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Crypto Developer Predicts 2019 will be the ‘Year of the 51% Attack’

As the CCN recently reported of the Ethereum Classic suffering by way of an attack, dramatic news came into limelight! This time it’s from the CEO and Co-founder of Sia, Decentralized cloud storage network, David Vorick.

Vorick has predicted that 2019 will be the year of a rise in the 51% attacks as seen recently with a number of cryptocurrency developers.

An increase in the number of 51% attacks!

51% attacks is actually a term used to describe a situation where a group of miners take control of 50% or more stake in a computing network. The power that comes with the 51% or more holding of the miners pertains to be a risk for small cap-coins and crypto currencies alike.

There are fundamental weaknesses behind the increase in the number of 51% attacks, according to Vorick. He has said that the successes of the attacks are specifically about the weaknesses like the incentive-compatible protocols like that of Bitcoins.

Bitcoin developers chose incentive-compatible protocols. This meant that the decision of one individual would bring in the decisions of the group too. Although it might seem like a selfish means to attain an optimal decision individually and as group, it benefitted the group in keeping play bingo games online power.

And this protocol enabled the individuals to own their perspective while also cherish the optimal decisions of the group. Thus saving from 51% attacks!

Is it safe to use Bitcoin’s protocol design?

A majority of the crypto-currency developers have actually chosen to copy the Bitcoin’s protocol design. But the problem arose when the developers chose to make changes. This broke the incentive compatible protocol and its working on the other variants.

Vorick said that amongst the biggest mistakes here the possibility of shared hardware harmed the most. Incentive compatible protocols break down when the same hardware is being used for the mining multiple coins. It also breaks down when the mining of multiple currencies share the algorithms.

Even the most specialized hardware will be able to target the crypto-currencies when the mining of currencies is done with shared algorithm. The disruption of the incentive compatible protocols here is similar to the ASIC resistance occurred.

Maturing hashrate marketplaces is another importance factors rendering attackers fast and easy access to the computing system power.

Low cost attacks lead to increased attacks!

Given the number of Graphics Processing Units (GPU) used in the defending of the crypto currencies, no attacker would be able to attack on the computing power unless they had similar number of GPUs. Therefore the cost involved and set-up would turn off the attackers from choosing this attack!

But with the introduction of hashrate marketplaces, the attackers can hire GPUs at pocket friendly prices for short term too. And this enables attacks turn low-cost and easy!

The insecurity of the shared coin mining is also because of the growing number of large mining farms. With thousands of GPUs for the crypto currencies, the attackers find it easy to make an attack.

Vorick, however, proposed that increasing confirmation times for deposits of crypto-currencies will help solve the 51% attacks problem. Also, there is a need to make strict diligence rules while listing the coins and making exchanges. There needs to be a stronger risk management system!


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