As tensions between the Ethereum Core and Classic communities heat up, some rogue ETH users see the opportunity to 51% attack their new competitor.
Going by the pseudonym of Seanz123, the pro-ETH Core user and alleged miner began promoting the idea of a 51% attack against ETC on the forums late on July 27.
His intention was made very clear with this statement:
This intent has only been expressed by a handful of apparent ETH supporters, and there is no evidence that it represents the majority of users, the Ethereum Foundation or any other parties, yet. However, it does highlight the state of the conflict and the weaponization of mining power.
After posting a poll that got almost no attention, Seanz123 made a second post, which turned into a deeper discussion of the attack and on the development of code to be used.
The 51% attack, as coded by the pseudonymous “blckeagls,” would block all ETC transactions once they could out-mine the rest of the honest miners.
An active user going by the name of “Work” suggested the creation of an ETH mining pool that, after gaining roughly 400 gigahashes, would be large enough to point its hashing power at ETC and execute the attack.
Seanz123 also isn’t the first miner to threaten a 51% attack against ETC.
Earlier this week, Chandler Guo, a renown Chinese miner and Bitcoin evangelist, threatened to point his 90 GH/s at ETC.
I am Chandler Guo, a 51% attack on Ethereum Classic (ETC) is coming with my 98G hashrate https://t.co/9VM6vPa8CS
— Chandler Guo (@ChandlerGuo) July 24, 2016
He retracted his stance days later, pointing out that it would hurt innocent ETC holders.
It is easy to attack ETC, but it will certainly affect the innocent ETC holders. My principle is don't be evil pic.twitter.com/nl7YIHxrPW
— Chandler Guo (@ChandlerGuo) July 26, 2016
Is the Ethereum Community Going Too Far?
Using the conflict between the “Old Catholics” and their defectors as a metaphor, a 51% attack against ETC would be the equivalent of destroying churches and burning the property of the new congregation’s followers.
This kind of behavior is inherently anti-competitive and is an initiation of aggression. The nature of blockchain forks is that they are voluntary and those that disagree have the freedom to use their preferred versions of the code.
If you appreciate the expressed values of ETC and think it really does stand for long-term ‘Immutability’ and competition, and is not as detractors suggest “Bitcoin maximalist trolling,” then now is the time to make your voice heard in the ongoing immutability debate.
Would a planned 51% attack on Ethereum Classic be unethical? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover image courtesy of Karl.Tech.
Disclaimer: Juan S. Galt is a cryptocurrency investor and holds ETH, ETC, DASH, Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies.