First it happened to verge. $1.8m of cryptocurrency swiped in a matter of hours. Then to bitcoin gold, plundered in an $18m double spend attack. Then to verge again, this time to the tune of $1.7 million. Along the way, monacoin is also believed to have been hit. Someone is methodically working their way through Proof of Work coins, controlling their hashrate, and then launching 51% attacks. Other PoW teams are now on high alert for signs that their coin could be next.
Following a Spate of Attacks, PoW Teams Batten Down the Hatches
51% attacks, in which a malevolent miner controls the majority of the network hashrate and then uses it to force through fraudulent transactions, are commonly discussed but rarely encountered. That all changed on April 4 when verge was hit by a 51% attack. At the time, the incident was put down to the general fog of incompetence that surrounds verge; the exploit was quickly patched and everyone moved on. Then, just over a month later, verge was hit again along with bitcoin gold and possibly monacoin too. The spate of attacks has caused a crisis of confidence in Proof of Work coins and forced their development teams on the defensive.
Although called a 51% attack, in reality it’s often possible to control the network with a much lower hashrate. Because verge uses five different hashing algorithms, for example, the attacker was able to reduce the mining difficulty for just one algorithm and focus all their firepower on that, armed with just one fifth of the hashpower they would otherwise have needed. The second time around, they modified their attack slightly and targeted verge with a dual blast using two different algorithms. Bitcoin gold, meanwhile, was targeted due to its equihash algorithm, the same one used by such coins as zcash and komodo.
The Cost of Staging a 51% Attack
Following the run of 51% attacks, teams have rushed out updates to reassure the community that their coin is safe, and to deter would-be attackers. The cost of attacking ethereum classic has been estimated at $70m, for example, and estimates have been made for doing the same with the top 10 PoW coins. BTC is priced at $2.2 billion to attack, whereas zcash comes in at $87m. In his blog post, Husam Abboud claims that “If a zCash miner with +8% of Nethash [switches] to mine Bitcoin Gold, he is +51% BTG nethash, that brings the cost of 51% attack on BTG to 580 ZEC/day ~$200k”.
Because bitcoin gold has a much lower hashrate than coins such as zcash, it is a far easier target to pick off. Now that the feasibility of double spending a recognized PoW coin has been proven, aspiring attackers are calculating the costs of renting hashing power from a provider such as Nicehash and using it to take over a target of their choosing. This is one of the dangers with an altcoin using an existing algorithm: it’s easy for an attacker to switch from mining one to another at the flick of a switch, leaving low hashrate PoW coins vulnerable to hostile takeover without warning.
There’s a Storm Brewing
PoW teams are hitting back, and have enacted various measures to thwart future attacks. On request, Binance has upped the number of confirmations required to deposit equihash-based coins onto the exchange. The more confirmations that are required, in theory, the more likelihood there is of detecting and thwarting a 51% attack. Maidsafe, meanwhile, has proposed a new consensus mechanism called PARSEC, though some believe it may be vulnerable to other threats such as Sybil attacks, which are a recurring theme with staking algorithms.For the coins that are committed to remaining with Proof of Work, most of which descended from Bitcoin at some point in time, it’s a case of remaining on high alert for possible signs of foul play. One PoW altcoin team has set up a script to constantly monitor their hashrate. In the event of a spike of over 10%, they will be automatically notified. Should the newly added hashrate emanate from an unknown pool, or be in danger of tipping an existing pool over 50%, they have a large quantity BTC on standby with Nicehash ready to purchase their own firepower to counter the attack. It’s a high stakes game and PoW teams can’t leave anything to chance. No one wants to be the next bitcoin gold.
XRP and Ethereum (ETH) Poised to Dominate Two Early Use Cases for Cryptocurrency: Ripple Executive Asheesh Birla
XRP and Ethereum are becoming increasingly dominant in two distinct, early use cases for cryptocurrency, according to Ripple senior vice president of product Asheesh Birla.
At the recent Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, Birla said he believes it will be difficult for competing companies and crypto assets to outperform XRP in the world of cross-border remittances.
The same is true for Ethereum, says Birla, when it comes to decentralized finance (DeFi), which is an umbrella term for a crypto-based push to automate and remove middlemen from traditional financial services like borrowing and lending.
“I think that Ethereum is really interesting in that over $1 billion in loans is the DeFi ecosystem. So they really own that narrative. They have products and an ecosystem around that narrative.
XRP, the digital asset that powers the Ripple network in any destination where our products are live – XRP is the most liquid digital asset. And so for cross-border payments and remittance products, I think that XRP will perform really well in those use cases. But everyone has to find their niche and use case and build that ecosystem. And the further ahead you get, the harder it is to dislodge.
So for example, with cross-border payment, I think it’s going to be increasingly hard to dislodge XRP. And with DeFi, as the ecosystem expands it will be increasingly hard to dislodge Ethereum because it’s so liquid for those use cases.”
Birla touts Ripple’s remittance volume between the US dollar and Mexican peso, which is on the rise thanks in large part to the company’s partnership with MoneyGram.
“One of the things I’m really proud of at Ripple is last week over at Ripple, using XRP, we did 7.5% of the total US dollar to Mexico remittance volume over our product. So things are moving. We’re seeing more projects with real-world adoption. We don’t need more experiments. We want to see this change the world.”
According to Birla, Ripple remains focused on giving financial institutions an easy way to use XRP to move money across borders. If Ripple’s mission is successful, he says expensive correspondent banks will no longer be needed to establish trust when moving capital from one place to another.
“Programming money is really good and in that there’s no intermediaries. It’s freely moving and for our products at Ripple that’s a big deal because today, if you want to move money across borders, you have to have relationships in each country you want to move money in. You have to have a bank account. You have to have pesos in Mexico. And now what you can do with digital assets and XRP is you just trust the digital asset to move into that country. You don’t need that bank account and you don’ need that pre-funding in Mexican pesos. You leverage, and between crypto exchanges there’s no legal agreement. They’re just trusting that the value will move using a digital asset. And that’s a game changer.
You can launch in a new country in a matter of weeks. We’re trying to get it down to days but you can launch in a matter of weeks. Before that, you have to open a bank account. You have to wire money down there. You have to get the right kind of regulations. That’s a big game changer. Again you’re removing expensive correspondent banks in the middle and you’re replacing it. You used to trust them but now you’re trusting a set of computers and digital assets and I think that’s a big deal.”
Cryptocurrencies price prediction: Ethereum & Litecoin – European Wrap
Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD posts losses second day in a row, can $250 hold?
Ethereum price alongside other cryptocurrencies is losing ground from the yearly highs posted in February at $288. The losses remain unstoppable following the rejection at $280. At the time of writing, about 3% has been recorded in losses with ETH/USD having dropped from $265.66 (opening value) to $257 (market value). Recovery above $270 and $280 continues to be a pipe dream amid increased selling activity across the crypto space.
Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD golden cross hints return above $0.30
Ripple price is trading below the broken trendline support. However, it is strongly supported by the 61.8% Fib level of the last drop from $0.3463 to a low of $0.1766 at $0.26. In spite of the losses from the yearly highs at $0.3463 posted on February 15, XRP/USD is holding ground above the moving averages. A possible golden cross hints that bullish pressure is still present and could culminate in a push above the resistance at $0.28 and $0.30.
Cryptocurrency News Today – Headlines for February 25
- YouTube crypto purge has returned
- Sensationalism is the catalyst this time
- An algorithmic break caused the last purge
Cryptocurrency News Today – reports making rounds over the last few hours reveal that the YouTube crypto purge has returned. Per the report, this time, it seems sensationalism is the primary trigger behind the purge. One crypto YouTuber initially reported the YouTube crypto purge. It was famed tech and crypto YouTuber Ivan on Tech that raised the issue after a number of others.
Recall that despite the heavy clean out the last time, it now appears that there’s at least some explanation on the ongoing YouTube crypto purge. Even though the last YouTube crypto purge was more related to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) regulatory guidelines and general inspections as opposed to YouTube’s guidelines, this might not be the case this time around.
Sensationalism Behind Current YouTube Crypto Purge
Among the crypto YouTubers that have been hit by the ongoing series of Youtube crypto purge, many have been affected. It has caused strikes and bans which affected the famed Crypto Wendy O, and Chico Crypto, along with a host of other channels. This time around the purge includes live streams. Ivan on Tech stated that the strike on his Twitter channel completely shocked him. Despite what Ivan believes, the title of his stream:
“BITCOIN GOING VERTICAL, Halving IMPORTANT UPDATE.”
It is obviously shouting sensationalism because Bitcoin and cryptos are not in YouTube’s good books. The trigger is the result of a pushover and not a biased ban. Similarly, Ivan was also promoting ByBit on his YouTube channel, which isn’t reputable enough leverage trading platform. Hence, the chances weren’t slim that Ivan would receive the strike that stopped him from initiating live streams on Youtube for a three month period.
An Algorithmic Break Caused the Last Purge
Crypto Wendy O added that their profiles received a strike as they were using a title that was similar to the above-mentioned title and the title shouted out sensationalism on YouTube. Here is how the title reads:
“BITCOIN MASSIVE DROP INCOMING – TAKE PROFIT.”
The crypto community overall is not used to such types of tactics to make profits off any affiliate programs as they would hurt the community. Meanwhile Director Wave Tech Tom Lombardi was critical of Ivan by using words like:
“@teamyoutube please keep blocking @ivanontech.
Recall that the last YouTube crypto purge was caused by an algorithmic break. At the time the Youtube representatives called the glitch an algorithmic break, but this time the case is different. It will appear the ongoing Youtube crypto purge on the affected channels is actually a direct result of what content creators did.