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Editorial 19 September 2022

Is ETH a security? If it wasn’t before, it is now

Ethereum is both a security and tyranny, as staking coins via a third party remains, and the wealthiest holders combining forces to ensure total domination of the system, the article argues.

<p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFunVjggDWo</p>
<p>This week saw yet another <a href=51% attack on Ethereum Classic in what has become a worryingly common occurrence. The attack, the third incident in August, resulted in a 7,000 block reorganization, the equivalent of two days’ worth of mining.

The latest attack was first noticed by Bitfly, with the Ethereum Classic development team confirming it on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/eth_classic/status/1299824170260340737

Ethereum Classic Labs is blaming hash rental platforms for the attacks, claiming they have been exempted from KYC and AML regulations which promotes crime. ETC Labs blamed NiceHash in particular, saying that the latest attack was conducted with hash rate purchased from the company.

Still on Ethereum, a new report came out this week revealing that as much as $1 billion worth of Ethereum tokens are at risk from attack because they are missing a software standard released in 2017. The research, conducted by four Chinese and Australian universities, found that the tokens could be stolen by simply manipulating the smart contract code.

In other news, BTC block reward miners from the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia have lost out on state-subsidized power to run their operations. Local officials recently raised concerns regarding the miners, claiming they were of little benefit to the region.

With the move, BTC miners will see their electricity costs shoot up by 33%. The move came as a big blow to the miners, not only in Inner Mongolia, but also in surrounding regions who fear that their local governments may follow suit.

Two of the industry’s largest players, Bitmain and Ebang, were among the affected companies.

This week also saw the announcement of the top three finalists for the Bitcoin SV 2020 Hackathon. From a shortlist of 10 semi-finalists, Kyrt, STOTASK and RepZip emerged as the top projects. They will make their final pitches at the upcoming CoinGeek Live event.

RepZip is an identity system designed for the Metanet. It allows its users to verify their identities, provides verifiable credentials and enables on-chain contracts. Kyrt enables users to integrate Bitcoin microtransactions to events, enabling them to connect any app to the Bitcoin blockchain. STOTASK rewards users with Bitcoin micropayments for data labelling services, adding human assistance to machine learning.

The three emerged at the top in a hotly contested Hackathon which saw participation from 418 participants representing 75 countries.

The eagerly awaited CoinGeek Live 2020 is now just a few weeks away. It will be the biggest one yet, with speeches from some of the world’s leading minds, including Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig Wright, Wall Street veteran Tom Lee and globally renowned economist and visionary George Gilder. The event will highlight the latest developments in blockchain technology while charting the future of Bitcoin.

CoinGeek Live will broadcast live from the Manhattan Center in New York and London’s Kennington Studio. Grab a seat at this year’s biggest Bitcoin event by signing up here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjThnLK7dcE&feature=youtu.be

" title="The CoinGeek Pulse: Episode 11" />
Business 4 September 2020

The CoinGeek Pulse: Episode 11

This week’s headlines include another 51% attack on Ethereum Classic, BTC miners losing subsidized power in China, and the finalists of the Bitcoin SV 2020 Hackathon.

<p>Ethereum Classic Labs has released a detailed plan regarding the changes that should be made to the ETC network to protect it from future 51% attacks. The plan comes just two weeks after the ETC network was 51% attacked twice in one week, with the 1st attack resulting in a 3,000 block reorg and a<a href= $5.6 million loss from the OKEx exchange and the second attack resulting in a 4,000 block reorg and a loss of an unknown amount.

The problem

Ethereum Classic was 51% attacked twice in one week because it is not very expensive to execute a 51% attack on the network. According to crypto51, a website with statistics regarding how expensive it is to 51% attack a network, it only costs $5,288 to 51% attack the ETC network for one hour. Since it is possible to rent large amounts of hash from hash provider NiceHash, it does not take much to exploit the Ethereum Classic network.

In their report, ETC labs even says “Ethereum Classic is not only vulnerable to 51% attacks, but these attacks are possible to execute due to the available hash rate that can be rented on various platforms.”  

The solution

ETC Labs has laid out both a short term and long term plan to protect the Ethereum Classic network from future 51% attacks. In the short term, ETC Labs says the network will adopt a “defensive mining strategy” via a “cooperation with miners and mining pools to maintain a more consistent hash rate and to increase hash rate when needed.”

In addition, ETC labs says the ETC network will enhance network monitoring to identify unusual increases in hash and will have digital currency exchanges increase the confirmation time for ETC transactions.

In the next three to six months, ETC Labs says the ETC network may “change the proof-of-work mining algorithm. The two alternatives under consideration are Keccak-256 or RandomX. These could be implemented through a hard fork in approximately 6 months, provided that testing is completed successfully.”

Regardless, the ETC network needs a solution and it needs a solution fast. Since January 1, the total hash of the ETC network has dropped by more than 70%, and each day the ETC network goes without implementing a solution or reducing its 51% attack vector, the less attractive the ETC network looks to the individuals who could supply the hash that keeps the network stable.

" title="Ethereum Classic rolls out 51% attack protection plan" />
Business 24 August 2020

Ethereum Classic rolls out 51% attack protection plan

ETC Labs has laid out both a short term and long term plan to protect the Ethereum Classic network from future 51% attacks.

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