Home / Capital & Crypto / ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ is Mining Over 40% of Bitcoin Cash, Sparking Fears of 51% Attack

‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ is Mining Over 40% of Bitcoin Cash, Sparking Fears of 51% Attack

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:44 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:44 PM

By CCN.com: According to blockchain data and www.ccn.com/Hacked  reporter Greg Thomson, an anonymous miner who embeds the words “Satoshi Nakamoto” into all of the blocks they mine currently controls more than 40% of Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate.

Satoshi Nakamoto is killing it in Bitcoin Cash mining

There are multiple running theories as to the intent behind amassing so much hashpower, beyond the pure profit motive of mining Bitcoin Cash. Mining Bitcoin Cash is generally a profitable endeavor, despite reduced transaction fees that are accrued on the more spacious chain. There is less competition, which means miners with significant investment earn more BCH.

Each theory has its merits. Some are conspiratorial, with BCH supporters believing that either Craig Wright and Bitcoin miners are working against Bitcoin Cash. One theory says that Wright and Coingeek, Calvin Ayre’s crypto operation which sports a mining pool and what can only be described as a propaganda outlet, are trying to amass a ton of BCH in order to dump it for Bitcoin SV, the effect being a drop in the price of Bitcoin Cash and a rise in the price of Bitcoin SV.

Many blocks have popped up with the “Satoshi Nakamoto” coinbase text. No one has stepped forward to declare themselves the miner of these blocks.

Satoshi Nakomoto Bitcoin Cash
All the highlighted Coinbase texts denote blocks mined by the unknown Satoshi Nakamoto miner. Source: Coin.dance

Who are you, BoomBoomBoom Satoshi Nakamoto?

Another theory posits  that Bitcoin miners might want to intentionally slow down the Bitcoin network to raise transaction fees. This theory, of all of them, has perhaps the least sense to it. A severe hashrate decrease would have to happen on Bitcoin, coinciding with a corresponding hash rate increase on Bitcoin Cash.

However, the Bitcoin hashrate hasn’t dropped significantly.

As you can see, Bitcoin hash rate continues unabated. The currency currently has more than 90% of all hashrate between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV. Source: Bitinfocharts

The theory that the new miner comes from Bitcoin SV might hold more water, though. Bitcoin SV hashpower has recently dropped a little, while Bitcoin Cash has increased.

Bitcoin SV hashrate has been dropping lately, while Bitcoin Cash hashrate has been rising. Source: Coin.dance

It’s unclear whether this trend is recent enough to accurately attribute the “potential attack” to the Bitcoin SV miners, however. Bitcoin SV miners would more likely be switching to the more profitable Bitcoin Cash chain in response to the recent downturn in Bitcoin SV prices, which result in part from the “third Bitcoin” being delisted from several exchanges.

Other possibilities

A curious possibility is that an anonymous miner is looking to stir up a conversation about Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Cash community. But the conspiracy theories around Craig Wright’s potential involvement derive from the upstart nature of this “unknown” miner.

In Nakamoto Consensus blockchains such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV, a miner with more than 51% of the network’s hashpower has significant power. Previous to an upgrade for Bitcoin Cash, “reorganization” was still a possibility. This would mean that a miner with such hashpower could essentially write already-confirmed transactions out of the blockchain.

Other potential attacks include the ability to deny any transaction with minimal fees. In Bitcoin Cash, this would be detrimental for several reasons. Bitcoin Cash users enjoy paying extremely low fees, and this miner mines so many blocks that such an attack could produce significant turbulence. They could also opt to include no transactions at all. That this miner has done neither of these things can serve as evidence that they do not intend to do so.

Previously, a miner with similar hashpower was using the “boomboomboom” for Coinbase text . Probably the same miner, as they went offline as the “Satoshi Nakamoto” miner came online.

This is far from the first time  concerns over the state of the Bitcoin Cash mining network have arisen. Since the network’s foundation in August 2017, miners have gained majority hashrate numerous times.

The Bitcoin Cash network continues to be functional at press time, but would the real Satoshi Nakamoto miner please stand up? We’d like to hear from you .