John Cantrell, project developer for Bitcoin and Lightning Network, recently revealed that he had successfully hacked into a Bitcoin address. His article, however, received several responses with many conclusions that Bitcoin is not safe. Cantrell felt that people missed the point of the exercise, so in a tweet on June 19, he explained and assured people that despite hacking a wallet, Bitcoin is still safe.
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According to Cantrell, bitcoins stored in a wallet generated from a 12-word mnemonic are safe. The only reason he was able to hack into the Bitcoin wallet was because the owner of the wallet publicly exposed eight words of his 12-word mnemonic seed. He explained:
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„The same system that he forced the last 4 words of his mnemonic would take 837 trillion millennia to force as many 12-word mnemonics as possible […] if you know only 5 words. To apply brute force to all 12 words (just to reach the break-even point on your $100 billion investment, assuming you can actually liquidate the entire BTC) still requires 422 BILLION YEARS.
The only way Bitcoin isn’t safe is when the seed words are revealed. „Your bitcoin is safe. 2^128 is a REALLY big number. Just don’t let anyone near your initial words,“ he concluded.