Could Bitcoin Gold Face Another Attack in the Future?
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) is a Bitcoin fork that aimed to be GPU minable rather than ASIC, which is the standard for most Bitcoin forks. In May 2018, Bitcoin Gold underwent a 51% attack, where a mysterious miner took control of the blockchain and the equivalent of $18 million US dollars was double-spent. Bitcoin Gold was delisted from Bittrex following the 2018 attack. It appears that this was not the last time Bitcoin Gold's network underwent an attack.
Bitcoin Gold's 2020 51% Attack
A post was released a few hours ago on Github claiming Bitcoin Gold underwent yet another 51% attack. The post claims there were 2 separate deep reorgs on Bitcoin Gold which contained double spends.
The first was on the 23rd of January and 14 blocks were removed and 13 blocks added. The hacker later sent 1900 BTG to 2 different addresses which you can view here and here in a double spend attack. The total damages are roughly estimated at $19,000.
On the 24th of January Bitcoin Gold faced its second attack. This time 15 blocks were removed and 16 were added. 5267 BTG was double spent and sent to 3 separate addresses. Its value is estimated roughly at $53,000.
In both attacks, the 51% miner used the address GWrW5dTZf5XwGWoJuqRKdzkzZFkwtWSqaP. It seems that confirmation requirements for Bitcoin Gold must grow on exchanges to reduce the threat of fraud.
Bitcoin Gold's Rally
Despite suffering from a 51% attack recently, Bitcoin Gold seems to be rallying slightly. It managed to gain 7% against the dollar and above 5% against BTC in the past 24 hours.
It seems that news of the 51% attack has either not made its ways to the ears of Bitcoin Gold holders, or simply put it isn't that big of a deal. The damages from the most recent attack are much smaller than the 2018 hack.
The most worrying aspect of this attack is that it could hypothetically occur again in the future. Perhaps that is a risk needed in cryptocurrencies, however. As Litecoin's founder, Charlie Lee once said "If a crypto can't be 51% attacked, it is permissioned and centralized"
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado