What if a major flaw is discovered in BC’s cryptographic soundness? Is there any way to prevent the complete dissolution of the system and of everybody’s wealth?
Perhaps one way to do it would be to create a voluntary registry of non-anonymous addresses, to be shared and verified publicly. Then, if a major flaw arose (maybe someone solved the factoring problem 🙂 ), then there would still be a record of everybody’s wealth that could be used in a new system (supposing everybody could agree on the latest time that no fraudulent transactions could have taken place). Of course, people who chose to stay anonymous (and therefore did not include their address in the registry) would see their wealth disappear, but alas that risk would prove the price of anonymity.
Here’s an answer to a similar question about how to recover from a major meltdown.
Quote from: satoshi on June 14, 2010, 20:39:50
If SHA-256 became completely broken, I think we could come to some agreement about what the honest block chain was before the trouble started, lock that in and continue from there with a new hash function.
If the hash breakdown came gradually, we could transition to a new hash in an orderly way. The software would be programmed to start using a new hash after a certain block number. Everyone would have to upgrade by that time. The software could save the new hash of all the old blocks to make sure a different block with the same old hash can’t be used.
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