[cryptography] Bitcoin observation

Adam Back adam at cypherspace.org
Tue Jul 5 06:53:32 EDT 2011

I dont think you can prove you have destroyed a bitcoin, neither your own
bitcoin, nor someone else's.  To destroy it you would have to prove you
deleted the coin private key, and you could always have an offline backup.

You could uncreate a coin by creating a chain removing it from existance,
by having significantly more compute cycles than the rest of the network
combined.  Even that is dubious - not clear what would happen if the rest of
the network colluded and agreed you did that - could they get together and
reject your undo even though it was a more expensive chain?  Maybe... not
been tested yet.


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