Research: Bitcoin & Ethereum Are Not as Decentralized as You Think

January 19, 2018

Research: Bitcoin & Ethereum Are Not as Decentralized as You Think

A study published in Hacking Distributed indicates serious problems in Bitcoin and Ethereum networks.

First of all, the study shows that Bitcoin network is not used full. Specifically speaking, there is nothing that would prevent Bitcoin network from using on-chain scalability solutions, such as the increased block size. Contrary to a popular belief, this increase of the block size does not necessarily increase requirements to a processor or an amount of free disk space because the hardware required to process such transactions became cheaper. For example, Bitcoin Cash developers instead of implementing a solution like SegWit simply increased the block size to 8 MB. As a result BCH became a serious competitor to BTC.

In addition, the study shows that neither Bitcoin nor Ethereum is as decentralized as one would like to think. Most of the miners of both cryptocurrencies are situated in China, which is not a surprise, since it is a country with cheap and affordable electricity. 

Over the past few years, many researchers have been drawing attention to the fact that Bitcoin's mining is extremely wasteful. Ethereum also suffers from this problem, since it requires a larger number of uncle-blocks compared to Bitcoin.

These facts prove that developers of future cryptocurrencies should take into account such nuances arising after the potential success of a project.


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