Ausgabe 04

  • 01/03/2020

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Vorwort #4

. . .to get a better understanding of possible attacking points and weak spots of the network we take a look on the actual chain structure. The structure enables three different identification possibilities for individual blocks. The first possibility of identification is through the individual hash (or identification number of the block) of each block. “One of the most popular hashing functions used in cryptography today is called Secure Hash Algorithm 256, or SHA-256 […]. Developed by the National Security Agency, SHA-256 is the hashing function that powers Bitcoin” (Guzzetta, 2018). This hash, however, is depending on the content of the block header and will change when some of the content in the block header changes. We remember that the “previous block header hash” (sometimes also called “reference”) points to and is identical with the overall hash of the previous block, and that this overall hash is dependent on and changes with the own reference in its own block header.If the content of a block is being altered, for example by adding a new transaction, it is then inevitably that the overall hash of the block is changing as well, leading to a break in the chain structure.2 Such altered block interrupts the chain and makes all following blocks invalid, shortening the chain. To maintain the length of the chain while tampering with it, one would need to compute all hashes of all subsequent blocks which would require immense computing power and is therefore very unlikely to succeed. The second possibility to identify a block in the BC is the so called “block height”.3

1Hoser & Fulbright, 2016.

2Siba, Tarun, & Prakash, 2016. 

3Bitcoin.org-Developer-Guide, 2018.


In the presence of your absence
Every word is gone
The free spirit dives alone
Into the abyss of his world
Challenged to overcome
Any obstacle that emotion and thought could bring
Yet stays in every state
In the same second Half full
And still empty


Nachwort #4

. . . However, external value which is being attached to the BC disbalances the system. The incentive for hackers to attack the network raises while the number of network participants and nodes stays constant at the same time which, at least in theory, proves as a security risk. When applying the principle of smart contracts onto crypto-assets and smart property new advantages emerge. With the help of smart contracts and their variations “we now have the capacity to assign digital representation to any store of value, including creative content, physical property, and intangible assets” (Casey & Vigna, 2018, p. 14). Now conditional sale contracts which ensure a parallel enforcement of the transaction become possible. Contracts could be programmed in a way to only release funds when the goods ordered are received in a satisfactory condition.4 This eradicates potential downsides of the pure asset linkage to the BC. In common non BC system nowadays this works with the help of a centralized entity. They will hold the payment from Person or Company A until Person or Company B delivered the respective object. Only then will the payment be forwarded to Person B. With this ap- proach, . . .

4Hansen & Kokal, 2017.