Previously reported by CoinNess.com, a Chinese blockchain security firm SlowMist sent out an alert that the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network might have been targeted by a 51% attack, though without specifying many details. The price of ETC was whopped right away by the alert, which fanned a new round of FUD.
The alert was later further consolidated by another post by a netizen, who went by with the name of Egg Knight. The netizen supplemented the alert with a finding that many blocks were underway transaction rollbacks. The post was liked by the founder of the initial scout SlowMist.
CoinNess.com promptly reached SlowMist for more disclosure, only that SlowMist is currently combing through transactions of ETC, and will later publish the results exclusively to CoinNess.com.
Prior to the revelations by SlowMist, the Twitter handler of Ethereum Classic (@eth_classic) was aware of some whispers, which they dismissed off hands as "rumors". The team made reference to BlockScout, an explorer for the Ethereum mainnet, and commented that they saw no signs of "a possible chain reorganization or double spend attack." All in all, they believed that "the ETC network is operating normally."
An analyst from CoinNess.com detected certain abnormality in regard to the mining hash rate of the ETC network. A private pool, with an address starting with 0x3ccc8f74, clutched at his attention with its recent hash rate swings. According to data from Gas Tracker, the weekly average of its hash rate is slightly off 300 GH/s. However, the private pool recorded an upsurge in its hash rate around 11:00 (UTC) on Jan 6, all the way to 3,263 GH/s, making itself a temporary largest pool. Following the soaring performance, the pool, to the befuddlement of many others, returned to its normal state and stayed dormant for approximately 10 hours before pulling off another roller-coaster climb.
Currently, the overall hash rate of the network tallies 9.28 TH/s (statistics from BitInfoCharts), while the sole contribution of the dark horse mining pool is 5,870.98 GH/s, an equivalent to 5.87 TH/s, or in other words, 63% of the entire hash rate sustaining the blockchain. That is to say, the mining pool controls an absolute majority of the ETC hash rate, a prerequisite to a 51% attack.
The correlation between the abnormality of a certain private pool and the alleged 51% attack is yet to be consolidated. SlowMist promises an instant update to CoinNess.com upon new findings.