Claims of ‘51% Attack’ on Bitcoin Cash Sparks Debate
An alleged 51% attack and recent reversed transactions on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network have sparked morality discussions with some even suggesting an ‘unintentional split’. The debate centres on whether two big mining pools were right to have reversed any transaction on the network. To some, the move is a good deed while others question why a few mining pools could remove blocks with another’s transactions and replace with theirs.
1/ What I've gathered from loose details:
First, there was an unintentional split with the recent #BCH "upgrade."
— Guy Swann (@TheCryptoconomy) May 24, 2019
BTC.com and BTC.top miners reportedly used their hash power to reverse transactions by changing the ledger (a supposed 51% attack). But it was meant to be for the right reason – to avoid any harm on the ecosystem aside a miner who lost a block reward.
The development raised new points of discussion. First it is to identify the reason for denying a 51% attack occurred on the BCH network: stigma. Secondly, the action shows that a 51% attack can happen with no malicious effect as the ecosystem tends to believe.
They did that attack to ward off an unknown attacker user not to frisk money. Hence they need to be deserving an ovation not abuse.
— Aditya M (@EE_Adithya) May 24, 2019
What is an “attack” is a defence by honest miners against real attacker(s) – so goes the argument. An attacker’s attempt to steal coins in SegWit addresses on the BCH chain was the transaction that got reversed. But Segwit transactions were not supposed to be on BCH, how did it happen?
SegWit addresses are also valid BCH addresses. Segwit transactions do not need a signature to spend though can make them on any Bitcoin chain. However, only the BTC chain can ensure they get spent by the intended recipient. When sent to the BCH chain, anyone – not just the recipient – can pick it up.
In the recent “attack”, miners are said to have prevented the SegWit coins that had been exposed in the Bitcoin chain. An original miner claimed the coins legitimately but it was reversed after the transaction went through. It is seen like preventing fraudulent transactions.
Proponents consider it that BCH survived a coordinated attack on the consensus. They believe the network was able to ward off a threat on BCH hence consider the “attack” a 51% defense. They see it as a duel between honest miners and dishonest miners. The SegWit recovery transaction were not validated by the majority of the miners. They prevented the theft of about 1300 BCH by orphaning the block to return the coins to their rightful owners.
If claims like this Reddit post is anything to go by, then there may be BCH holders who have sold off their holding as a result of the “attack”. Opponents, on the other hand, maintain that a 51% reorg happened and it is a negative for what blockchain represents. The other argument that popped up along the line centres around whether enabling the reversal was planned properly.