Two Mining pools, BTC.com and BTC.top, have allegedly carried out a re-organization of the Bitcoin Cash [BCH] chain to reverse two malicious transactions. It was made possible by carrying out a ‘51% attack’ attack on the blockchain.
The move has sparked a controversy in the cryptocurrency community because of concerns over Bitcoin Cash’s [BCH] decentralization and governance model.
What Really Happened?
Bitcoin Cash [BCH] has a reserve of coins in an ‘anyone can spend’ wallet, which was created during the first Bitcoin [BTC] hard fork. Contrary to its name, the assets in the wallet are unspendable according to the code. However, during the recent update on BCH on 15th May 2019, a bug was able to exploit this unspendable BCH. A couple of miners transferred these coins to their wallets.
The two pools then carried out the attack by reversing their transactions and recording two of their own to restore order in the Bitcoin Cash [BCH] ecosystem. Hence, the 51% attack was carried out in good faith.
It is highlighted by a Twitter user, Guy Swann, who said
#BCH / #bcash was hit by 51% attack from just 2 miners, http://BTC.TOP & http://BTC.com – & no one seems to be talking about it. He also mentioned that, “Due to low hash rate of the network, http://BTC.TOP actually controlled over half (~54%) of #BCH hash power…”
However, as the favorite quote from Spiderman, ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’ it exposed a harsh truth about the Bitcoin Cash [BCH] cryptocurrency. The degree of decentralization in BCH is less than one assumes.
While the intentions of the miners were right in this case. The arbitrary move aggravates some advocates of decentralization and immutability. WhalePanda, a popular crypto influencer tweeted,
“Just another one in the long list of insecure sh**coins getting 51% attacked. Yes, it’s really that easy to attack $.”
The point of decentralization and uncensorable cash is built on the principles of the ‘unified immutable ledger.’ Moreover, the attacks were carried out without even conducting a voting process. The chain re-org of Bitcoin Cash [BCH] is daunting many cryptocurrency users, while BCH supporters are backing the move because of its intentions.
Do you think that the move was justified? Please share your views with us.
Nivesh from Engineering Background is a full-time Crypto Journalist at Coingape. He is an atheist who believes in love and cultural diversity. He believes that Cryptocurrency is a necessity to deter corruption. He holds small amounts of cryptocurrencies. Faith and fear are two sides of the same coin. Follow him on Twitter at @nivishoes or mail him at nivesh(at)coingape.com