Ethereum Classic, the controversial Ethereum hard fork, fell victim to two consecutive 51% attacks lately in less than a week’s time earlier this year. As a result, several fingers have been pointed, and the security of the network has been questioned. In a bid to address this issue, Ethereum Classic Labs has partnered with ChainSafe and OpenRelay in hopes of strengthening its defenses against 51% attacks.
According to an announcement from Ethereum Classic labs, the project’s core dev team is now set to work with both ChainSafe and OpenRelay, to develop and test technical responses aimed at making the network less vulnerable to 51% attacks.
OpenRelay will work on the development of practical simulations and models for the proposed features, establish the testnet infrastructure, and design and implement the testnet testes. Meanwhile, ChainSafe will back the conceptual review of various security proposals and specifications.
James Wo, founder, and chairman of Ethereum Classic Labs, commented on the collaboration:
“OpenRelay and ChainSafe are both well acquainted with Ethereum Classic, through working together, will have some of the most brilliant minds in blockchain tackling the 51% problem in tandem. The team-up will bring additional expertise in Proof-of-Work security systems and testing environments.”
While Eric Tu, developer at ChainSafe, believes this partnership will help strengthen the network’s security.
“ChainSafe is excited to be applying our expertise in collaboration with ETC Labs on research and development in helping secure PoW blockchains against 51% attacks. Our collaborative efforts will play a crucial role in securing ETC against malicious attackers on the network,” he said.
Back to Back Attacks
ETC was attacked at least three times in August 2020 alone, with one attack resulting in losses worth $5.6 million due to double-spending.
What’s intriguing is the fact that the cost to execute the attack was roughly 17.5 Bitcoins (BTC) worth $192,000. The attacker was able to make a whopping 2,800% return on his investment simply by renting hash power from Nicehash.
The company has informed that two of these attacks were executed by renting hash power, and the key to stopping any future attacks was by limiting these hash power rental companies.
The severity of the attacks even saw popular crypto exchange OKEx warning the project that ETC would get delisted if the network’s security wasn’t upgraded. “The exchange will consider delisting ETC, pending the results of the Ethereum Classic community’s work to improve the security of its chain,” OKEx wrote in a release back then.