Ethereum Classic Hit by 51% Attack Allegedly Worth $460,000


UPDATE 14.1.2019: published a more extensive report on the hack claiming that 54,200 ETC in total (worth $271,500 when the hack occured) had been transferred out of the exchange. In a separate statement on Jan. 8, Coinbase claimed that a total of more than $1.1 million in crypto had been affected during the 51% attack.


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A 51% attack was confirmed to have hit the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network on January 7, by Bitfly, the operator of the Ethereum block explorer, the Ethernodes node explorers, and an Ethereum Classic mining pool.

Coinbase’s report on the 51% attack was posted on the company’s Medium blog on January 7. Coinbase Security Engineer Mark Nesbitt, who authored the post, wrote that Coinbase detected “a deep chain reorganization of the Ethereum Classic blockchain that included a double spend” on January 5. The post claims that since then, there have been at least eight more chain reorganizations worth around $460,000.

Exchanges React to Attack

A number of exchanges and other platforms that interact with ETC have taken precautionary steps to ensure that their users and the ETC community isn’t negatively affected by the attack. Among them, Bitfly has reportedly increased block confirmations on its mining pool.

US-based crypto exchange Kraken wrote in a post that “as the 51% attack appears to be ongoing, we have temporarily halted ETC deposits and withdrawals,” adding that “[we] will bring ETC funding back online only once we believe it is safe to do so.” Originally, the exchange increased the level of transaction confirmations necessary for ETC transactions from 120 to 500 to prevent false transactions.

Crypto exchange posted on its website that although “’s censor successfully blocked attacker’s transactions at the beginning and submitted them to the manual exam,” the censor did pass some false transactions, causing about $40,000 in losses.

“ will take all the loss for the users,” the post said. Finance Magnates interviewed’s Vice President of International Affairs Virgilio Lizardo late in 2018. During the interview, Lizardo said that “Gate sets itself apart by prioritising security and [user] experience.”

At the time of writing, ETC’s valuation had sunk roughly seven percent within the last 24 hours to $4.96, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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