In the past days, Monero (XMR) saw a spike in mining, and Verge (XVG) had a glitch exploited to cause chaotic mining.
The Electroneum (ETN) network is seeing suspicious activity, users reported, potentially signifying an attempt at a 51% attack. It is possible that Kucoin deposits are disabled in the next few hours, and users are urged not to move coins to prevent double spending. So far, the Kucoin exchange has not notified of any measures on the fate of Electroneum.
ETN remains unmoved in terms of price, as its trading is slim and keeps it hovering around $0.02.
At this point, for most older coins, it is impossible or unreasonable to attempt such an attack. But with smaller-scale assets, the entire network hash rate could be taken over by a few ASIC machines.
So far, no official statement has been issued by the team, which is more concerned with marketing. This is the second serious attack that ETN suffers, after the compromising of accounts following the ICO. This led to a relaunch and further delays in the project.
The Electroneum network still relies on CPU and small-scale GPU mining. But because it is based on the Monero mining algorithm, it is possible at least in theory that some of the Bitmain X3 machines may have taken on Electroneum after Monero changed its algorithm to make the machines obsolete. The coin is one of the few left prominent Crypto Note coins at the moment, with a relatively low hash rate. Hence, it is possible that Electroneum is seeing ASIC activity.
The attack against the Electroneum network saw blocks with abnormal timestamps, somewhat similar to the attack against Verge (XVG). While the XVG team claimed it was a minor accident of abnormal mining, the community sees it as a 51% attack.
Such an event has not happened to any of the major coins, although Bitcoin almost experienced it years ago. The effect of a 51% attack on a coin’s credibility cannot be underestimated, because of the potential for double-spends.
In 2018, most smaller coins with a relatively low hash rate may be vulnerable, since new mining hardware could be pointed to a blockchain at any moment, with only a few exceptions. But while the XVG attack does not seem to have harmed its image, in the case of ETN, a series of bad news may send the asset sliding even more, or losing credibility. In the past, not enough computing power was available for realizing such an attack. But now, even Bitmain alone could hijack, or destroy the reputation of coins.
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Author Christine Masters