Report: MESS system will not provide Sufficient protection for Ethereum Classic from 51 attacks

According to the latest report, the MESS system launched by ETC Labs to protect Ethereum Classic from 51% attacks may not be as effective and secure as other alternative solutions.

This summer, the ETC blockchain was the victim of three 51% attacks in a month. In mid-October, ETC Labs implemented
a MESS system (modified exponential subjectivity score) to reduce the probability of future attacks by 51%.

However, according to the report
IOHK and ETC Cooperative, “the MESS solution will not provide the necessary level of security, and there is no guarantee that further attacks will not be successful.” In addition, MESS does not give “high confidence to interested parties that the confirmation time will be reduced to the desired level”.

MESS is designed to make the reorganization of a large number of blocks 31 times more expensive, theoretically negating the profitability of attacks of 51%. As previously stated by ETC Labs, if MESS, activated on October 10 after successful testing, had been implemented in the summer, 51% attacks on the Ethereum Classic blockchain would have cost the attackers $20 million.

IOHK and ETC Cooperative reviewed various solutions proposed by development teams from across the ETC community and stated that solutions with checkpoints and timestamps would provide better security than the MESS system.

According to the report, timestamps would allow ETC to base its security on another secure blockchain, such as Bitcoin. The checkpoint system implies that a” trusted authority ” selects a block that will represent an immutable standard for all network participants.

Bob Summerwill, CEO of ETC Cooperative, expressed the hope that the report will be the first step towards decentralized decision-making by ETC developers. The report also suggests implementing a “decentralized treasury” that provides a permanent source of funding for the future development of the ETC platform.

“A democratic and transparent funding mechanism will also allow the ETC community to determine its future direction of development and choose which innovations will be included in ETC.”The report claims that this will eventually allow ETC to ” keep up with, and even surpass, other platforms.”