Can Bitcoin be hacked?

In the media, we repeatedly read reports that Bitcoin has been hacked. But are these reports true, or is it a misunderstanding resulting from a lack of technical knowledge?

Those who are familiar with the Bitcoin technology will tend towards the latter, because what would it mean if Bitcoin itself were hacked? It would of course mean the end of this currency, because a currency that can be hacked will no longer enjoy the trust of its users, and a technology that produces such a weak currency would not have the same appeal as the blockchain technology.

At what point would it be technically correct to say that Bitcoin has been hacked? Is it enough to say that a crypto exchange was hacked or a four-digit password for a wallet file was cracked? Of course not. To say that Bitcoin has been hacked, one must have something like a reliable algorithm that can determine the private key from a public key.

Speculation as to whether this can work with quantum technology is still a subject of debate, but there are also quantum-resistant encryptions that could be used against this. Realistic attacks on a cryptocurrency are therefore mostly attacks on the infrastructure surrounding it, no matter whether it is a exchange hack or a 51% attack.

While smaller cryptocurrencies can occasionally fall victim to a 51% attack, Bitcoin users can still feel relatively secure due to the high hash rate if they follow basic security rules.

This already starts with the question whether one uses a wallet at all or whether one leaves its money to a third party (an exchange). From this the questions are derived, how secure my own infrastructure is to operate a wallet and how trustworthy the exchange is, where I store my money.

A widespread recommendation is to buy a hardware wallet and store all money on it that is not needed for daily needs. On the other hand, if you want to store your cryptocurrencies on a computer, you should make sure that this computer is not used to experiment with possibly infected software or to visit infected websites.

Among the best known hardware wallets are the Ledger and Trezor products. These offer various features and support for multiple cryptocurrencies. A list of software wallets that can be used for different operating systems can be found on Bitcoin.org.

If you are looking for a new computer or new hardware to upgrade your own IT infrastructure, we offer a wide range of products in our store. This selection ranges from Raspberry Pi mini-computers for running a full node to inexpensive home computers for experimental applications and external storage media for backups.

If you are interested in products that you cannot find directly in our store, please contact our Concierge Service. Through our network of suppliers we have access to a catalog of nearly 100,000 products.

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