Ed Drake

bitPico threatens to take down Bitcoin Cash network with spam blitz

A shadowy developer has threatened a series of attacks against the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain, which he claims will be strong enough to damage the network. Known only as ‘bitPico’, the malicious developer has said the attack has already begun, and will continue to ‘amplify’ over the next few weeks, in a bid to force a split in the blockchain.

To back up his claims, bitPico posted a video of code scrolling against a blue screen on Twitter, in a move that has been widely ridiculed in the bitcoin community.

Labelled a ‘script kiddie’ by many within the bitcoin community, bitPico’s response has been to say “don’t say we didn’t warn you,” posting a Fork.lolscreenshot of the hashrate for BTC and BCH respectively. The photo, however, only added to the confusion of Twitter users, leading one to ask bitPico whether his mined blocks could be identified through a block explorer—at the time of writing, this remains an unanswered question.

Claiming to have been interviewed by Coindesk, the developer shared a Pastebin copy of his comments to the alleged interviewer, including remarks which purported to shed more light on the nature of his attacks: “Everything from low-level TCP/IP stack attacks to high level bitcoin cash protocol attacks…Our LevelDB stress tests have been active for over 7 months since we migrated our Bitcoin implementation’s codebase’s UTXO set to its own database; that said LevelDB wasn’t designed to handle such complex Big Data being read, written and deleted in-parallel.”

Aside from the dearth of evidence, those in the bitcoin community have further reason to discredit bitPico.

bitPico remains an anonymous and somewhat unknown developer, which could either be an individual, or a group of developers working in consort.The anonymous dev was involved in the SegWit2x debacle, and was visibly disgruntled when the project was cancelled in November 2017.bitPico promised to carry out the hard fork event “regardless” of the lack of support, because “everything is set in motion.”

At the time, he claimed to control as much as 30% of the hashrate. However, time has revealed this to have been an empty threat. It remains to be seen whether the latest outlandish claims are any closer to being grounded in reality. On June 25, bitPico tweeted another update, claiming that its “home grown Bitcoin Cash implementation” has started syncing.

Meanwhile, some members of the Bitcoin community welcomed bitPico’s efforts to stress test the BCH network. Reddit user @mrredit said: “I absolutely support anyone who puts time and energy into trying to break the BCH network. They are donating their time and money and energy and if a weakness is found it will help grow BCH stronger.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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