Bitcoin SV (BSV) hit by 51% attack, three malicious chains created


Bitcoin SV (BSV) was hit by a 51% attack last night, leading to over three malicious chains getting created and several blocks getting ‘reorganized,’ data from multiple sources showed.

“After an attempted attack yesterday, some serious hashing power was unleashed today at 11:46 AM and attackers are succeeding. Over a dozen blocks are being reorgd & up to 3 versions of the chain being mined simultaneously across pools,” noted Lucas Nuzzi, a product manager at CoinMetrics, on Twitter.

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He added, “There was plenty of confusion across mining pools after the attack, but only one (successful) 14-block reorg since the attack began.”

In response to the attack, the Bitcoin Association stated node operators should mark the fraudulent chain as “invalid,” allowing to return the node to the chain supported by honest miners and “lock the attacker’s chain out.”

“To invalidate the fraudulent chain, node operators should run the following command on their #BitcoinSV node: bitcoin-cli invalidateblock 000000000000000003B67AEC95E9B5DA897EB5EBF3227D5A6A67835104367840”

Major crypto exchanges did not delist BSV at press time. However, Huobi, OKEx, and Bittrex had previously delisted BSV after a similar attack last month that caused an illegal block reorganization.

BSV prices and explaining the 51% attack

A 51% attack occurs when more than half of the miners powering a proof-of-work network collude and gain power over a majority of the entire network—leading to the chain being completely put at their mercy and some transactions at their whims.

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Miners controlling such a network are, theoretically, able to do the following: excluding transactions from being included in on the blockchain, preventing transactions from being confirmed, modifying the order of the chain, blocking other miners from validating the chain, and reversing transactions to double-spend tokens.

Such a scenario is rare as it requires a huge amount of money, power, and miner coordination to carry such an attack out. But as Bitcoin SV proponents learned last night, it does occur and presents a viable threat to chains whose miners are more centralized than what the community otherwise believes.

Meanwhile, BSV prices were relatively unchanged even as the attack proved the network faces an existential threat. Prices moved from $139 to nearly $134 before being brought up at press time—a move of just -4%. Small, considering the scale of the attack involved.

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Author: Shaurya Malwa

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