Coinbase report suggests recent 51% attack on BCH could have been worse

31 May, 2019
by Richard Allen
Update
Coinbase report suggests recent 51% attack on BCH could have been worse

Coinbase researchers have published the results of their investigation into the recent 51% attack against Bitcoin Cash. Their results suggest all the criticism may be unfounded.

The Bitcoin Cash network came under attack on May 15 during the project’s scheduled hard fork upgrade. The attack was coordinated by two mining pools who targeted BCH funds that had been mistakenly sent to BTC SegWit addresses. The attack resulted in 3,655 BCH (about $1.39 million) being sent to the originally intended recipients.

“On May 15th, Coinbase detected a depth-2 chain reorganization on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The reorg targeted BCH funds that were erroneously sent to BTC segwit addresses, which were previously unspendable but became recoverable as part of the May 15 BCH upgrade,” the report reads.

While the decision has garnered its fair share of critics, the Coinbase reports suggest some good actually came out of it.

“We find it remarkable that BTC.top derived the technical solution to recover BCH funds mistakenly lost by users, choosing to send the coins to their intended recipients rather than claiming the funds for themselves.”

Recently, Japanese crypto exchange SBI Virtual Currencies announced it would be delisting Bitcoin Cash. One of the reasons leading to the decision was the 51% attack. Translated from Japanese, the exchange stated, “It is in a situation that deviates from the management philosophy of our group to provide services, and in light of investor protection. It was determined that they should not be treated continuously.”

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