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Being devil's advocate right now.

If you have a very strong cryptography, however, secure system's Point of Failure is always the human end. We spend hours trying to make Bitcoin secure at core level, but how secure is at the human level?

I expect big corporations and governments to secretly offer a huge sum of money to any of the developers of Core. I have nightmares about that.

How do we protect against bribery?

3

In an ideal world, we would want all programs to be auditable/verifiable(we can verify every execution path to be secure and correct). But that's far from reality, when you download a binary from a source(for example, Bitcoin Core), you have the following choices.

1) Trust the developers of the binary on their claim "binary works as intentded"

2) Verify the source yourself (It's open source for this reason) and build your software yourself.

All PR's to Bitcoin Core are visible to everyone, so everyone will be able to detect any harmful PR. An effective attack would involve bribing all people who actively watch the repository.

The best solution review the code yourself. If this attack really gives you nightmares, reviewing code yourself is the only way in which you don't have to trust anyone.

A more realistic solution is what happens today, you can rely upon hunderds of people who keep a watch on bitcoin repository to report if there are any backdoors in code.

EDIT: As pointed out by Peter Wuille, Bitcoin Core has a deterministic build process. You can repeat the build procedure for any release yourself, and verify that the resulting binary is identical to the release binary which you downloaded. This means that you don't necessarily have to trust just developers that the binary is created from publicly audited source code.

  • 1
    You may want to point out that Bitcoin Core has a deterministic build process. You can repeat the build procedure for any release yourself, and verify that the resulting binary is identical to the release binary. This means that you don't necessarily have to trust just developers that the binary is created from publicly audited source code. – Pieter Wuille Jun 27 '17 at 6:48
  • After meeting some of you in person (Core devs) I sleep better at night. I know you guys have strong principles, and you know very well the open source community, and you apply those principles to your work. Thank you, and keep up the good work. – Kibou Nov 1 '17 at 14:04
1

There is a joke about Thailand's road police: Once Thailand King went to a witch a and asked: "Hey, witch! Help me to eliminate bribes on my land's roads, please. What should I do or how should I punish?". Witch looked at him precisely and answered: "Cancel all the police, so there will be not a single policeman to accept bribes!" Since then... you know how it looks like in Thailand, if you were here.

The thing is we can't protect against bribery with a new BIP as well as we can't protect against narco traffic and other illegal services with it. Maybe we just need to change living conditions and to make such activities pointless?

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