Bitcoin Sustainability Concern Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin


The level of sustainability of the security of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is a source of concern, Ethereum’s founder, Vutalik Buterin has said

Buterin, popular for keeping a low-key profile in the industry, expressed his concerns regarding the token’s security in a recent interview with Bloomberg’s foremost columnist, Noah Smith. 

Details of the interview, which were published by on Friday, indicated that Buterin’s concerns were driven by two premises. The first of these are fees related. 

According to Buterin, he is afraid that fees play an extremely important role in the security of Bitcoin, and in the long term, fees alone will not be enough incentive for miners to safeguard the network. 

This concern becomes clearer when examined from the angle that currently miners can only collect transaction fees as rewards after transactions or blocks of the Bitcoin have been mined and validated. 

“First, in the long term, Bitcoin security is going to come entirely from fees, and Bitcoin is just not succeeding at getting the level of fee revenue required to secure what could be a multi-trillion-dollar system,” he wrote. 

“Bitcoin fees are about $300,000 per day and haven’t really grown that much over the last five years.” 

In the event that this lack of growth continues, he argues that it is very improbable that the Bitcoin network will be unable to earn the amount of fee income necessary to keep the system running.

Bitcoin’s PoW Consensus Mechanism Provides Less Security – Buterin

The second premise that drove Buterin’s concern is that its Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism has a vulnerability that might compromise users’ data security.

According to him, the token’s proof-of-work offers a level of protection for each dollar spent on transaction fees that is lower than the Proof-of-Stake (PoS). 

He noted that hypothetically, in the future if there is around $5 trillion worth of Bitcoin, with just $5 billion worth of Bitcoin, a successful attack can be launched on the entire platform. 

“Second, proof of work provides much less security per dollar spent on transaction fees than proof of stake, and Bitcoin migrating away from proof of work seems to be politically infeasible,” Buterin said.

“Of course, if Bitcoin actually gets attacked, I do expect that the political will to switch to at least hybrid proof of stake will quickly appear, but I expect that to be a painful transition,” he added.