Hash Rate
Ethereum miners produce an estimated number of hashes per second.
ycharts: Hash rate of the Bitcoin network
TradingView is your go-to tool for investment analysis, watch lists, technical analysis, and recommendations from other traders/investors.
Research for a cryptocurrency project
Two key questions every successful project must ask: Q1: What is this project trying to solve? Is it a big problem or minor? Q2: How does this project make money?
Check out the white paper.
check out the project's internet presence on github, twitter, and medium.
the transparency of it
Verify the team structure and founders. Verify their LinkedIn profile, academic history, and other qualifications. Search for their names with scam.
Where to purchase and use cryptocurrencies Is it traded on trustworthy exchanges?
From CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap, we may learn about market cap, circulations, and other important data.
The project must solve a problem. Solving a problem is the goal of the founders.
Avoid projects that resemble multi-level marketing or ponzi schemes.
Your use of social media
Use social media carefully or ignore it: Twitter, TradingView, and YouTube
Someone said this before and there are some truth to it. Social media bullish => short.
Investigate. Spend time. You decide. Worth it!
Only you have the best interest in your financial future.
3 months ago
4 typical methods of crypto market manipulation
Due to its decentralized and fragmented character, the crypto market has integrity difficulties.
Cryptocurrencies are an immature sector, therefore market manipulation becomes a bigger issue. Many research have attempted to uncover these abuses. CryptoCompare's newest one highlights some of the industry's most typical scams.
Why are these concerns so common in the crypto market? First, even the largest centralized exchanges remain unregulated due to industry immaturity. A low-liquidity market segment makes an attack more harmful. Finally, market surveillance solutions not implemented reduce transparency.
In CryptoCompare's latest exchange benchmark, 62.4% of assessed exchanges had a market surveillance system, although only 18.1% utilised an external solution. To address market integrity, this measure must improve dramatically. Before discussing the report's malpractices, note that this is not a full list of attacks and hacks.
An investor buys and sells concurrently to increase the asset's price. Centralized and decentralized exchanges show this misconduct. 23 exchanges have a volume-volatility correlation < 0.1 during the previous 100 days, according to CryptoCompares. In August 2022, Exchange A reported $2.5 trillion in artificial and/or erroneous volume, up from $33.8 billion the month before.
Criminals create and cancel fake orders before they can be filled. Since manipulators can hide in larger trading volumes, larger exchanges have more spoofing. A trader placed a 20.8 BTC ask order at $19,036 when BTC was trading at $19,043. BTC declined 0.13% to $19,018 in a minute. At 18:48, the trader canceled the ask order without filling it.
Most cryptocurrency front-running involves inside trading. Traditional stock markets forbid this. Since most digital asset information is public, this is harder. Retailers could utilize bots to front-run.
CryptoCompare found digital wallets of people who traded like insiders on exchange listings. The figure below shows excess cumulative anomalous returns (CAR) before a coin listing on an exchange.
Finally, LAYERING is a sequence of spoofs in which successive orders are put along a ladder of greater (layering offers) or lower (layering bids) values. The paper concludes with recommendations to mitigate market manipulation. Exchange data transparency, market surveillance, and regulatory oversight could reduce manipulative tactics.
3 months ago
Bitcoin's technical innovation: addressing the issue of the Byzantine generals
The 2008 Bitcoin white paper solves the classic computer science consensus problem.
The Byzantine Generals Problem (BGP) is called after an allegory in which several generals must collaborate and attack a city at the same time to win (figure 1-left). Any general who retreats at the last minute loses the fight (figure 1-right). Thus, precise messengers and no rogue generals are essential. This is difficult without a trusted central authority.
In their 1982 publication, Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak, and Marshall Please termed this topic the Byzantine Generals Problem to simplify distributed computer systems.
Consensus in a distributed computer network is the issue. Reaching a consensus on which systems work (and stay in the network) and which don't makes maintaining a network tough (i.e., needs to be removed from network). Challenges include unreliable communication routes between systems and mis-reporting systems.
Solving BGP can let us construct machine learning solutions without single points of failure or trusted central entities. One server hosts model parameters while numerous workers train the model. This study describes fault-tolerant Distributed Byzantine Machine Learning.
Bitcoin invented a mechanism for a distributed network of nodes to agree on which transactions should go into the distributed ledger (blockchain) without a trusted central body. It solved BGP implementation. Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous bitcoin creator, solved the challenge by cleverly combining cryptography and consensus mechanisms.
This is not financial advice. It discusses a unique computer science solution.
Bitcoin's white paper begins:
“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” Source: https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/annual-national-training-seminar/2018/Emerging_Tech_Bitcoin_Crypto.pdf
Bitcoin's main parts:
The open-source and versioned bitcoin software that governs how nodes, miners, and the bitcoin token operate.
The native kind of token, known as a bitcoin token, may be created by mining (up to 21 million can be created), and it can be transferred between wallet addresses in the bitcoin network.
Distributed Ledger, which contains exact copies of the database (or "blockchain") containing each transaction since the first one in January 2009.
distributed network of nodes (computers) running the distributed ledger replica together with the bitcoin software. They broadcast the transactions to other peer nodes after validating and accepting them.
Proof of work (PoW) is a cryptographic requirement that must be met in order for a miner to be granted permission to add a new block of transactions to the blockchain of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It takes the form of a valid hash digest. In order to produce new blocks on average every 10 minutes, Bitcoin features a built-in difficulty adjustment function that modifies the valid hash requirement (length of nonce). PoW requires a lot of energy since it must continually generate new hashes at random until it satisfies the criteria.
The competing parties known as miners carry out continuous computing processing to address recurrent cryptography issues. Transaction fees and some freshly minted (mined) bitcoin are the rewards they receive. The amount of hashes produced each second—or hash rate—is a measure of mining capacity.
Cryptography, decentralization, and the proof-of-work consensus method are Bitcoin's most unique features.
Bitcoin uses encryption
Bitcoin employs this established cryptography.
digital signatures based on asymmetric encryption
Hashing (SHA-256) (SHA-256)
Hashing converts unique plaintext data into a digest. Creating the plaintext from the digest is impossible. Bitcoin miners generate new hashes using SHA-256 to win block rewards.
A new hash is created from the current block header and a variable value called nonce. To achieve the required hash, mining involves altering the nonce and re-hashing.
The block header contains the previous block hash and a Merkle root, which contains hashes of all transactions in the block. Thus, a chain of blocks with increasing hashes links back to the first block. Hashing protects new transactions and makes the bitcoin blockchain immutable. After a transaction block is mined, it becomes hard to fabricate even a little entry.
Asymmetric Cryptography Digital Signatures
Asymmetric cryptography (public-key encryption) requires each side to have a secret and public key. Public keys (wallet addresses) can be shared with the transaction party, but private keys should not. A message (e.g., bitcoin payment record) can only be signed by the owner (sender) with the private key, but any node or anybody with access to the public key (visible in the blockchain) can verify it. Alex will submit a digitally signed transaction with a desired amount of bitcoin addressed to Bob's wallet to a node to send bitcoin to Bob. Alex alone has the secret keys to authorize that amount. Alex's blockchain public key allows anyone to verify the transaction.
Now, apply bitcoin to BGP. BGP generals resemble bitcoin nodes. The generals' consensus is like bitcoin nodes' blockchain block selection. Bitcoin software on all nodes can:
Check transactions (i.e., validate digital signatures)
2. Accept and propagate just the first miner to receive the valid hash and verify it accomplished the task. The only way to guess the proper hash is to brute force it by repeatedly producing one with the fixed/current block header and a fresh nonce value.
Thus, PoW and a dispersed network of nodes that accept blocks from miners that solve the unfalsifiable cryptographic challenge solve consensus.
Bitcoin accepts the longest chain if rogue nodes cause divergence in accepted blocks. Thus, rogue nodes must outnumber honest nodes in accepting/forming the longer chain for invalid transactions to reach the blockchain. As of November 2022, 7000 coordinated rogue nodes are needed to takeover the bitcoin network.
Dishonest miners could also try to insert blocks with falsified transactions (double spend, reverse, censor, etc.) into the chain. This requires over 50% (51% attack) of miners (total computational power) to outguess the hash and attack the network. Mining hash rate exceeds 200 million (source). Rewards and transaction fees encourage miners to cooperate rather than attack. Quantum computers may become a threat.
Visit my Quantum Computing post.
Quantum computers—what are they? Quantum computers will have a big influence. towardsdatascience.com
Nodes have more power than miners since they can validate transactions and reject fake blocks. Thus, the network is secure if honest nodes are the majority.
Table 1 compares three Byzantine Generals Problem implementations.
Bitcoin white paper and implementation solved the consensus challenge of distributed systems without central governance. It solved the illusive Byzantine Generals Problem.
Source-code for Bitcoin Core Software — https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin
Bitcoin white paper — https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
Genuinely Distributed Byzantine Machine Learning, El-Mahdi El-Mhamdi et al., 2020. ACM, New York, NY, https://doi.org/10.1145/3382734.3405695