Bitcoin and Security: Can the Bitcoin Network be Hacked?
No, Bitcoin is considered hack-proof.
The reason why it’s essentially impossible to hack the Bitcoin network is because of its decentralized nature that prevents the Bitcoin blockchain from having a single point of failure.
Over 10,000 Bitcoin nodes across the globe verify transactions and dozens of bitcoin mining operations that secure the network by deploying their hash power.
To launch an attack on the Bitcoin blockchain, a hacker would have to acquire over 50% of the hash rate of the Bitcoin network. To achieve that, they would need to deploy more bitcoin mining machines than half the bitcoin mining industry, which is next to impossible given the economic investment that would be required.
Also, if an attacker were to launch what is known as a 51% attack on the Bitcoin blockchain by acquiring over 50 percent of the network’s hash rate, the economic incentive would be not to hack the network – by creating double-spend transactions – as that would lead to a sharp drop in the value of bitcoin, which would financially hurt the attacker.
The Bitcoin network’s code is open-source, which means it has been reviewed by hundreds (if not thousands) of skilled developers from across the globe, and it’s regularly updated to make improvements. As a result, it’s extremely difficult for someone to find a vulnerability in the Bitcoin code that could affect the integrity of the network.
OK, So Why Are There So Many Bitcoin Hacks?
While the Bitcoin network cannot really be hacked, your bitcoin wallet could be hacked if you are not careful when managing your bitcoin.
Most bitcoin wallet hacks targeting everyday users involve some form of social engineering, tricking users into unknowingly giving access to their bitcoin wallets. Phishing scams and crypto-stealing malware are the two biggest threats that bitcoin wallet users need to be aware of.
Phishing scams involve emails, messages, or phone calls that aim to trick you into giving away your bitcoin wallet login credentials and/or private keys. For example, you could receive a message on social media with a fake account claiming to be from Relai’s Support Team saying that you need to provide your recovery phrase so that a tech issue can be fixed with your Relai Wallet. Relai (and any other bitcoin wallet provider) will NEVER ask you to provide your recovery phrase.
Crypto-stealing malware is malicious software that could end up on your computer or mobile phone with the intention of capturing your bitcoin wallet’s login credentials and/or private keys. Avoid clicking on any attachments coming from unknown individuals or companies to prevent crypto malware from attacking your devices. Also, make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software on your devices.