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Two miners have reportedly executed a 51% attack on the bitcoin cash (BCH) blockchain, according to tweets by Cryptoconomy Podcast host Guy Swann on May 24.
A 51% attack occurs when someone controls the majority of mining power on a Proof-of-Work blockchain network. This means that the majority block verifier can prevent other users from mining and reverse transactions.
While many have assumed that a 51% attack would be carried out with malicious intent, the above case happened as the two mining pools attempted to prevent an unidentified party from taking some coins that — due to a code update — were essentially “up for grabs.”
According to Swann, two miners with majority control of the network — BTC .top and BTC .com — performed the attack in an effort to stop an unknown miner from taking coins that were sent to an “anyone can spend” address following the original hard fork in May 2017. As per Swann’s tweets:
“When the unknown miner tried to take the coins themselves, BTC .TOP & 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.”
51% attacks have generally been considered an undesirable and unprofitable option to take funds, as it would require a massive amount of computing power, and once a network is considered compromised, users would ostensibly flee.
According to statistics on Coin .Dance, BTC .top and BTC .com control 43% of the bitcoin cash mining pool.
As Cointelegraph reported, the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain experienced a 51% attack in January. Researchers at the crypto exchange Gate .io reportedly found that an attacker had reversed four transactions, resulting in a loss of 54,200 ETC. The exchange promised to compensate the affected users, and advised other trading platforms to block transactions initiated by the attacker’s address.
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A 51% attack refers to an attack on a blockchain—most commonly bitcoins, for which such an attack is still hypothetical—by a group of miners controlling more than 50% of the network's mining 51% attack vulnerability is a kind of cryptocuurency's sickness and a terminal one at that. When a new cryptocurrency isn't trusted it's network's power is poor so enough power for an attack can be accumulated easily. Of course there's no economical gain to be yielded at this stage but an attacker could, for example "kill off" a rising competitor. The Bitcoin Gold network reportedly underwent a ‘long-chain attack,’ also known as a 51 percent attack. But the development team claims that it promptly fended off the hostile takeover. The team also supplied mining pools and crypto exchanges with the latest version of BTG Core. Bitcoin Gold Dev Team Thwarts Network Takeover Attempt On Friday, […] The 51% attack targets the Bitcoin network. It becomes possible based on certain conditions being met. For an organization to launch such an attack successfully, it would need to somehow control the majority of the mining power (hashrate) of the Bitcoin network. This would lead to attackers being able to control which transactions are verified. […] 51% Attack. Rewriting the blockchain. A 51% Attack refers to the act of intentionally building a new longest chain of blocks to replace blocks in the blockchain.This allows you to replace transactions that have been mined in to the blockchain.. This kind of attack is easiest to perform when you have a majority of the mining power, which is why it’s referred to as a “Majority Attack” or a
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