Why Dash is the Most Sybil Attack-Resistant Cryptocurrency — By Far


Hi, I’m Amanda B. Johnson and you are
watching DASH: Detailed. Discussions of the security of a given blockchain-
based network generally revolve around various kinds of attacks and how
resistant or non-resistant the network is to them. One such attack that could be carried
out theoretically on any peer-to-peer network is called a Sybil Attack. The
name comes from the book and later movie “Sybil” which was about the real-life
story of a woman who suffered from “multiple personality disorder.” The root
of the attack then is when one person poses as multiple different identities
online. So how does this apply to cryptocurrency, you may be wondering,
where one person running multiple nodes is generally seen as an “Atta boy!”
sort of thing. “Thanks for supporting the network.” Well
depending on the cryptocurrency you’re talking about one person running many,
many nodes could do several different things. The first thing they could do is
give a false impression about the version of the software that the
majority of the network wants. They could say, refuse to upgrade to a new version
or push out their own upgrade of a new version, giving the impression that the
majority of the network wants to go a certain way in development when really
it’s just one person. Another form a Sybil Attack could take in coins which
offer any level of a privacy is the de-anonymization of transactions. And yet,
another form that the attack could take is the refusal to relay transactions to
the rest of the network. So with these possible attack vectors,
and probably more, how can we determine how resistant or
non-resistant any given network is to them? Well as with all human action we can
most successfully predict what someone is going to do or not do based upon its
cost. For example, if I offered you an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii and
time off your job to take it, you would probably start packing your bags tonight. Whereas if I offered you the same trip
on the condition that you and your children and your
children’s children would be indebted for it for life, you would probably not
take me up on it. In short, whether or not a person does
something depends on whether it is profitable or costly for them and how
costly if so. So the question we must ask ourselves is, what is the cost to Sybil
Attack any given blockchain network? Well in every top cryptocurrency except
Dash the cost of spinning up a node on that network is about five dollars a month.
A motivated and wealthy attacker could spin up hundreds, thousands or even
tens of thousands of nodes over time at relatively little cost to them. Now the
same is true in Dash — anyone can run a full node for roughly five dollars a
month — but the crucial difference is that those kinds of nodes in Dash don’t get
to do anything important or crucial. They don’t get to participate in the
anonymization process of PrivateSend. They don’t get to participate in the security
process of InstantSend. And they don’t get to participate in the governance
process of cryptographic voting. So how much does it cost to participate in the
crucial processes of Dash? Well at current prices about thirteen thousand
dollars per node. That’s because a thousand Dash are required to run a
masternode and a thousand Dash costs roughly thirteen thousand dollars today.
And how much of the Dash network would you control after spending this thirteen
thousand dollars? One fortieth of one percent. But that’s spare change to a wealthy and
motivated attacker, you might say. And you would be right. So how much would someone
have to spend in order to gain a majority of the network? Well with roughly 4,000 current
masternodes in existence an outside attacker — in order to gain say a majority —
we need to purchase an additional 4,000-ish nodes, which is literally impossible
because that would require at least a supply of eight million Dash and there
are less than 7 million. And even if there were enough Dash, any attempt to buy them all up would
send the price so astronomically high that “to the moon!” would become an
understatement. So with an outside attack essentially
infeasible that leaves only one kind: an inside attack. A Dash masternode operator
or operators essentially “breaking bad.” What if someone owned 400 masternodes or
ten percent of the network and their chosen Sybil Attack vector were, hey,
the de-anonymization of an eight-round mixed PrivateSend transaction.
Their chances of doing so? One millionth of one percent. But hey,
let’s get crazy. What if someone owned 800 masternodes — twenty percent of the
network — then what would their chances be to de-anonymize an eight-round mixed
PrivateSend transaction? Less than 30 thousandths of a percent. So what would
this quite nearly impossible Sybil Attack cost our attacker? Oh, just 10.4
million dollars worth of his own Dash as a crash in the price would surely follow
the de-anonymization of a high-security PrivateSend transaction. However, the collateral requirement to
run a masternode is only one part of the Sybil Attack protection. The other
part is the potential future earnings of running a masternode as they are paid
the same amount as Dash’s miners. And it’s this bit of self-interest that
Satoshi Nakamoto himself talked about in the Bitcoin whitepaper. Satoshi wrote,
“If a greedy attacker is able to assemble more CPU power than all the honest nodes,
he would have to choose between using it to defraud people by stealing back his
payments” — or conducting any other type of attack — “or using it to generate new coins.
He ought to find it more profitable to play by the rules, such rules that
favoured him with more new coins than everyone else combined, then to undermine the system
and the validity of his own wealth. In that quote, Satoshi is describing how
Bitcoin’s nodes would ideally work but as we all know, nodes and miners are now different
things in Bitcoin. Because masternodes both prove a stake in the network and
are regularly paid from it, it is entirely accurate to say that Dash is
more aligned with Satoshi’s original security model than Bitcoin is. If you
would like to learn more about security and Dash, or any other aspect of Dash
really, I invite you to stop by either our subreddit at r/DashPay or a even
more hopping at place is our Slack in dash_chat — the invitation link
for that is below. And this has been DASH: Detailed.
I’ll see you next Wednesday. So welcome everybody.
Thank you so much for coming out. My name is Amanda B. Johnson. I am the
host and the writer of a Youtube series, a weekly Youtube series, called DASH:
Detailed…So now now that we’ve kind of established how we operate, how it works,
what we’re doing, what is Dash Evolution and how does it work? Why why should
we all be interested in it?… And thank you so much for having us.

25 thoughts on “Why Dash is the Most Sybil Attack-Resistant Cryptocurrency — By Far”

  1. Bitcoin only has 9 chinese miners now—-Vjnay Gupta considers the protocol deceased NOW. Consider a complete shift to DASH.

  2. Glad you addressed the Sybil attack. Disappointed that you did not explain how Sybil attack is not possible since as I understand it, Originally Dash was Insta-mined, Many more coins were produced by accident (flaw in Litecoin code that was used at the time), PrivateSend was enabled So the 1k stakes on the 4K masternodes. No way to know how many of the 4000 masternodes are controlled by those involved in the insta-mine. Now a Sybil attack is incredibly hard, at the beginning not so much. I do not understand the technology completely. Wish you had not omitted that that.

  3. Certainly the most brilliant Dash Detailed episode so far. Complex and crucial things are made very clear. Thanks Amanda & Pete!

  4. wouldnt cost much if they got some in the instamine and then after just reinvested what they earn with the MN into new MN , then you have the MN borg, but hey , that is always looked at as a positive thing, or just start talking about bitcoin.

  5. Basically it would take people willfully colluding outside the system in order to beat it, so my question is: what prevents a masternode owner from calling up another masternode owner on the phone and saying "Hey, lets start a mutiny!"?

  6. The problem is that not all entities are motivated by money. A government could spend $10 mill to try an attack to decrypt private send and not worry about the loss of money. Also if the price crashes they will have even more of the share of MN. Even a good false rumor could enable a price drop to try and get half the nodes

  7. Extremely well explained as always Amanda. Good research or should I say, you simply know your stuff about DASH. It's now all natural for you. When are you going to join the Dev team? I don't think Evan would be too dictatorial on you… 😉

  8. I think my comment was too long and YouTube ate it. If Dash is successful and goes to $1k, then a node costs $1 million (1000×1000) and that doesn't scale for reasons I can't fit here in a comment. Node count = network strength and I predict this will be the #1 priority going forward. Maybe ever Android ships with a GoogCoin node, or WordPress Jetpack gets a BlogCoin node with a dashboard wallet/tipping/voting mechanism, or CentOS ships with RedHatCoin, then you're talking millions of nodes and real resilience, real geographic distribution. Sybil is interesting, but there's way bigger threats on the horizon.

  9. ones digging is completed and no new coin to dig for, what will happen? from where you will get your hashing power? If I understand correctly you will have to have the powering process by yourself? if so bitcoin is even in a worst situation

  10. 6:30 that indeed only applies to when the motivation is money. If it's ideological (i.e. if someone wants to destroy the blockchain instead of making money) then the argument does not hold, does it?

  11. No. Proof of stake is shit. They don't do any actual work. They are like leechers on the actual mining nodes because miners are the original source of all truth… masternodes must first download and query the miners (parasitic)… it's an oligarchy. Whereas with mining it is a competitive market and you can gain market share through efficiency and paralellisation of big blocks… oh that's right… Dash is not like bitcoin at all… Bitcoin SV is the original bitcoin.

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