51 percent Ethereum Classic hacker returns $100,000 in stolen cryptocurrency

An exchange has mulled over the possibility of the hacker being white-hat, but $1 million is still unaccounted for.

 

The cyberattacker believed to be responsible for a 51 percent on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain has returned $100,000 in stolen proceeds, while keeping roughly $1 million.

According to Gate.io, the funds were returned last week but it is not known why the cryptocurrency has been returned, or for what purpose — and efforts to contact the hacker have proved fruitless so far.  

“We still don’t know the reason,” the cryptocurrency exchange said. “If the attacker didn’t run it for profit, he might be a white hacker who wanted to remind people the risks in blockchain consensus and hashing power security.”

This is a possibility, but even so, the potential ‘white hat’ has still kept a fortune in cryptocurrency for themselves following the attack.

The ETC blockchain was the victim of what is known as a 51 percent attack starting on 5 January, leading to the theft of $1.1 million in the Ethereum Classic cryptocurrency. 

51 percent attacks force a blockchain to reorganize and permit attackers to seize control over transactional power of a network. In this case, it is believed over 100 blocks were reorganized.

If they manage to wrestle control of over 50 percent of the network, they are given leave to modify and execute transactions, as well as reverse transactions after they have been confirmed. This is known as “double spending.”

Theoretically, 51 percent attacks could take place on any kind of blockchain, but it does take access to a vast amount of computing power to execute these types of attacks.

Coinbase identified a total of 15 attacks, 12 of which included double spending in order to steal 219, 500 ETC. In an analysis of the attack, SlowMist researchers documented transactions involving thousands of coins at a time taking place.

“We believe that due to the recent decline in blockchain funding, the net mining power of the whole network has declined,” the researchers said. “You have really felt the impact of the 51 percent on ETC, and it is foreseeable that the attack will increase rapidly with the cost of attack reduced.”

Some of the funds have been returned but this does not mean that the blockchain is safe from potential attacks by the same hacker in the future, or copycats who also possess the means to conduct 51 percent attacks.

Gate.io says that the hashing power of the ETC network is still not strong enough to fend off these types of attack and that the possibility exists of enough hashing power being rented out to hit the blockchain again.

“Gate.io has raised the ETC confirmation number to 4000 and launched a strict 51 percent detect for enhanced protection,” the platform added. “We also suggest other ETC exchanges take actions to protect the trader from blockchain rollback/reorg.”

SlowMist recommends that exchanges and pool operators increase their block confirmation times as a matter of urgency to mitigate the risk of 51 percent attacks. Both Gate.io and Bitfly have done so; however, if enough computing power is in play to permit over 50 percent of the network to be in an attacker’s control, block confirmation extensions may not be enough.


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Author: Charlie Osborne
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Trezor Users Can Now Exchange Cryptocurrencies Directly In-Wallet

This week the hardware wallet Trezor added the ability to buy and trade cryptocurrencies within its beta wallet’s interface. Now users can swap between eleven different digital assets without the possibility of compromising funds by leaving them on an exchange.

Trezor Hardware Wallet’s Beta Version Allows Users to Buy & Trade Digital Currencies

Users can now swap cryptocurrencies from within their Trezor hardware wallets by using the firm’s beta wallet. The beta wallet is almost identical to the traditional user interface but it contains different features not yet added to the main Trezor client. On September 19, Trezor explained on Twitter, “Our beta servers now allow you to exchange cryptocurrencies directly in the Trezor Wallet interface.” The wallet’s new exchange section allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies from exchanges, and swap their existing digital assets on the same trading platforms.

Exchanges available on the Trezor beta wallet.

When entering the beta page, it’s basically the same as the main client and you will have to plug in your Trezor and login to use the new features. Once inside the wallet, on the top right side of the screen there’s a new ‘exchanges’ tab.

A disclaimer must be accepted to use the exchange services.

If it’s a person’s first time using the exchange feature, they have to agree to a disclaimer that states basically all the trades made is between the assets’ owner and the third party trading platform. The digital asset exchanges available on the Trezor platform include Changenow, Coinmama, Changelly, Paybis, and Coinswitch. The wallet’s users can swap BCH, ZEC, XRP, LTC, BTG, XMR, DASH, DOGE, BTC, ETH, ETC, and XMR.

Trezor Exchange Feature is Optional and the Trading Platforms Might Run KYC

A representative from Trezor explains the company won’t be running any Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for the new feature. “Just to clarify, we won’t run KYC — The exchanges might. (We do not offer exchange services, they all go through third parties.),” the team’s marketing manager details on Twitter.

It’s an optional service. If KYC will be enforced by those services, user will know it and can refuse to continue — Decentralized exchanges are, of course, being evaluated.

The Trezor hardware wallet will be joining Keepkey as the Shapeshift owned manufacturer’s hardware wallet also enables cryptocurrency swaps in-wallet as well. Keepkey owners have the ability to use Shapeshift by selecting a currency in their wallet they would like to trade with the other digital assets offered in the drop-down menu. With Shapeshift changing its business model to a membership service, it is uncertain how it will affect its compatibility with Keepkey. Ledger Wallet does not provide any exchange or trading services in any of its hardware models. However, there is a section in the Ledger Live platform that shows a Buy/Trade tab but the browser redirects the user to the exchange after it is chosen.

Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the Trezor wallet inte


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Author:  Jamie Redman 
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Robinhood Lists Ethereum Classic (ETC) Day Before Rival Coinbase

US-based stock and crypto trading app Robinhood added support for Ethereum Classic (ETC) on Monday, just a day before rival Coinbase lists the coin on its platforms.

LIONBIT

“Starting today, you can invest in Ethereum Classic on Robinhood Crypto, commission-free,” an official blog post read.

The ETC option, taking the number of digital assets listed on the platform to six, is available to traders in the 19 US states with access to Robinhood Crypto, the company added.

The crypto trading platform was launched in February with support for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). In recent months, Robinhood, which achieved a $5.6 billion valuation in May at the conclusion of its $363 million Series D funding round, expanded the range of supported cryptocurrencies, listing Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE).

Notably, Robinhood users can also monitor market data, read cryptocurrency news and create price alerts for 10 other coins — Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Dash (DASH), Lisk (LSK), NEO (NEO), OmiseGO (OMG), Qtum (QTUM), Stellar (XLM), Zcash (ZEC). Considering the company’s ambitious expansion plans and steep development since the start of the year, the aforementioned assets are also possible future additions to the trading service.

One step ahead of rival Coinbase

Robinhood’s decision to list Ethereum Classic follows a similar announcement by Coinbase. The rival company revealed last week that it had begun final testing for the cryptocurrency and will begin accepting transfers in ETC on Tuesday, August 7.

Robinhood, which is a strong competitor to Coinbase in the US market, must have decided to step up its development effort for adding ETC so that it could have its support ready before Coinbase.

Robinhood co-founder and co-CEO Baiju Bhatt said in an interview with Fortune earlier this year that the company plans to bolster its cryptocurrency trading service and outstrip Coinbase, which currently has around 20 million users. Bhatt remarked that, unlike its main competitor, Robinhood is already a registered broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“We expect by the end of the year to be either the largest or one of the largest crypto platforms out there,” Bhatt said.

TIP

ETC price on the up

The flurry of listing announcements has boosted the price of Ethereum Classic. Over the past few days, ETC jumped from around $14 to over $18, representing a 28% gain. Now the coin has officially surpassed the market cap of NEO and Monero, currently ranking as the 12th-largest digital currency, with a market capitalization of $1.9 billion, according to Coins.Online data.

In the past 24 hours, ETC has gained just over 6% to trade at $18.28. The coin’s hike came amid a generally subdued crypto market, where most assets remained in the red throughout the day.


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What to Expect When Ethereum Classic Diffuses Its ‘Difficulty Bomb’

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Ethereum classic (ETC) is set to fork in the coming days as part of a bid to diffuse a so-called ‘bomb’ in its code.

Set for block 5,900,000, the change, in which all users of the original ethereum blockchain will need to update their software, is meant to disable a feature that is designed to increase the difficulty of mining the protocol’s rewards ahead of a shift to a new consensus algorithm.

Such changes, originally envisioned as part of the roadmap now continued by the ethereum blockchain, would render ETC mining unprofitable if allowed to persist.

Advocates in the ethereum community argue that proof-of-stake systems are more energy efficient than their proof-of-work counterparts. However, Anthony Lusardi, developer and director of ETC Cooperative, a community development and marketing body for the protocol, argues this is yet another point on which the ethereum and ethereum classic communities disagree.

As such, he sought to frame the impending removal of the code as another way the ethereum classic project is attempting to differentiate since the 2017 split.

“Proof-of-work seems to be the most decentralized approach currently to achieving consensus from what the majority of the community feels,” Lusardi said in an interview.

Lusardi said : 

“There’s a lot of new algorithms being proposed like proof-of-stake, delegated proof-of-stake and byzantine fault tolerance, and within our community we’re not convinced that these newer versions of consensus are any more decentralized and we’re somewhat afraid that they may be more centralized than say proof-of-work.”

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Ethereum classic’s decision to uphold its proof-of-work system was not made in haste. In fact, discussions started in 2016 after the collapse of the smart contract-based funding project The DAO, which triggered the original splintering of the ethereum and ethereum classic blockchains.

In January 2017, the ETC community moved to fork their blockchain to delay the bomb to allow for more deliberation time.

“We didn’t know if we were going to move to proof-of-stake or stay with proof-of-work and there were a lot of discussions. We realized we didn’t have enough time,” Igor Artamonov, CTO of the ethereum classic development team, said :

“By now, however, proof-of-stake systems have been better explored”, Lusardi said.
He contends that proof-of-work systems better resist centralization because mining requires continuous infrastructural investment in hardware. Conversely, once a participant achieves an “economic majority” in a proof-of-stake system, he said, “there doesn’t seem to be much to ever stop them from having it.”

Ethereum classic developer Cody Burns agrees. “The entire premise is that you would put normal money into the system to buy a stake in it, and banks and large institutions have unfair amounts of capital compared to normal participants,” he said.

“We would have spent the last four or five years just reinventing the modern financial system that we have now. Same actors, same players,” he added.

Mass destruction? Unlikely

Hard forks have proven contentious in the past due to the potential for networks to split if miners fail to update their software or if some users decide to keep the network going with old code. But, Lusardi, Artamonov and Burns all said they don’t anticipate the upcoming fork to spark any controversy or technical difficulties.

The majority of nodes and miners have already updated their software, which was released three months ago, they said.

Major ethereum classic developer and tech company IOHK has also followed suit. It released its node client Mantis V1.1 three weeks ago with hard fork integration so its users had sufficient time to update, IOHK’s ethereum classic community manager, Kevin Lord, told CoinDesk.

“There have been extensive announcements, discussions and careful review of the proposal,” he said, adding that the company will “be keeping a watchful eye on the network.”

However, the developers noted that exchanges could be potentially unaware of the fork, but suggested the risk was small. Nonetheless, Lord said he recommends that users maintain control of their private keys and do not store their tokens on exchanges.

The developers anticipate that the fork will benefit the community, and not only by eliminating the mining difficulties caused by the bomb. The fork is also expected to reduce the amount of time it takes to create a block.

“Right now we’re on 26 minute block times on average, so this will take us back down to 14,” Burns predicted.

Some users may be disappointed with the fork, however, because the network upgrade will not result in an airdrop or the creation of a new coin unlike other types of hard forks.

All in all, the disabling of the bomb will likely pass without much notice, the developers said.

“We tend to not have very contentious forks,” Lusardi said.


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3 Cryptocurrencies and an ICO with Major Events in June (ETC, EOS, ONT)

The Upcoming Week

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Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space has struggled after the recent Consensus event in NYC failed to boost the price, unlike the past few years. Nevertheless, there are still a few noteworthy events worth keeping an eye on, particularly for some altcoins.

This week has many exciting deadlines that are rapidly approaching. Two cryptocurrencies that have made exceptional noise while entering the scene have been EOS and ONT. They both have mainnet launches in the next seven days. Mainnet launches are telltale signs regarding the future of the cryptocurrency. Any delays could be absolutely detrimental while a strong showing of timeliness can lead to market support leading to a bull rally. Both ONT and EOS should be a major focus this week as their future could easily be dictated in the coming days.

Historically, many cryptocurrencies have timed the release of major news and events to coincide with Consensus, but with such an underwhelming market reaction to the blockchain summit this year, it should be expected that important events will continue to be announced this summer. EOS and ONT announced their mainnet launches months ago.

Normally, a cryptocurrency wants to announce news of this magnitude while the markets are strong and bullish, however, ONT and EOS decided to buck the trend and release the mainnet regardless of the condition of the market. A very bold move, and one that shows commitment to their set deadlines.

The markets may seem reluctant to trend north but OTC (over the counter transactions) pressure remains very high on the buy side with almost no price movement in BTC.
Hard forks are occurring with Ethereum Classic removing a difficulty bomb on May 29th that should lead to their ability to move forward as a well-respected crypto. There are major differences between different types of forks, with some changing the underlying code (such as this one), while other forks create a new cryptocurrency entirely such as the ANON fork of ZCL.

EOS has more than doubled its market cap over the past three months, having gone from a market cap of $5 billion to over $11 billion. This is likely caused by the market rebound from February lows coupled with individuals eagerly flocking to a highly publicized cryptocurrency with a mainnet launch. EOS takes horizontal and vertical scaling of blockchain solutions to the next level.

EOS promises to solve the issues plaguing the Ethereum blockchain each time a dApp becomes too popular. Their mainnet launch this week is the first real challenge in determining if, years from now, they will still be a relevant cryptocurrency. This is the week EOS converts from the ERC-20 platform to their own EOS blockchain.

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ONTOLOGY (ONT)

Ontology’s (ONT) first round of projects are live on GitHub while, like EOS, they have a mainnet launching soon – possibly as early as this week. Ontology is a high-performance blockchain project and a distributed trust collaboration platform. They are able to accomplish this by providing high-performance public blockchains that include a series of complete distributed ledgers and smart contract systems.

The ONT blockchain framework supports public blockchain systems and is able to customize different blockchains for different applications. ONT is able to customize blockchains based on the niche the individual is looking to target. ONT had a nice increase in value leading up to their mainnet release. From March 8th to May 26th ONT increased more than 350 percent in value.

The market remains bullish on cryptos that have upcoming mainnet and testnet releases with ONT and EOS having theirs in the next ten days.

DIFFUSING ETHEREUM CLASSIC’S DIFFICULTY BOMB

May 29th has been the date chosen to handle the difficulty bomb plaguing the ETC system. It is anticipated that the removal of the difficulty bomb via a hard fork will be successful since Ethereum Classic has some of the best development talent behind it. As such, a hard fork of this magnitude should be relatively easy to pull off.

ETC has a market cap of $1.5 billion with a current value of over $15.27. Their ability to handle the hard fork will be very telling regarding the future of ETC. Stay tuned to see how ETC handles their hard fork this week!

ICO OF THE WEEK: KEPLERTEK

Keplertek is an ICO worth taking a closer look at this week. They are built on the Ethereum, ERC-20 platform that provides an ecosystem of services through an easy-to-use interface that connects robotics and AI start-ups with interested investors and allows for full transparency and traceability of their investments.

The platform’s native cryptocurrency, the KEP token, will be used for investment on the platform, but also accessible via their platform is the conversion of fiat to KEP. A built-in wallet allows for easy investment into projects while also having access to an explorer to track the KEP once sent.

Keplertek sounds like an ERC-20 token focusing on the niche of AI and robotics. Their team is where Keplertek really stands out. MIT’s Global Partner, Tech Park Georgia and GITA (Georgian Innovations and Technology Agency), developed the Kepler for start-up incubation. Thus far the GITA team has worked with over 150 start-ups and created a vast network across the globe.

Keplertek is currently in their pre-sale, and updates can be followed on their Twitter and Telegram.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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