ETC Labs proposes multi-stage plan for securing Ethereum Classic against 51% attacks

Ethereum Classic (ETC) Labs proposed a multi-stage strategy on Wednesday to combat the risk of 51% attacks, which have roiled the network in recent weeks.

As The Block has reported, Ethereum Classic saw two such attacks — wherein a miner amasses sufficient hashing power to amend the network's transaction history — in early August. And as later outlined, major exchanges are watching closely to see whether the network issues might ultimately prompt them to delist the ETC token entirely. The issue stems from the fact that Ethereum Classic's hash rate remains very low — the cost to carry out this form of attack is about $5,300 per hour, according to Crypto51

According to the proposed security plan, ETC Labs is laying out a roadmap for further securing the network. "In response to the recent attacks against the network, we are developing a strategic and robust plan to carry ETC forward. As stewards of a public blockchain, we are determined to protect the integrity of the ecosystem. We are investing more resources, human and financial, to enhance security, strengthen the network, and ensure a bright future for ETC," the group stated.

Among the "immediate" steps put forward include the pursuit of "Defensive Mining through cooperation with miners and mining pools to maintain a more consistent hash rate and to increase hash rate when needed." This stage also calls for closer coordination with exchanges, beefed-up network monitoring and "Implementing a 'Permapoint' finality arbitration system developed by the ETC Core Team to aggressively inhibit chain reorganizations while maintaining consensus among nodes."


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In the long-term, ETC Labs indicated that it might propose to utilize check-pointing on the network or advance a plan to change Ethereum Classic's hashing algorithm entirely. 

"The two alternatives under consideration are Keccak-256, or RandomX. These could be implemented through a hard fork in approximately 6 months, provided that testing is completed successfully," the post stated. 

Overall, the proposal timeline extends into the new year, pending input from the community and consensus among its stakeholders.