Unidentified miners currently control nearly 70% of the Bitcoin Cash hashrate. Is a 51% attack currently being primed on BCH?
The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network could be on the verge of a malicious attack after an unidentified mining pool assumed control of 70% of the blockchain’s hashrate.
That’s according to data from Coin Dance, which shows 69.44% of the BCH hashrate under control of mining pools categorized as ‘other’.
The unknown miner(s) rapidly squashed competition from established mining pools such as BTC.top and Antpool. All of BTC.top’s hashrate has disappeared since last week, when it accounted for nearly 15% of the total. Antpool’s contribution to mining was almost cut in half.
A concerned Bitcoin Cash supporter brought the sudden mining influx to the attention of the BCH reddit.
Untrusted hash is at nearly 70%. There’s been an influx of unknown hashpower on BCH over the last 24hrs, reaching almost 70% by now. They can’t be up to much good. I hope that the trustworthy pools (those who have a good history of mining honestly) are keeping an eye on this.
With no clear information coming out of Bitcoin Cash circles at this time, historic occurrences may shed some light on the matter.
The same threat emerged in April 2019, when an unknown miner by the name of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ accounted for over 40% of the BCH hashrate.
Suspicion initially fell on self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright. Many braced themselves for a repeat of the November 2018 hash wars, which saw Bitcoin Cash give birth to Bitcoin SV via a hardfork.
But those fears proved unfounded, as the distribution of mining on Bitcoin Cash eventually returned to its old equilibrium.
A blockchain where one miner controls over 51% of the hashrate risks losing its decentralization and impartiality. Such miners could reorganize previous blocks in the blockchain, making it possible to double-spend used coins.
However, any prospective 51% attacker would expend massive resources doing so. Bitcoin Cash’s ‘re-org protection’ would also limit any attacker’s influence to the previous 10 blocks.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC