While you might have heard about Bitcoin being stolen through hacks, the Bitcoin network is yet to be hacked. These cases of crypto theft are a result of exchanges and wallets being hacked, and not the network itself.
What Needs To Happen In Order For Bitcoin To Be Hacked
The Bitcoin network is run on predetermined protocols meaning that there is little to no room for error or mishaps. Each node on the network does what it is meant to do, and failure to conduct these tasks after a certain period of time (depending on the network, it could be 1 - 3 hours) results in being removed from the network.
In order for the network to be hacked, the hacker would need to acquire 51% of the network. It is estimated that there are currently over 12,500 nodes, which means that the hacker would need to hack into 6,250 nodes around the world at the same time.
Should a hacker achieve this, the rest of the nodes will be able to kick them off the network and recreate a protocol around them. Acquiring control of such a large amount of nodes would also require an extremely high amount of computing power, which is believed to cost in excess of $1 billion for a quick 10 minutes of control.
Gaining control of one block of transactions might not be the most lucrative endeavor considering the $1 billion it costs and the fact that they would now be exposed. Alternatively, they might fork the blockchain and create a new one, but still, they would need a large number of miners and nodes to follow suit which is unlikely given they just hacked the biggest cryptocurrency in existence.
Similar to a thief trying to gain access to one vault, hacking the Bitcoin network would be the equivalent of said thief needing to get into 6,250 vaults at the same time. Unlikely, or closer to impossible.
Nevertheless, Always Ensure That Your Bitcoins Are Safe
The Bitcoin network has not been hacked since its inception in 2009, and as the price continues to grow the chances of it ever being hacked are minuscule. However, as we mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean that your cryptocurrency is exempt from being stolen. Here are several steps to take to ensure that your Bitcoin remains your own:
- Use a reputable wallet
- Only use reputable exchanges
- Enable 2FA
- Install antivirus software.