Attack the network by temporarily adding hash power?

Could a malicious actor (e.g. government) attack the network by introducing significant compute power into the network, and once the difficulty grows very high, withdraw all resources from the network.

This could dramatically increase the time it takes for transactions to be confirmed, as well as makes it not profitable for other miners. Granted this would only last until the difficulty is readjusted, but perhaps it could be enough to shake public confidence in the network.

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Are the miners to decide if a consensus rule is accepted or not? Or are the buyers in power?

I get the impression that every time a consensus rule change is suggested then people assume that the miners/mining pools have the last word if this rule accepted or not. But isn’t it up to the buyers?

Take the blocksize limit for example: A lot has been talked about which pool would go for which approach regarding the blocksize. Now let’s assume one part of the miners would got for approach “big blocks” and the other would go for “small blocks”. This would result in a fork of the blockchain: Bitcoin would essentially be split into two currencies: BigBlockBitcoin and SmallBlockBitcoin.

If I where to buy some Bitcoins after such an event, then I’d expect Bitcoin exchanges to offer me these two coin types. I would be able to buy the coins mined under the rules I like, it would not matter if they where mined by 90% of the miners world-wide, or by 10%.

Eventually one approach would lose traction and the coins value. So isn’t it ultimately up to the buyers to decide if a coin is successful or not?

Recent Questions – Bitcoin Stack Exchange


A method and engine for hash calculation, the method comprising receiving data blocks via an input module, providing clock cycles by a clock module, calculating a hash from a received data block by a process module including a data pipeline and a state pipeline, the hash calculation comprising: an input data block to the data pipeline, the data block includes a sequence of data words including X data words, wherein X is a known number, calculating, in every other clock cycle of the clock…