A fresh report is alleging that two miners recently executed a 51% attack on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Specifically, the two mining pools are said to have performed the attack to stop a third party from taking advantage of a security hole left in place by a code update.
BTC.top and BTC.com reportedly performed the 51% attack
This news was shared in a series of tweets on May 24th by the host of The Cryptoconomy Podcast. The host, Guy Swann, suggested that the two miners ”BTC.top” and ”BTC.com” had coordinated in an effort to perform a 51% attack on Bitcoin Cash.
A so-called 51% attack is when a party or group attempts to seize control over the majority of mining power for a Proof-of-Work blockchain network. If successful, a 51% attack can allow the majority block verifier to essentially ”take control” over the blockchain.
In fact, such control could allow the party controlling the majority of the mining power to prohibit some users from mining, or even reverse transactions.
According to Swann, a 51% attack on Bitcoin Cash was supposedly conducted but has failed to make headlines. Although it is currently unclear whether or not Swann is correct in his claim that a 51% attack on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain actually took place, he tweeted some seemingly legitimate evidence.
The two miners are said to have executed the attack for ”benevolent” reasons
Swann proposed that the recent Bitcoin Cash code update on May 15th had caused an ”unintentional split”. Moreover, he noted that the May 15th fork was intended to remove a Bitcoin Cash issue which saw a ”significant amount of coins” sent to ”anyone can spend addresses”.
According to Swann, the May 15th fork created a vulnerability that an unknown miner tried to exploit. What’s more, Swann also said that BTC.top and BTC.com discovered this and conducted the attack in an effort to stop the unknown miner from taking control of these coins.
”When the unknown miner tried to take the coins themselves, http://BTC.TOP & http://BTC.COM saw & immediately decided to re-org & remove these [transactions] TXs, in favor of their own TXs, spending the same P2SH coins, + many others … So just 2 miners, in secret & w/ no trouble, took it upon themselves to remove 2 blocks w/ another’s TXs, & replace with their own.”
According to Swann, these two ”benevolent” miners actually managed to briefly control 54% of the Bitcoin Cash network. However, it should have noted that some are questioning whether or not a Bitcoin Cash attack ever even took place.
Any 51% attack, including this supposed 51% attack on Bitcoin Cash, requires an enormous amount of computing power. As such, the attack method is not very widely used – however, this story showcases the vulnerability of blockchain networks with low hash rates. Just five months ago, Ethereum Classic was hit by another 51% attack.
Image Source: Forbes
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.