Ethereum Classic
$4.61 3.83%
ETC · 10w

Ethereum Classic wasn't subjected to a 51% attack. It's called a 'reorg'.

Ethereum Classic (ETC) may be suffering from what appears to be the first high-level hack of the year after an unknown miner overwhelmed the network with a sudden burst of hashing power.

The apparent hack caused Coinbase to suspend trading in Ethereum Classic tokens today. In a blog post announcing the suspension, the popular wallet and exchange service said it had first detected a “deep chain reorganization” on Saturday; it has now suspended all interaction with the network. Since then,  according to the blog post, “we detected 8 additional reorganizations that included double spends, totaling 88,500 ETC (~$460,000)”

The exchange is currently assessing the cause of the disruption and has not yet stated when it will resume ETC trading services.

A Hack By Another Name…

Coinbase originally said Ethereum Classic was experiencing a 51% attack but retitled the post to “deep chain reorganization” shortly afterward. Stev Lohja, the technology coordinator at ETC Labs’ new core development team, told Crypto Briefing that although the two are fundamentally the same, a “reorg” isn’t so much an attempt to control the network as it is to take temporary advantage of low hash power and double spend before hashing power returns to normal levels.

Lohja suggests that it might have been a failed attempt to double spend ETC on the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. He also said that although there would unlikely be any long-term systemic disadvantages, as the reorg will leave transactions in ‘orphaned’ blocks unconfirmed. “[A] Reorg is a phenomenon in blockchain when a miner mines ahead and the longest chain wins”, Lohja said. “The gap of blocks are orphaned.” 

The official Twitter account for Ethereum Classic has also stated that the recent disruption wasn’t so much a 51% attack as it was “selfish mining”. They have also speculated that the sudden burst in hashing power may have come from a new ASIC mining rig developed by Chinese company Lin...

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