Bitcoin miner’s control over minting new coins creates security risks, researchers say

A single bitcoin mining network has repeatedly supplied more than half the computational power necessary to mint new bitcoins, undermining the decentralized nature of the digital currency and creating new security concerns. Ars Technica reports on new research from Cornell University showing that GHash, a top mining pool whose leaders are unknown, performed more than 51 percent of all cryptographic hashing on at least five separate occasions beginning June 3rd. One of those periods lasted for 12 hours, according to the researchers.

GHash’s computational feat is significant because an entity with majority control over bitcoin creation — a so-called “51 percenter” — gains powers over the network that could undermine its security and…

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