‘We Will Never Launch a 51% Attack Against Bitcoin,’ Says Ghash.io

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
‘We Will Never Launch a 51% Attack Against Bitcoin,’ Says Ghash.io
Image: ghash.io

CEX.IO exchange responded to the concerns that its mining pool Ghash.io conducted a “51% attack” against the bitcoin network.

CEX.IO, the owner of the largest bitcoin mining pool Ghash.io, responded to the concerns relating to the pool’s growing bitcoin network hashing power rate, which exceeded 50 percent of total network power.

In a statement, addressing concerns of the potential 51 percent attack, the exchange said it would strive to find a “long-term preventative solution to the threat.”

The situation means that if an organization controls most of the network’s power, it could use it for its own financial advantage. The attackers can make double-spend transactions, prevent transactions confirmations and prevent other miners from profiting from valid blocks.

CEX.IO issued the statement on its website: Our investment, participation and highly motivated staff confirm it is our intention to help protect and grow the broad acceptance of bitcoin and categorically in no way harm or damage it. We never have and never will participate in any 51% attack or double spend against bitcoin.”

It added: ”It also does not address the core issue only pushing the problem a few weeks or months down the road when another pool or perhaps GHash.IO again grows towards 51%”.

CEX.IO offered to organize a summit of main mining pools and the Bitcoin Foundation that will together examine the question of possible attacks.

The summit could take place on 10th-11th of July at the time of the CoinSummit Conference in London that will gather the leaders in the bitcoin sector, including BitGo CEO Will O’Brien, Angel investore Roger Ver and MaidSafe head David Irvine.

CEX.IO mentioned the opponents who supposed that discouraging miners from joining the pool will provide benefits for the bitcoin sector.

Ghash.io has attracted a lot of miners to join their pool due to zero percent fees, instant payouts, and easy setup.

The company noted: “In any market, competition and innovation drives growth and that is particularly true in an emerging and disruptive environment such as bitcoin. Successful and innovative companies cannot be expected to limit their growth or competitiveness as a direct result of their success.”

The community concerns have provoked some bitcoin-related companies to address the issue. Thus, BitFury has recently announced that it would pull over 1PH/s of mining power from Ghash.io after the news.

The statement of CEX.IO was immediately published on reddit, with opponents and supporters discussing the issue. The news was then covered by leading news agencies, such as TechCrunch, the Guardian and Ars Technica.

The issue was analyzed by Ed Fenton, a Princeton professor, who provided the best conclusion: “Concentration of mining power might not be a short-term disaster, but it is unhealthy for bitcoin, and the community needs to address it.”

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Polina Chernykh

Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.

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