The controversial Bitcoin fork Bitcoin SV (BSV) was hit by a so-called 51% attack yesterday evening. The attackers have since retreated, but considerable damage has been done.
Heavy attack on BSV
Bitcoin SV (BSV) was hit by a 51% attack last night. This has resulted in more than three malicious chains being created and several blocks being "reorganised", data from various sources shows.
Lucas Nuzzi, product manager at CoinMetrics, commented:
"AFTER AN ATTEMPTED ATTACK YESTERDAY, SERIOUS HASH POWER WAS UNLEASHED AT 11:46AM TODAY AND THE ATTACKERS SUCCEEDED. MORE THAN A DOZEN BLOCKS ARE REORGD & UP TO 3 VERSIONS OF THE CHAIN ARE MINED SIMULTANEOUSLY VIA POOLS."
"THERE WAS A LOT OF CONFUSION IN THE MINING POOLS AFTER THE ATTACK, BUT ONLY ONE (SUCCESSFUL) 14-BLOCK REORG SINCE THE ATTACK BEGAN."
BSV is going through a massive 51% attack. After an attempted attack yesterday, some serious hashing power was unleashed today at 11:46AM and attackers are succeeding. Over a dozen blocks are being reorgd & up to 3 versions of the chain being mined simultaneously across pools.
In response to the attack, the Bitcoin Association said that node operators should mark the fraudulent chain as "invalid" to put the node back on the chain supported by honest miners and "lock out the attacker's chain".
"TO INVALIDATE THE FRAUDULENT CHAIN, NODE OPERATORS SHOULD RUN THE FOLLOWING COMMAND ON THEIR #BITCOINSV NODE: BITCOIN-CLI INVALIDATEBLOCK 00000000000003B67AEC95E9B5DA897EB5EBF3227D5A6A67835104367840."
In response to the ongoing re-organisation attack on the #BSV network, Bitcoin Association recommends that node operators mark the fraudulent chain as invalid. This will immediately return your node to the chain supported by honest miners and lock the attacker’s chain out. 1/2
The major crypto exchanges did not delist BSV at the time of publication. However, Huobi, OKEx and Bittrex had previously delisted BSV after a similar attack last month. Illegal block restructuring occurred during the attack.
BSV prices and explanation of the 51% attack
A 51% attack occurs when more than half of the miners running a proof-of-work network join forces and gain power over the majority of the entire network. This results in the chain being completely "at their mercy" and some transactions being carried out at their whims.
Miners who control such a network can theoretically do the following: exclude transactions from being included in the blockchain, prevent transactions from being confirmed, change the order of the chain, prevent other miners from validating the chain, and reverse transactions to issue tokens twice.
Such a scenario is rare. This is because: it requires a large amount of money, energy and miner coordination to carry out such an attack. But as Bitcoin SV advocates learned last night: It happens, and it poses a serious threat to Chains, whose miners are more centralised than the community otherwise believes.
Meanwhile, BSV prices remain relatively unchanged - even though the attack proved that the network faces an existential threat. Prices moved from $139 to almost $134 - a change of only -4%. This is relatively little considering the scale of the attack.
It has low fees, and further fee discounts for using its native currency, Electrum Wallet, and does offer some educational content through its on-site blog. Despite its low fees, we do not recommend Electrum Wallet, especially for beginners.