In this paper, Ben Kaiser, Mireya Jurado, and Alex Ledger explore the real threat that China poses on Bitcoin, in numerous ways. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen much discussion on this topic online. Surely it has been obvious that China is the type of power that can dare to try to control anything in the world, even Bitcoin – the face of the Decentralization movement. Will China succeed? Here the abstract:
As Bitcoin’s popularity has grown over the decade since its creation, it has become an increasingly attractive target for adversaries of all kinds. One of the most powerful potential adversaries is the country of China, which has expressed adversarial positions regarding the cryptocurrency and demonstrated powerful capabilities to influence it. In this paper, we explore how China threatens the security, stability, and viability of Bitcoin through its dominant position in the Bitcoin ecosystem, political and economic control over domestic activity, and control over its domestic Internet infrastructure. We explore the relationship between China and Bitcoin, document China’s motivation to undermine Bitcoin, and present a case study to demonstrate the strong influence that China has over Bitcoin. Finally, we systematize the class of attacks that China can deploy against Bitcoin to better understand the threat China poses. We conclude that China has mature capabilities and strong motives for performing a variety of attacks against Bitcoin.