So for an attacker not to overcome good nodes, I believe we rely on the fact that blocks are always being produced, making the attacker essentially outpaced. But in the extreme and ridiculously unlikely case that no Bitcoin transactions occur within a certain sufficiently large time window, could an attacker gain control of the chain and do damage? If not, why?

  • Blocks don't have to contain transactions (other than the coinbase). Is that what you're asking? – MCCCS Apr 12 '19 at 13:43
  • While your question is approaching the subject from a different angle, I've closed it as a duplicate of the above, because the question's answers explain why the assumption leading to your question doesn't apply. Thanks for your interesting questions recently! :) – Murch Apr 12 '19 at 13:52
  • Ah, yep, thank you. So if I understand right, there is still a reward for securing the blockchain (adding new blocks) even though there's no peer-to-peer transaction. So blocks are being continuously added no matter what. – Zduff Apr 12 '19 at 15:49

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