Ethereum Classic recently suffered from two separate 51% attacks, following which it fell in market cap ranking behind Dash, which implemented anti-51% attack countermeasures in early 2019.
At the beginning of the month, a 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic blockchain occurred, resulting in a theft of 807,260 ETC, worth an estimated $5.6 million at the time. Less than a week later, a second attack occurred, resulting in a chain reorganization of over 4,000 blocks.
During this time period, the market cap ranking of Ethereum Classic was surpassed by that of Dash, which is resistant to 51% attacks. At the beginning of last week, Ethereum Classic’s market cap was $770 million and its market cap ranking according to CoinMarketCap was 23rd, while Dash ranked 26th and had a market cap of about $722 million. At time of writing, Ethereum Classic holds a market cap of $835 million and is ranked 25th, while Dash has a $980 million market cap and is ranked 21st.
Dash implemented 51% attack prevention in 2019 to limited fanfare
This market shakeup and these attacks come over a year after Dash implemented ChainLocks a method of leveraging the collateralized masternode network to supplement the security provided by proof-of-work mining and protect the network against a 51% attack. Post-ChainLocks, an attacker would need to acquire control over the majority of the masternode network, involving acquiring hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Dash, in addition to controlling the majority of the network’s mining hashrate. This makes Dash much more difficult and expensive to attack, arguably more than industry leader Bitcoin.
When debuted on the network, ChainLocks received limited press coverage and public fanfare, and projects such as Ethereum classic passed Dash in market ranking.
Competition for blockchain is heating up
As more networks become vulnerable to attack and more attacks involving larger amounts of funds occur, emphasis on network security also increases for cryptocurrencies, particularly proof-of-work coins whose mining algorithm is borrowed from a larger project. Zcoin embraced Dash’s ChainLocks technology in order to secure its network against attacks. Horizen also implemented a penalty mechanism to severely limited the ability of a miner to perform a blockchain reorganization after the network after the network (then known as ZenCash) was the victim of a 51% attack.
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