The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Digital Currency Initiative released a new Bitcoin Software and Security Analysis Paper designed to boost research to bolster Bitcoin network security.
The open source initiative has received support from a variety of crypto industry leaders, including Cameron and Tyler Winklevos of Gemini, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, CEO of Square Jack Dorsey, and Europe’s largest digital asset manager, CoinShares.
In a blog post revealing the project, DCI stated that converting Bitcoin from an “unknown crypto game” to a secure network “providing value of approximately $ 1 trillion” was due to the millions of hours it spent building the project. Open source software developers.
Coinshares announced a donation of $ 500,000 to the project, and CEO Jean-Marie Mugnetti suggested that perhaps other crypto companies should do the same:
“As a recipient of hundreds of developers protecting, updating and maintaining the open source protocols that support the Bitcoin network and the applications built on it, we believe that commercial digital asset companies are committed to funding independent and impartial development efforts and research that advance the common interest of all those involved in the ecosystem.”
DCI’s four-year R&D program aims to “strengthen the Bitcoin network and manage the industry’s commitment to fund open source software”.
The blog post noted, “The aim of the new DCI program is to provide an impartial expertise to improve the reliability of the Bitcoin protocol. Bitcoin security is fundamental to the continuous development of core technology as well as the widespread implementation of the public interest of digital currencies.
The post lists several of the major issues MIT is researching, including support for a large Bitcoin development team, learning new programming languages, and proactively investigating potential attacks.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also highlighted the need to grow and enhance network security along with increasing adoption, noting the challenge of coordinating a decentralized network:
“Unlike traditional assets, Bitcoin is a program that operates on a decentralized network. Bitcoin’s security depends on the accuracy and reliability of the software and hardware that operate on it, as well as the actions of those who participate in the network.”
In July 2020, DCI researcher James Lovejoy warned that 51% of attack attempts – attempts to hijack most nodes and thus take over the Bitcoin network – may be more likely than previously thought.
Lovejoy highlighted the need for active monitoring of blockchain networks to detect 51% of attacks targeting the Proof of Work blockchain, saying, “You need an active observer to monitor the network to see if the attack will happen or not.”
So far, we have relied on victims to tell us if they were attacked. As you can imagine, if this leads to bankruptcy or a loss of resources, victims often have no interest in disclosing when the attack occurred. ”