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Litecoin’s Lee: Bitcoin Cash implementing new proposal could expose it to 51% attack

Chayanika Deka

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Bitcoin has survived many forks. Bitcoin Cash was created due to ideological differences existing within the Bitcoin community. BCH did manage to draw passionate and very vocal community followers as opposed to other coins down the fork list.

Source: CoinStats | Bitcoin Cash

Trouble was brewing in the air for the coin though. The CEO of one of the largest BCH mining pools, BTC.TOP, Jiang Zhuoer presented a controversial proposal. According to the exec’s proposal, 12.5% of Bitcoin Cash Coinbase block rewards could be channeled to the Hong Kong corporation fund to support Bitcoin Cash infrastructure as part of the BCH’s May 2020 protocol upgrade.

The ones who do not follow the proposal will have their blocks orphaned in what he called “to avoid a tragedy of the commons”. Many market commentators were divided over this new plan.

The five mining pools that supported this proposal are BTC.com, AntPool, ViaBTC, BTC.TOP, and Bitcoin.com. Together, these five mining pools contribute 28.47% of the total BCH hash rate, according to the latest Coin Dance stats.

Source: Coin Dance | Latest BCH blocks by mining pools [23rd Jan]

A majority of the miners need to vote on this proposal; till now, the proposal in question has been supported by only 5 pools. Along the same line, Litecoin Foundation Managing Director, Charlie Lee stated,

“This mining cartel currently owns only ~28% of the BCH hashrate. They can’t enforce this coercive soft fork unless they come up with a lot more hashrate. And it would likely lead to many forks. Adding such a centralizing feature in this coercive manner sets such a bad precedent.”

In case the soft fork on BCH network transpires, Lee believes that it will be “very destabilizing” and added,

“If this soft fork goes through, it will be very destabilizing, because there’s incentive for a large BTC miner to 51% attack this. They can switch to mining BCH and proceed to mine 11 blocks in a row. They get all the BCH, which is at least 14% more profitable than mining BTC.

According to Emin Gün Sirer, the CEO of AVA Labs, “springing such a proposal, with orphaning built-in, with no prior discussion” is problematic and “sets a bad precedent and bad optics”. While admitting that the proposal is not a bad one, however, the principle of “no debate” is antithetical to crypto ethos.

Chayanika is a full-time cryptocurrency journalist at AMBCrypto. A graduate in Political Science and Journalism, her writing is centered around regulation and policy-making regarding the cryptocurrency sector.

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