Charlie Lee: If a crypto can't be 51% attacked, it's centralized

07 Jun, 2019
by Richard Allen
Opinion
Charlie Lee: If a crypto can't be 51% attacked, it's centralized

Charlie Lee, the creator of the fourth biggest cryptocurrency, Litecoin, has tweeted a response  “thought-provoking observation.” Lee argues that if a network isn’t susceptible to a 51% attack, its permissioned and centralized.

Based on Lee's argument, if a network is controlled to the point where a third party can’t gain majority control, it can’t be considered decentralized. A decentralized network should, by definition, be susceptible to a 51% attack.

A 51% attack occurs when a third party takes majority control over a network, whether by hashrate or staking, allowing them to perform double spends and reverse transactions, making them invalid.

It’s important to note, however, that Lee isn’t commenting on the possibility of a network being attacked. Some networks may be susceptible to a 51% attack but such an undertaking just isn't feasible. Instead, Lee is stating that for a network to be democratic, it must allow for the possibility that a majority could create a new chain.

Not everyone in the community agreed with Lee’s statement, however.

Litecoin is currently trading at $115.09, up 11.57% over the last 24 hours. 

LTC/USD chart provided by Tradingview

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