Blockchain is considered one of the best, most secure ways to store information. But just how secure is it?
While there are no guarantees of perfection, blockchain was designed to be tamper-proof and immutable. It does so through decentralization, cryptography and consensus.
The combination of this unique group is what makes blockchain secure.
How secure is blockchain technology?
Over the years, if someone wished to share, process or store info, they had to be the owner of it.
This meant they would need to borrow, buy or create this info or have permission to use it. They would have to ensure that people knew of any changes. This, of course, does not sound very straightforward. It is a very complex way to manage information and there is a lot of room for error.
With blockchain, information is distributed to every user on the network. Therefore, any changes will be validated and added onto a new block through mining.
This is how they achieve decentralization. This is the sole version of the truth and there is no particular failure point. Any fraudulent behavior is easily spotted and eliminated.
Cryptography and Private Keys
Cryptography provides the muscle for blockchain. All data found on the blockchain is hashed cryptographically. This is the technology whereby attacks can be defeated. Data is hidden so a person cannot figure out its true origin. A mathematical algorithm is used as part of this process. Private keys are used when a person wants to access their crypto. The public key is used when you want to transact with another person. There is no way to figure out a private key, even if you know a person’s public key.
Consensus helps make the decisions as to which blocks should be added. It creates a prize for miners to solve the cryptography equation. For Bitcoin, it is known as proof of work. It makes sure each block has adequately been checked and proven to be legitimate.
The Potential for Cracks in the System
The potential of a 51% attack, however, is of some concern. If more than 50% of the mining power is owned by a small group, they can wield considerable power over the network. Fraud and double spending can occur.
“Perhaps the most pressing blockchain vulnerabilities stem from how the blockchain interacts with other things,” reports Forbes. “Smart contracts, for example, can automate many blockchain tasks, but they are only as good as the code they’re written in. Strictly speaking, they’re not a part of the blockchain but do interact with it, so if the code is poorly written, hackers could infiltrate the smart contract and steal, alter or divert wealth (or information).”
However, it’s tough to expect perfection in infancy.
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