Building Upon the Successful Implementation of MESS and Engaging Gitcoin Developers to Improve Detection, Analytics, and Deterrence of 51% Attacks
On October 10, Ethereum Classic successfully implemented an innovative 51% attack solution, MESS ECIP 1100. It was developed by Isaac A., ETC Core Protocol Lead and Client Developer, and the ETC Core Team, in partnership with Open Relay, ChainSafe Systems, and the ETC community. MESS has already been adopted by miners and exchanges. It has led to new miners joining the ETC network, to a reduction in confirmation times, and to a more secure ETC network.
To build upon the success of MESS and to contribute to further innovation on PoW network security, we’re excited to announce the Chasing the GHOST: Network Security Hackathon, powered by Gitcoin. This virtual hackathon, beginning November 2, 2020 — January 11, 2021, will engage the Gitcoin developer community to complement MESS and to advance the detection, analytics, and deterrence of attacks. While all PoW blockchains are vulnerable to 51% attacks, there is not enough innovation.
“At ETC Labs, we are committed to network security,” said James Wo, Founder, and Chairman of ETC Labs. “In implementing MESS to secure the ETC network, it became clear that there was a lack of innovation around 51% attack resistance. We’re looking forward to engaging with Gitcoin developers through the Chasing the GHOST: Network Security Hackathon to foster innovation around the vulnerability that all PoW blockchains have.”
This five-week hackathon will happen in two phases:
Phase 1: the RFP-athon will take place November 2, 2020 — November 20, 2021, calling for RFP’s regarding design systems and tools that would make 51% attacks less harmful and harder to execute. This includes ghostwriting tools to support the detection, provide analytics, and deterrence of adversarial network participants.
Prizes for phase 1 include:
- 1st Place — $2,000
- 2nd Place — $1,000
- 3rd Place — $500
Phase 2: the hackathon happening December 7, 2020 — January 11, 2021, will implement the winning RFP’s in the most effective and efficient way. Present specific security bounties.
Prized for phase II include:
- 1st Place — up to $50,000
- 2nd Place — up to $20,000
- 3rd Place — up to $5,000
- Early Warning 51% Detection System: 51% attacks are difficult to detect in PoW systems let alone forecast. We are looking for tools that can be used to provide a warning about future 51% attacks. Examples might be, but are not limited to, systems that are used to detect offline mining, abnormal mining pool behavior, etc. These tools might be systems or algorithms that can be implemented to warn about potential 51% attacks.
- Create Systems to Deter Adversarial Network Participants: We are looking for systems that help deter adversarial network participants from being potential bad actors on the network. For this proposal, we’d like to see algorithms, and schemes that can help encourage better network participation and discourage network manipulation. See example, here.
- Open Track Bounty: We are looking for you to propose a feature for ETC that improves network for participants, particularly on a security front. These can vary wildly and we would like to see what aspects you could improve. For example: network block propagation, Kademlia improvements, state management improvements, block sealing ethash improvement analysis, fundamentally improving network connectivity, are all only tangentially related to security, but can be improved.
Calling all developers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators! We’d love to hear about improvements that could be made to the Ethereum GHOST protocol and other mechanisms relevant to the Ethereum Classic blockchain that could improve the consensus and finality technology.
Check out full event details, deadlines, resources, and sign up for the hackathon here.
For more information contact, [email protected]
About ETC Labs
The mission of ETC Labs is to build relevant, accessible, and high-quality technology, and to use that technology to create communities of value in a mature and regulated ecosystem. The ultimate goal is to fulfill the promise of blockchain to improve people’s lives using Ethereum Classic, one of the world’s major public blockchains. The ETC Labs team of experts also fosters partnerships with organizations and institutions in order to address fundamental challenges in developing and deploying this innovative technology. We fulfill the mission in three ways: the ETC Labs Accelerator, which invests in up to 25 blockchain projects annually that contribute to sustaining a robust ecosystem; strategic investments in innovative projects focused on economic and social development; and the Core Team, a team of experts and developers who maintain the Ethereum Classic blockchain and build key applications, solutions, and tools.
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