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Bitcoin is a bounty designed to force the US Gov to reveal SHA256 is insecure
7 points by westcort 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
In reading about Bitcoin and its precursor Hashcoin, I realized that just as Hashcoin is designed to disincentivize spam, Bitcoin has a similar aim. Rather than mining digital "postage stamps" to send e-mail, the creators of Bitcoin were concerned about a bigger problem--the freedom of the internet.

Their solution was to create a huge bounty of cash so large that it would disrupt the economy and the ability of the government to levy taxes. That is why the consortium chose SHA256 as the hashing algorithm. It is the same algorithm used to secure the internet.

The purpose of Bitcoin is to eventually force the US government to reveal it has the power to crack SHA256, which cost the government billions in research dollars, and gives the government tremendous power.

Bitcoin was designed as a bounty to disincentivize the government from continuing to monitor all activity on the Web unchecked. What else would a group of hackers want more than to create a bounty to secure the internet? When the government does this, Bitcoin will no longer have value, but the government will also have revealed a huge secret and tech companies will be forced to adopt more secure protocols.

If we assume the cost of breaking SHA256 is the same as the cost of the Manhattan project, inflation adjusted to 2008 dollars--$21 billion--then you know why the blockchain is capped at 21 million coins.

TL:DR: Bitcoin was created as a huge bounty to force the government to reveal it can crack SHA256, with the ultimate purpose of securing privacy on the internet.

If someone could crack bitcoin, the rational thing to do would not steal everything, as it would render it instantly worthless, but only siphon from a few large but idle wallets, enough to be wealthy but not enough to elicit attention. So if bitcoin could be cracked you probably would not know about it, at least not initially.

Unless you are the government, not an individual. Bitcoin threatens the government. SHA256 will be cracked as a result of inevitable quantum computing breakthroughs. It is not an if, but a when. If the government shuts down crypto, on the other hand, their internet surveillance machine goes dark. We know they can break cryptographic algorithms based on the content of the Snowden leaks. The purpose of Bitcoin is a bounty.

Here’s Why Quantum Computing Will Not Break Cryptocurrencies


RSA falls first, limiting banking transaction safety, leading to a flight to crypto, then the government is forced to tip its hand. Yes SHA256 is theorized to be harder to crack with a quantum computer. The consortium is betting that the government has technology 50 years ahead of private industry, as has held true in the past. This article does not say a hard no, but it does offer a bit of insight about what the end game will look like.

> Bitcoin threatens the government.

Do you have a source for this? banning banks from letting anyone transfer USD to crypto would severely limit btc adoption. If btc is a threat, why hasn't it been banned yet?

China banned Bitcoin mining and many people have had their bank accounts shut down or seized: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/compass-mining-says-chase-shu...

"It is the same algorithm used to secure the internet."

I didn't realize the Internet is secure now. This is a technical question, and so I'm taken aback by the vagueness of comparative examples that are provided. Especially given how big the conclusion is.

The part about Manhattan Project is just baffling. What is the significant connection between 21 billion dollars and 21 million coins with inflation? Is that a reflection of its worth at some unknown point in time? "then you know why" just trailed that off to nothingness.

Like the math teacher used to say: show your math. Otherwise this doesn't sound all that different than the claims of many people out there who claim they are the real Satoshi.

Hashcoin whitepapers include some estimates of how many e-mails are sent daily to determine the delay needed. It is reasonable to assume that, in 2008, the total cost of the Manhattan project inflation adjusted to 2008 dollars would be an estimate of the total number of coins that would need to be generated to rival the cost of a large government project to break encryption algorithms and monitor the net. A $1000 target per coin might have been a reasonable estimate in 2008.

crypto can easily fork with new hashing algorithm. a day's worth of transactions might be lost, if at all. conspiracy much? also, it takes only 160-bit to find a collision. the big agencies are probably capable of cracking one of those, still might be a few good billions worth. and regarding the economy - people don't sleep in NFTs. a crypto crashing only means active investors lose cash, mostly corporate and government, not enough to trigger a domino effect. sorry.

Perhaps there is more plasticity built in than even the creators envisioned.

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