TL;DR: “We have just seen an extremely long attack chain of over 1,300 blocks on July 10, 2020, against the BTG network which have been mined since July 1, 2020,” CryptoDJ announced on the Bitcoin Gold website. The project’s official Twitter account further claimed the attacker launched a ten day 51% takeover attempt, but ultimately “failed.”
Bitcoin Gold Devs Report Extremely Long Attack Chain of Over 1,300 Blocks
Written in C++ and Qt, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is a BTC hard fork, launched in late 2017 as an attempt to offer a so-called ASIC-resistant Proof of Work (PoW) chain using a Zcash and Equihash algo variant. During its short history, BTG has been plagued by at least two 51% attacks (the latest happening earlier this year), and is probably best known for being vulnerable in this way and for exchange losses in the millions of dollars as a result. BTG has a team, and its most visible proponent is Spaniard Alejandro Regojo (who has been rather quiet of late).
“The BTG chain is fine, because our pools and exchanges have long been on version 0.17.2,” the coin’s official Twitter account assured not too long after the attack was reportedly foiled. “Time for all to update!” Developers appeared to know a possible takeover was in the works, and communicated that fact accordingly days ago. By July 2nd, 2020 a BTG update implemented a checkpoint at block height 640650 as a defensive measure.
“With this block checkpointed,” CryptoDJ affirmed, “the attacker’s chain could not take over, but this information was not public, and the attacker continued to mine. The attacker mined their secret chain for nearly 10 days, renting power from NiceHash to do so. Today, on July 10, the attacker released over 1,300 blocks.” As of publication, BTC has 109 nodes with 30% of those based in Germany, according to the project’s official site. In 24 hour trading, the coin’s price is up over 3.5% CoinGecko shows, trading at just under $10.
The relatively positive response from speculators might be in part due to lauds from respected ecosystem thinkers such as Vitalik Buterin. “51% attack on BTG defeated by a user-activated soft fork providing a check point and hence explicitly banning the attack chain,” Buterin noted. “Excellent news. In PoS, in such cases the attacker would lose many millions of dollars to slashings/inactivity leak.”
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