The recent 51% attacks expose a pre-existing weakness of cryptos. Thechnically, a 51% attack is always theoretically possible with decentralized design (learn more). The only way to secure the blockchain is to decentralize the hashrate distribution and raise the PoW dominance of the coin (that is, the dominance of the coin’s nethash when compared to other coins using the same PoW function.)
We are planning to do a network upgrade via a hard fork. The upgrade consists of:
New, customized Equihash<144,5> PoW (Proof of Work algorithm)
- Lock out the ASICs: With ASICs it’s much easier for a single entity to control a large portion of the hashrate. A PoW switch will help decentralize the power.
- The PoW switch will raise BTG’s hashrate dominance to 100% immediately, removing the risk of hashrate aggregator (big pool, hashrate rental market)
- The new PoW will be customized to reduce the influence of hashrate markets.
- New Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm: LWMA
- Reduce hashrate fluctuation: by responding faster to shifts in hashrate, the new adjustment algorithm will reduce the profitability of large hashrate shifts into our coin (via auto-switchers or multipools) and thus make the blockchain more robust
- This will stabilize the block time, improving user experience
This is a regular network upgrade. There will be only one blockchain and no new coin will be created.
Hashrate is the key to protecting a crypto from 51% attack, but there’s more that we can do. Good monitoring and communications can also effectively reduce and even eliminate the risk attacks. We have found ways to help exchanges become aware of attacks in progress - in time for them to defend themselves.
We are planning to launch a blockchain security toolkits website to help the ecosystem defend against attacks better. We will put the available tools together, develop more tools, and provide best practice advice for users:
- Full node monitoring (status.bitcoingold.org)
- Wallet monitor (explorer.bitcoingold.org)
- Blockchain monitor
- Block orphans / transaction rollbacks
- Block miners
- Hashrate / difficulty fluctuation
- More statistics (fee, block size, etc)
- Realtime alerts
- Best practices for: exchanges, wallets, payment gateways, and other services
We are also actively working with other coin teams as well as exchanges to share our experience and knowledge, and to cooperate in the development of improved tools and systems for all of us in the ecosystem to be better able to defend our blockchains.