Ethereum Developers Discuss Potential Ways to Avoid ETC's Fate

Published on by Cointele | Published on

In a Core Devs meeting on Friday, Ethereum developers discussed potential measures that could be taken to prevent successful 51% attacks from occurring.

The discussion was inspired by this week's 51% attacks on Ethereum Classic - a network that represents the original state of Ethereum where the consequences of the DAO hack in 2016 were not reverted.

The original attack, which occurred between July 31 and Aug. 1, was revealed to be a carefully orchestrated attempt at a double-spend that netted over $5 million in ETC to the attacker for a $200,000 investment in hashpower.

During the call, Ethereum client developers discussed if they should take additional measures against these attacks and how such measures should be implemented.

A potential protection against chain reorganization is setting up checkpoints at a node level which would set the history of the blockchain in stone after that point.

The depth of the ETC reorg was dictated in part by a history of earlier attacks.

"I just wanted to highlight that once you accept that there are 51% attacks on the network, a lot of things start breaking, because a lot of things rely on the assumption that you cannot have deep reorgs."

Tim Beiko, a developer at Ethereum development company PegaSys, noted that ETC's case may be different.

Due to it being a much smaller and less valuable chain, it is easy to gather the required hashpower to complete a 51% attack through something like Nicehash.

In the end, developers agreed to discuss the issues more and think through potential improvements to Ethereum's resilience.