Opinion: China’s Great firewall slows down network bitcoin


Ben Kaiser of Princeton University, and Mireya Jurado and Alex Ledger from Florida International University published a paper called “the Impending threat from China: an Analysis of China’s influence on Bitcoin”. This article describes all the different ways in which China can manipulate bloccano bitcoin and attack network is the first cryptocurrency. One of the key threats experts will excrete the “Golden Shield” (Great Chinese firewall) that filters all Chinese Internet traffic. According to researchers, China where over 74% of the mining power, slows down the work of the bitcoin blockchain.

According to the study, China’s Great firewall does not limit the transfer of source packets in the global Internet network, but it definitely slows down their delivery, causing partial loss of data packets. At the level of the global Internet, the percentage of lost packets is only 0.2%, while China’s Great firewall blocks about 6.9% of the traffic during the filtering process. Lost packets must be re-requested and resent, which increases latency to 218 milliseconds.

This significantly affects the distribution of bitcoin blocks. Dissemination of information on the extracted block between nodes of the network takes about 3.9 seconds in China, however, in order for the unit information received, all nodes outside of China, requires 17.4 seconds 450% time delay.

The delay puts the Chinese miners at a disadvantage, because the miners outside the Great Chinese firewall can block the broadcast network is much faster, covering a greater number of gcd and, thus, faster to get the reward, despite the fact that miner in China could find a block before.

These processes encourage Chinese miners to mining empty blocks, as they use less bandwidth and are distributed throughout the decentralized network faster. Unfortunately, empty blocks reduce the capacity of the network, affect the increase in fees for transactions and significantly slow down the overall speed of transaction processing. Fortunately, the BIP 152 in 2016 patched network so that all bitcoin blocks, including empty, given the same velocity distribution, but the tendency to produce empty blocks still partially preserved in China.

Note that, according to the results of this study, the growing influence of China in key infrastructure Bitcoin also gives his government the opportunity to seriously affect, or even destroy, the main cryptocurrency.

Recall, the Bank for international settlements (BIS), in turn, believes that bitcoin could cause disruption of Internet.

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