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Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic find themselves on opposite ends of the 51% attack spectrum

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Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic find themselves on opposite ends of the 51% attack spectrum
Source: Unsplash


Every revolutionary product comes with its own fallacy. However, to its internal metrics, in order for that product to remain adherent to the principle it hopes to expound, the cryptocurrency world is no less. Bitcoin [BTC] and other Proof-of-Work [PoW] cryptos have an in-built fallacy as well, the dreaded “51 percent attack.”

A recent study by cryptocurrency analytics firm LongHash, detailed the cryptocurrencies that are the closest to being subjected to the aforementioned attack.

The report looked at ten of the most significant PoW coins including, Bitcoin, Ethereum [ETH], Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Litecoin [LTC], Dash [DASH], Bitcoin SV [BSV], Zcash [ZEC], Monero [XMR], Ethereum Classic [ETC], and Bitcoin Gold [BTG].

Prior to detailing the study, Longhash listed out the two key points required to execute a 51 percent attack. First, a single mining pool/entity/individual would have to control over 50 percent of a network’s mining power. Second, the energy expenses related to the same, based on renting or sheer purchase of mining power.

Dividing the parameters of performance into two key parts, LongHash initially looked at the one-hour attack cost based on data from OnChainFX as on June 19, and consequently, the percentage of mining power available for rent on NiceHash. The matrix for an unsuccessful attack would be a high one-hour attack cost with low power availability, deeming the network “quite safe.”

Source: LongHash

Bitcoin took the top spot, with the report stating that there exists “very little power available to rent,” coupled with a “very high hourly attack cost.”

Traversing down the estimate cost Y-axis, several coins are scattered including, LTC, ETH, BCH, ZEC, BSV, DASH, and XMR, citing low power available via NiceHash. However, the estimated cost to rent the mining power is fairly low.

The report added,

“Most tokens, however, are clustered in the bottom-right corner of our chart, with low mining power availability and hourly attack costs north of $10,000, which makes them appear relatively safe.”

Moving horizontally further down the total mining power X-axis, BTG is the sole cryptocurrency exhibiting around 35 percent mining power availability on Nice Hash, with the lowest estimated cost to rent 51 percent of mining power for sixty minutes.

The biggest worry by far, was Ethereum Classic. The ETH hardfork had more than 80 percent of its mining power available on NiceHash, while the hourly attack was estimated to cost less than $10,000.

Earlier this year, the ETC network was the subject of a 51 percent attack, with several exchanges pausing ETC-related transactions in the process. The attack led to several cases of network double-spends and re-organisations totaling around $1.1 million or 219,500 ETC.





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