Vertcoin Network Sabotaged by Another 51% Attack

The Vertcoin (VTC) blockchain was 51% attacked on Sunday, December 1, which noticed 603 VTC blocks changed by 553 blocks from the attacker. That is the second time the ASIC resistant Vertcoin chain was ambushed, because the community suffered a 300-block reorg a 12 months in the past.

Additionally learn: Cryptocurrency Tasks Aiming to be ‘ASIC Resistant’ Have Little Success

Vertcoin 51% Attacked Once more

Vertcoin, a fork of the Bitcoin protocol, is an alternate cryptocurrency that’s been round since January 2014. The group and builders behind the undertaking imagine VTC is completely different as a result of it claims to be ASIC resistant. Nevertheless, all through October and December 2018, the Vertcoin community handled a collection of 51% assaults and various blockchain reorganizations (reorg).

Vertcoin Network Sabotaged by Another 51% Attack
Vertcoin handled 51% assaults and reorgs in October and December.

A 51% assault is when a single entity (miner) takes greater than 50% of the community’s hashpower, permitting them to reorg blocks and double spend cash. The 300-block reorg on Vertcoin final 12 months value greater than $100,000 from double spends. The scenario invoked VTC builders to alter its proof-of-work algorithm to a different algorithm known as Lyra2rev3. Lower than a 12 months afterward December 1, 2019, the Vertcoin chain suffered one other 51% assault. James Lovejoy, Vertcoin’s lead developer, defined the scenario:

On Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:19:47 GMT 603 blocks had been faraway from the VTC foremost chain and changed by 553 attacker blocks. We observe that 600 blocks is the present affirmation requirement for VTC on Bittrex. There have been 5 double-spent outputs during which ~ 125 VTC (~$29) was redirected. Every of the double-spent outputs are coinbase outputs owned by the attacker and it’s unknown to whom the cash had been initially despatched earlier than being swept to an attacker tackle after the reorg.

Vertcoin Network Sabotaged by Another 51% Attack

Cloud-Mining Service Nicehash Blamed Once more

Equally to final 12 months’s assault, the captured hashrate was blamed on Nicehash. The corporate sells hashpower to people and acts as a hashpower dealer market that connects sellers and miners. Lovejoy remarked that he observed on November 30 “a big upswing in hashrate rental costs for Lyra2rev3 on Nicehash.” “This was mixed with employees related to Nicehash’s stratum server being despatched work for unknown (personal) Vertcoin blocks,” Lovejoy added. Final 12 months’s assault was blamed on Nicehash too when observers mentioned “there’s an excessive amount of hashrate for lease at too low a worth, leading to zero capex and low opex to do assaults.” Regardless of being ASIC resistant, cloud-mining providers at the moment are capable of supply clients important parts of CPU and GPU-based hashrates.

Vertcoin Network Sabotaged by Another 51% Attack

Resisting mining centralization has been an enormous concern for quite a lot of blockchains and the Monero (XMR) community has had its share of grievances as nicely. Final 12 months XMR noticed a number of forks as builders tried to bolster ASIC resistance. In Could 2018, the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) undertaking suffered a 51% assault and misplaced $18 million in a single fell swoop. A big portion of the BTG double spends from the assault was stolen from Bittrex, finally inflicting the U.S. alternate to delist BTG.

Vertcoin Network Sabotaged by Another 51% Attack

With Sunday’s Vertcoin assault, Lovejoy emphasised that “it’s doable that Bittrex was the unique goal.” Nevertheless, the double spends had been aborted as a result of Bittrex had their pockets disabled. “Additionally it is doable that no double spend was ever supposed, and the assault was a proof of idea or sabotage assault,” Lovejoy added. Lovejoy mentioned the post-attack evaluation of the Nicehash order ebook on the time of the assault had proven “a big upswing in hashrate rental worth” from each U.S. and EU markets. However after the assault, the rental worth subsided, Lovejoy burdened, returning to the baseline market equilibrium.

What do you concentrate on Vertcoin getting attacked once more? Why do you assume assaults like these occur? Tell us what you concentrate on this topic within the feedback part under.

Picture credit: Shutterstock, Vertcoin brand, and Lovejoy’s Github gist.

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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a monetary tech journalist residing in Florida. Redman has been an energetic member of the cryptocurrency group since 2011. He has a ardour for Bitcoin, open supply code, and decentralized purposes. Redman has written 1000’s of articles for concerning the disruptive protocols rising at this time.

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