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I'm curious if Bitcoin is vulnerable to this:

Create thousands of virtual machines, all "networked together". Download the current full Blockchain and register each virtual machine as a Bitcoin node. Take the virtual machine cluster offline, set the date of each system 5 days in the future. Start mining, however manipulate the time to go 10 minutes in a millisecond. (My thought process is since Bitcoin tries to keep one coin being produced every 10 minutes then you could produce a lot of coins at once). After you're done mining, inject the remaining block chain and wait to go back online until your time is exactly in sync with real time.

My thought process: since you created enough "nodes" to effectively have 51%, and you have the whole Blockchain without skipping a beat, and all your fake transactions are to a "new" address, then wouldn't bringing that cluster online at precisely the right time not violate consensus?

Maybe I have a naive understanding of Bitcoin, but I'm curious what you all think.

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  • I'm confused. What do your thousands of machines do that one machine couldn't do just the same? Oct 19 '21 at 7:02
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since you created enough "nodes" to effectively have 51%,

The 51% attack discussed for Bitcoin is 51% of hashing power, not 51% of nodes.


Bitcoin tries to keep one coin being produced every 10 minutes

The 10 minutes applies to blocks, not coins. There can be many Bitcoins minted per block (depending on the halving rule and block-height).

The rules try to keep the long term average block production rate close to 10 minutes, but it can and has varied considerably. There can be as little as seconds or as long as hours between consecutive blocks. This isn't a significant problem for the network as a whole.


register each virtual machine as a Bitcoin node.

There is no registration process for Bitcoin nodes.


wouldn't bringing that cluster online at precisely the right time not violate consensus?

Nodes discard any "fake" transactions or blocks that violate the consensus rules. Any nodes that violate consensus rules will become ostracized by the rest of the Bitcoin network.


The rest of your question is a bit unclear to me. I don't think there's any problem for Bitcoin in this area.

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A new block is found when a miner discovers a block header whose hash is lower than the current difficulty target. Taking nodes offline and fiddling with the timestamp does not offer any benefit towards finding a block header that fulfills the difficulty requirement. Rather, miners must search through humongous numbers of block candidates to find new valid blocks. Since finding a new block is so unlikely, a valid block is viable proof that a lot of work has been done. Hence, Bitcoin's consensus algorithm is referred to as "Proof of Work".

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