Not only Ethereum (ETH), the public blockchain based on smart contracts, has been under Distributed Denial of Service attacks lately. Ethereum Classic (ETC), a blockchain launched on the Ethereum code, has been under a similar attack.
Some of the attacks were specific to ETH, while some affected both chains. The attacks made both networks barely usable. Ethereum hard-forked Monday. Ethereum Classic hard forks October 25.
“There was only so much that could be done by fixing the clients without making backwards-incompatible changes,” Ethereum Classic project coordinator Arvicco Arvicco told CCN. The Last memory-hogging attack hit ETC as hard as ETH. The hard fork is intended to fix protocol-level issues and bugs.
“We are still testing the necessary changes against our code base,” Arvicco said. They view the hard fork as non-contentious, and thus not in violation of ETC’s principal of an open and transparent system.
“Since the hard fork is non-contentious, it does not violate any principles of our community”, he said. “No bailout or transaction finality breaches in this one. Without this upgrade, network is vulnerable to the point of a very cheap attack making it unusable.” He makes an analogy to Bitcoin.
“It’s as if someone is able to create billions of empty Unspent Transaction Outputs for free, clogging the memory of all full nodes to the point that they all crash”, Arvicco said, explaining how attackers have been able to jam Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
This makes the Bitcoin network totally unusable. And no way to fix it other than through a hard fork. Would it be contentious? I don’t think so.
According to Arvicco, the relationship between the Ethereum community and ETC community has evolved over time.
“Initially, most members of ETH community dismissed ETC as a protest movement that has no potential and will quickly fade,” he said. “This didn’t come to pass. Now we have projects and companies targeting ETC for deployment of their decentralized apps because they think that immutability and transaction finality guarantees that this chain provides are important to their use case.”
New services are appearing for Ethereum Classic in particular. Fundonomy is a smart crowdfunding platform that targets end of October for launch (currently in closed testing). Stampery is providing notary services. Tortuga Trading is developing a P2P exchange.
“Absent deep pockets of Ethereum Foundation, pretty much everything in ETC is run by volunteers who participate mostly for ideological reasons,” he said. Arvicco believes that, as Ethereum is used by banks and governments, demand for an immutable public blockchain like ETC will increase.
“You may call it ironic that during the ‘great Bitcoin block size debate’ Ethereum was presented as an example of a system that ‘does not have any Bitcoin problems’,” Arvicco said. “Ethereum Foundation philosophy ‘move fast and break things’ was presented as superior to careful and deliberate pace of Bitcoin development. And these superiority claims were put in questions first by DAO debacle, then by contentious bailout hard fork that split the community, and now by the series of DoS attacks that made Ethereum hardly usable, leading to a new fork.” Where does this leave crypto?
“Hard to say,” he said. “Instead of generalizing, we’ll mind our business – work on making Ethereum Classic a secure decentralized platform that runs dapps: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. It will probably take some time and a few iterations to get there, but we’ll get there sooner or later.”
He added: “Have to go offline now, sorry…
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