If the Bitcoin blockchain was up against a hypothetically well-funded government or some consortium who’s objective is not financial benefit, but to destroy Bitcoin, would that be a concern for Bitcoin?
I would argue that it is already happening. Bitcoin is currently poking the hundred trillion dollar banking industry saying “Hey, I want that, give me your piece of cake!”
Yes, well-funded opponents, the best funded opponents – we have them. If they used some kind of internal consensus attack against Bitcoin and damage its ability to mine new blocks, essentially a denial-of-service attack, that would be a very interesting scenario, which is leading us to the question:
How will bitcoin react to attacks?
First of all, it would be noticed, and it would be noticed pretty quickly.
Secondly, it would immediately lead to counter-measures because when a something attacks you, you develop countermeasures as a form of immunity. Through developing immunity, you have a form of evolution, which means that bitcoin will evolve resistance to that kinds of attack. Then bitcoin will be attacked again, and evolve more resistance to that kind of attack.
Bitcoin has been attacked before, and it is being attacked today, and it is evolving resistance. Not necessarily to those kinds of attacks yet, but when they come, bitcoin will evolve resistance to those too. Why? Because it is a massively decentralized system with a lot of independent actors who are guiding the evolution of the system towards protecting the system against those kind of attacks.
That means that it will evolve much faster than a biological system. That means that it will have evolving immunity.
What the well-funded opponent will actually be training, is that he will be training Bitcoin on how to win. They are inoculating bitcoin against those attacks. And you know how the old saying goes: “Whatever doesn’t kill it, only makes it stronger.”
So attacking is not the good way to go after a decentralized system. I don’t know if there are any good ways to attack bitcoin, but I know that forceful strategy will backfire badly.
Maybe you know that soon after the Johannes Gutenberg invented printing press, opponents of Bible were burning these books, but soon they realized that it does not have effect, people wanted to buy the book and they were finding the ways to do so. Bible opponents changed their strategy, they made people to not want to read the Bible. That way it does not matter if Bible is best selling book in the world.