The attack on Twitter highlights the qualities of Bitcoin as a currency of the Internet.
Despite having alternatives as anonymous as Monero, the hackers chose to Bitcoin.
The historic and abominable attack on the social network Twitter this week left clear of the dangers that the platforms centralized pose. The accounts of many users, among them personalities as renowned as the former president of the united States, Barack Obama, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, or the tycoon Warren Buffet, were compromised through a central point: the workers of Twitter.
But what for us, was more striking is that such a feat was made to ask for money, and not any type of money, but Bitcoin (BTC): the currency of the Internet.
If we compare the hack with other episodes in which were involved the cryptocurrencies, clearly this scam was not as successful as they just were stolen 28 BTC (about $ 250,000). What was interesting was just the choice of Bitcoin as a payment method.
Why not use the us dollar, “global currency”? As by its centralization, by its ease to the censorship. Apart from exchanges in the cash, there is no way to transfer dollars which cannot be halted, reversed, confiscated or has disappeared; much less digital. Banks, payment platforms like Paypal or processors such as Visa work hand-in-hand with governments and have controlled systems that allow them to do and undo with the people’s money. They are all intermediaries.
On the above, we highlight just the issue of cash as a way incensurable of mobilization of funds. Only unmediated, face-to-face with another person, it makes it possible for the purpose of transactions with dollars in a single movement. And it is precisely this feature that Bitcoin emulates in the digital world.
Bitcoin is digital cash. For more that has features of the system that may make questionable this quality (such as the potential reduction of fungibility to the spotting of transactions/coins), nobody can stop a legitimate transaction with this criptomoneda and the hackers knew it. When we say “legitimate” we speak simply of a transaction valid for the rules of consensus of this network.
Screen capture of the tweet promotional scam in the official account of the ex-president of the united States, Barack Obama. Source: Twitter.
When we transfer a bitcoin to the Z-direction to the direction H, in effect the person who owns Z is giving “money in hand” to the owner of H (which clearly can be himself). In this case, the intermediary (the network) is open, electronic, automated and follows rules that are specified since its creation, which are difficult to change, and ensure the effectiveness of the transaction. Therefore, to stop transactions in Bitcoin mean to stop your network. While the network function, Bitcoin will be digital cash.
Unlike bank accounts, offshore financial, traditional, and even the acclaimed stablecoins, in Bitcoin there are no mechanisms that allow a government, company or individual to freeze and/or seize the money of others. The way to confiscate bitcoins is reduced to the same as that for the cash: the physical strength.
Now, we can think of the “altcoins”. Why not have been used in the scam? Monero is truly anonymous, he could have hidden the trail better. Tether is a stablecoin used very often, even more than Bitcoin in certain scenarios, And it is glued to the dollar! Well, the simple answer is: adoption.
No other digital currency, copy of Bitcoin, has been unable to achieve the critical mass of users that the first criptomoneda he was able to knead. Only Bitcoin, the Internet currency, was going to be able to call everyone’s attention to something well-known, plausible, giving more relevance to the scam on Twitter, and in addition, allowing (unfortunately) collect some real victims.
If Monero could provide the hackers of anonymous by default, the effectiveness of the theft could have been aborted to use it. Any other criptomoneda it would have generated skepticism and reduced the number of potential victims, because no one has the network effect or global recognition of Bitcoin and much less of its market liquidity. The probability of people to participate in the event was much higher with Bitcoin, both because they could have the currency in their portfolios, how because it is the easiest to buy.
This is the official logo of Bitcoin (BTC). At present there are a lot of cryptocurrencies similar to Bitcoin, but the original will recognize this logo.
This is done, you reach the privacy as it was a matter of not moving the money (to remain anonymous) or to use tools that allow you to hide or, at least, to confuse the movements of bitcoins. Many of them, such as mixers, exceed the current limits of surveillance companies of blockchains and were the hackers decided to use.
Other cryptocurrencies did not qualify for such an attack simply because of their centralization, whether of code or of community: Tether and the stablecoins had funds confiscated; Ethereum and other altcoins would have bifurcated the network. Only Bitcoin gave the assurance that the transactions made were going to be late, that no one was going to override.
Just that certainty gave a demonstration of the speed that commonly are critical of Bitcoin. Although we know that only those committed transactions are actually end, the high difficulty of performing a double spending in this network means that, in situations like this, where bitcoin in Twitter was trend for a “harvest” world, can be taken the shipment as late. For the purposes of hacking, payments made with bitcoin were instant.
In short, Bitcoin is the criptomoneda or, to put it more broadly, digital currency most successful, recognized, safe, and valuable in the world. The coins of government in its physical form are no match for a born in the Internet and although other cryptocurrencies may have qualities superior techniques, none has really achieved the status of global currency. The hackers were not fools when asking for Bitcoin simply because it is the best money that exists in this digital era. Bitcoin is the money of the Internet.