MIT researcher: “51% attacks on PoW blockchains are not always obvious»

A leading developer of the Vertcoin cryptocurrency and a researcher at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative said that attacks on blockchains with pow consensus are not always obvious.

James Lovejoy (Lovejoy James) told you
in his speech at the Unitize conference, why attacks on cryptocurrencies with PoW are not always obvious, despite the public nature of blockchains.

According to the developer, a 51% attack on the blockchain is not always immediately noticeable, since the blockchain needs “an active observer to monitor the network, which checks whether the attack is being carried out.”

In his master’s thesis at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, Lovejoy created such an observer-a blockchain reorganization tracker that checks whether a 51% attack is being carried out on the network. As he said during his speech, according to recent research, attacks are 51% more likely than previously thought.

He described the viability of such reorganizations in networks of different cryptocurrencies, taking into account the different hashrate, costs associated with attacks, and other factors. By the time the market discovers foul play on the blockchain without a tracker, people may already have suffered the consequences of the attack.

“Until now, we have relied on the victims of the attack to tell us about the attack themselves,” Lovejoy said. “As you can imagine, if this leads to a loss of user funds, victims are often not interested in disclosing information about when the attack occurred.”

According to a study published this week, a complete switch to ASIC miners for bitcoin mining increases the cost of an attack by 51% to 2,000 times, thus increasing the network’s security.

In General, attacks of 51% are not uncommon in the cryptocurrency industry, primarily for blockchains with low hashrate. In April, PegNet miners, who controlled 70% of the hashrate, provided
false price data that misled the decentralized network and converted $11 worth of pJPY stablecoins into $6.7 million worth of pUSD. In April, it was reported that Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV became
51% are vulnerable to attack after the reward for miners was halved, and in January, The bitcoin Gold cryptocurrency was attacked.