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Ethereum's prowess is making waves yet again, with a staggering 2 million Ether (ETH) reportedly standing in line to fortify the Ethereum network, a quantity that equates to approximately $3.6 billion. This startling figure has led to some intriguing speculations: This sum of Ethereum is substantial enough to theoretically execute a 51% attack on the Bitcoin network.
First, it is crucial to underscore that an attack of this nature using Ethereum on Bitcoin is not technically feasible. These are two different blockchains with different consensus mechanisms, hence, Ethereum cannot directly influence Bitcoin's operations. However, the monetary value represented by the Ethereum quantity in question is substantial enough to acquire the necessary Bitcoin to orchestrate such an attack.
2M ETH is queueing to secure Ethereum— ultra sound money 🦇🔊 (@ultrasoundmoney) May 20, 2023
that's $3.6B, enough to 51% attack Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/vpKPgXJhZN
For context, a 51% attack occurs when a single entity gains control of more than half of a blockchain network's mining power or hash rate. This control could potentially enable the attacker to manipulate transactions and double-spend coins, undermining the trust and reliability of the network. Bitcoin, as a proof-of-work blockchain, is technically vulnerable to such an attack.
Yet, transitioning this theoretical possibility into reality would not be as straightforward as it sounds. Purchasing a significant volume of Bitcoin to gain majority control would likely incite a colossal surge in Bitcoin's price due to heightened demand. This sharp price escalation would require even more resources, complicating the feasibility of the attack.
Furthermore, the fundamental goal of blockchain technology is to ensure transparency, security and trust. A 51% attack contradicts these principles, leading to catastrophic consequences for the network's reputation, and thereby, its value.
While the substantial Ethereum accumulation waiting to secure the Ethereum network is impressive, its applicability for a hypothetical 51% attack on Bitcoin is merely theoretical and far from realistic.