Is Blockchain Technology Vulnerable?
During Bitcoin Wednesday on 6 March, 2019, we’ll hear from Martin Kuvandzhiev, a Co-Founder and Lead Developer of the notorious Bitcoin Gold cryptocurrency. Martin will give a presentation on potential vulnerabilities of blockchain technology, including potential hacks due to quantum computing and 51% attacks. He will conclude his talk with an introduction to Bitcoin Gold’s cross-chain notarization algorithm which is designed to protect the blockchain from 51% attacks by providing an additional verification function.
As one of the biggest contributors to the codebase, Martin has extensive experience in this area. In May 2018 Bitcoin Gold became the poster child for the 51% attack when a hacker with more than half of the network’s mining power was able to steal $18 million worth of the cryptocurrency, the largest such theft in the industry. Launched at the end of 2017, Bitcoin Gold is the second major cryptocurrency to hard fork away from the Bitcoin blockchain. One of its key features is its resistance to specialized ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining hardware to prevent large players from controlling too much of the cryptocurrency supply. Bitcoin Gold mining can today only be done by more accessible graphics cards or GPUs, though that alone hasn’t stopped mining centralization.
Unfortunately, the project has been beset by challenges right from the beginning. The team made the contentious decision to pre-mine the first 100,000 new coins on the new chain before the project’s official launch. Reports also surfaced of third party wallets that stole its user’s private keys. The cryptocurrency has lost more than 90% of its value since its initial launch 16 months ago, but still has a market cap of more than $220 Million.
Martin is one of the 6 co-founders and one of the 5 board members. He started working as a software developer at the age of 18 while still a student at the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. The next year he was promoted to lead firmware developer at the same company. Two years later, at the age of 21 he participated in a team that won NASA’s Space Apps Challenge against a field of more than 21,000 competitors. In 2018 he travelled more than 280,000 kilometers around the world to educate people about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He lives in Sofia, Bulgaria where he is also the CEO of two tech startups, GoStartups and Assetify and leads more than 50 professionals on 6 different continents.