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Home » Pentagon Releases Study on Bitcoin “Vulnerabilities.”

Pentagon Releases Study on Bitcoin “Vulnerabilities.”

The report exposes decentralization weaknesses, outdated Bitcoin nodes, and Ethereum Smart Contracts code quality.

Pentagon Releases Study on Bitcoin “Vulnerabilities.” Through a special unit, the Pentagon released a study containing several vulnerabilities of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company Trail of Bits, founded in 2012 to seek to help famous companies solve cybersecurity problems, produced the report.

The special unit in question is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for conducting advanced military defense research in the United States. It is worth remembering that Bitcoin is a new digital currency technology without ties to governments or corporations. And it is precisely this libertarian foundation that generates fear in regulators, who cannot control the technology.


Pentagon study on alleged Bitcoin and Ethereum vulnerabilities

DARPA commissioned a study to understand to what extent public blockchains are genuinely decentralized and secure and their fundamental points. The firm that conducted the survey was Trail of Bits, focusing its study on Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The security firm explains that one of the challenges of blockchains is trust in programmers, who can induce errors in code and Smart Contracts. In addition, people should trust that blockchains are truly immutable.

Trail also stated that the number of entities that can cause problems in the Bitcoin network is few, i.e., this network is in great danger. In the case of Ethereum, the risk is even more significant, as are networks that use Proof of Stake mining.

The number of entities sufficient to disrupt a blockchain is relatively low: four for Bitcoin, two for Ethereum, and less than a dozen for most PoS networks. Most Bitcoin nodes do not appear to engage in mining, and node operators do not face explicit sanction for dishonesty.


The study also reveals many outdated nodes, and no penalties for dishonesty are seen in the network. Therefore, their role is low for the network to be healthy in the current scenario, with 21% of these servers still running older versions of Bitcoin Core.

In the case of Ethereum, the study released by Pentagon stated that contracts are highly reused, with 90% of Smart Contracts related to others already created previously, which could represent a high probability of problems and errors.


Network immutability can be broken, but not by encryption

The Pentagon-commissioned study also shows that Bitcoin may have vulnerabilities in its network immutability. Not because of its encryption, which was considered secure, but because of the implementations, networks, and protocols surrounding it.

On Twitter, DARPA published the study stating that the vulnerabilities found may cause significant impacts in this sector. However, this information is the responsibility of the study’s authors. With decades of technology expertise, many recognize DARPA as the “brains of the Pentagon,” whose mission is to protect U.S. interests in the military sector.


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