Crypto criminals who seek to profit from attacks on the BSV enterprise blockchain will soon discover that these actions will end up profiting others at the cost of the attackers’ liberty.
On August 4, Bitcoin Association issued a statement on the latest block re-organization attack on the Bitcoin SV network. Earlier this week, the attacker(s) created several illegal forked chains on the BSV blockchain in an attempt to double-spend BSV coins, a similar pattern observed during previous attacks in June and July.
Bitcoin Association said three fraudulent chains had been successfully repelled thanks to a robust response by the BSV Node Infrastructure Team, which disseminated an invalidateblock command that BSV nodes executed to return the node to the chain supported by honest miners.
While Bitcoin Association cannot yet conclusively determine the attacker’s motives, Steve Shadders, Chief Technology Officer at blockchain tech outfit nChain, told Forbes that “it seems likely it is little more than theft and profiteering.” Shadders noted that the BSV network’s demonstrated capacity to repel such attacks and to protect digital currency exchanges from fraud is “very encouraging.”
However, the fact that the July attacks resulted in several exchanges pausing BSV deposits, withdrawals and/or trades—as well as the volume of mainstream press the August attacks generated—could indicate the attackers’ desire to inflict reputational harm on the BSV protocol. This theory is bolstered by the considerable hash power involved in the attacks, suggesting a willingness (and capability) to expend far greater resources than any rewards the attackers appear to have gained.
However, that profligate display may end up unmasking the fraudsters, as evidence linked to the attack is now immutably recorded on the BSV blockchain. The criminals also appear to have chosen the wrong moment in history to stage their attack, as global authorities’ patience with digital currency crooks is wearing mighty thin.
Last month, the U.S. State Department offered rewards for tips leading to the identification of cybercriminals involved in attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure. The government’s tolerance for digital shenanigans apparently reached its limit after the recent spate of ransomware attacks directed at both public and private sector operations, most of which demanded payment in BTC.
In a similar vein, CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre has had enough of the attacks on BSV and is willing to pay to see the perpetrators brought to justice. Ayre is personally funding a new CoinGeek Crime Bounty Program that promises substantial rewards for information that materially results in convictions for crimes committed in the BSV ecosystem. The bounty can be negotiated related to how good the tip is and Ayre expects to give millions in bounties in the years ahead.
Ayre wants to make it clear that this program isn’t a one-off score-settling reaction to these recent incidents. It’s a long-term effort aimed at imposing order on a sector that has for too long been dominated by ‘code is law’ types. I’m sorry, but code isn’t law, unless you’re talking about the Code of Hammurabi.
Successful systems require order, which is why all societies impose rules that clearly mark the out-of-bounds lines and stipulate penalties for straying outside these lines. Crypto-anarchists may bristle at such restrictions, but regulation is the sector’s only sure-fire route to long-term sustainability.
The U.S. ransomware reward announcement was accompanied by news that the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) was redoubling its efforts to disrupt crypto-based money laundering efforts by partnering with financial institutions and other industry stakeholders to trace the proceeds of cybercrime. (And woe betide any protocol whose primary selling point is increasing the difficulty of tracking such transactions).
These actions, along with the growing number of jurisdictions cracking down on digital currency scofflaws such as Binance, shows that order is coming to the digital currency sector whether the crypto-anarchists like it or not. The only question now is whether the sector’s responsible actors will get a say in the system that emerges.
If the digital currency sector wants to be taken seriously, it needs to both acknowledge the rot at its core and take the appropriate actions to excise that rot so that the healthy sections can thrive. The CoinGeek Crime Bounty Program is intended to help root out the crypto criminals and clear the way for builders to finally realize the massive benefits this sector has to offer.
Individuals with any info that sheds light on the BSV network attacks are urged to submit their info to our contact us page, and don’t forget to select the “Report Crime” topic in the form.
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