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Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked

By MIT Technology Review

More and more security holes are appearing in cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms, and some are fundamental to the way they were builtRead full story


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  • Joseph Lubin
    Joseph LubinproFounder at ConsenSys

    One of the coolest parts about the meteoric rise of crypto is the growing pains we are working through. Human error exists, therefore code bugs will exist. Due to blockchain, we have seen developers have to recalibrate design frameworks, syntax familiarity, sprint configuration, and pretty much every aspect related to product delivery. All of these obstacles will only make the code tighter and less vulnerable in the future. I think blockchain will change coding for the better, forever.

  • This article has a paywall (a request for my email address), so I didn’t get beyond the first paragraph. But it certainly is in the running for least surprising headline of the year. And kudos to MIT Technology Review for focusing on the hype for which their university has been almost singularly responsible. That said, I’m still a big believer in blockchain for many applications.

  • The headline succeeded in grabbing your attention and seeding FUD. Congrats MIT. Who hailed blockchain as unhackable? Everything is hackabke with enough time and money. How does this article defines blockchain: “blockchain, after all, is a complex economic system”. And finally, from the article: “while blockchain technology has been long touted for its security, under certain conditions it can be quite vulnerable.” Substitute “blockchain” for “air traffic control”, “lettuce”, “deadbolt lock” and the article can be recycled.

  • Dr Gail Barnes
    Dr Gail BarnesPartner at Personify LLC

    "In total, hackers have stolen nearly $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency since the beginning of 2017, mostly from exchanges, and that’s just what has been revealed publicly." 

  • Finally, some clear and detailed reporting on the 51% attack on Ethereum Classic last month. The article also goes on to outline other blockchain vulnerabilities, such as reentrancy bugs in smart contracts, and how they must be quashed.

    It’s dangerous times indeed in the Wild West. But companies like, ChainSecurity, Amberdata and others in academia are working to secure and extend our blockchain frontier.

  • Adrian Warr
    Adrian WarrManaging Director at Edelman

    Also blocked by firewall. But I hope the article pointed out that the majority of hacks have been of private keys, not of the technology itself. Anything can be hacked if people are involved - people are easy to hack. But the technology itself is still extremely hard to break.

    Ethereum Classic did have a 51% attack recently which is the nightmare scenario for the technology but is likely to become harder and harder to achieve as the technology evolves.

  • I had previously given my email to get past this paywall for some other article.

    For those who didn’t bother to go past:

    Blockchains have been getting hacked. Surprisingly, this is happening because it’s profitable. Who’d of thunk it?

  • Gai Yamada
    Gai YamadaOut of my job for a while.

    Now it sounds 51% attack gives incentives for hackers but if people think “the currency that was hacked is not valuable anymore.”, the stoled currency also become cheap so it’s not clever decisions to stole huge money.

    On the other hand, hackers need huge investment to do 51%.

  • Ruh-Roh!

  • And why should anyone think this is news?

  • Nothing is ever unsinkable, nothing is ever unhackable

  • William Wood
    William WoodOwner at William Wood

    Another myth crashes, and you’re surprised?

  • Paul O'Brien
    Paul O'BrienCEO at MediaTech Ventures


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