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CZ says Binance is considering a Bitcoin rollback to recover stolen BTC

Posted: 8 May 2019 1:45 pm News

Picture not described: shutterstock-binance-crypto-logo-738x410.jpg Image: Getty

A recovery fork would be infinitely more disruptive than a mere $40 million loss.

On today's Binance AMA (ask me anything), Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao says the team is weighing up the possibility of rolling back the Bitcoin network to recover the funds stolen in today's Binance hack.

"Do we want to issue a rollback on the Bitcoin network?" he asked. "To be honest, we could probably do this within the next few days."

"I actually did not know we could do that," CZ conceded

It's an option on the table, but the team at Binance isn't taking it lightly.

"But there are concerns about if we do a rollback on the bitcoin network at that scale, it may have some negative concepts in terms of destroying credibility for Bitcoin," CZ pointed out. "The team's still deciding that. We're running through the numbers and checking everything."

On the one hand, the mere fact that Binance is able to opt for a rollback if it wants is enough to destroy Bitcoin's credibility so you might as well go for it.

On the other hand, if you actually perform the reorg it will really hammer home how much of Bitcoin's decentralisation and immutability is still just smoke and mirrors. With the markets turning up so nicely in recent weeks, it would be kind of a shame to throw that kind of spanner in the works now.

After an immediate downturn the markets have more or less shrugged off the Binance hack, but a Bitcoin reorganisation would be much more disruptive and would most likely result in a plunge.

But it's worth noting that Bitcoin is still a community technology, and according to CZ it was the community itself which presented the idea.

"I think there are some ethical and reputational considerations for Bitcoin and blockchain for a rollback," CZ reiterated. "It's interesting that it's a tech solution handed to us by the community, including some of the core members of the Bitcoin development team. We will consider that very, very carefully."

The simple fact that a single party is theoretically able to disrupt the markets to that extent that would result from a rollback doesn't reflect too well on Bitcoin's immutability and decentralisation. Fortunately, the general temperature seems to be anti-rollback, which is probably a good thing.


Disclosure: The author holds BTC, BNB, ATOM at the time of writing.

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