CoinGeek, a cryptocurrency news website owned by Calvin Ayre, a gambling tycoon, has recently been hit with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, shortly before the scheduled Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork that threatens to split the chain.
The attack had been going on since Tuesday, and was only fended off yesterday. Commenting on social media Ayre claimed the attackers were “childish and incompetent” as they were unable to take CoinGeek down for a long period of time.
Per his words, Bitcoin – presumably BCH – needs “adults,” which means miners need to be in charge of the network. While it’s currently unclear who attacked the website, Ayre touted it only helped it become stronger.
I want to thank my DDoS friends. Their voluntary paying to stress test my website made it stronger. The Bitcoin Stress test coming will similarly expose weaknesses and make the network stronger. We know Bitcoin SV will keep the network strong. 128 M onchain blocks anyone?— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) November 14, 2018
Notably, CoinGeek is a Bitcoin Cash SV-supporting organization that runs the largest mining pool on the BCH network, that currently has 37.5% of the network’s hashrate. Together with SVPool, supported by self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto Craig Wright, BMG and Mempool, they have over 50% of the network’s hashpower.
While not directly, Ayre has implicitly backed Craig Wright’s threats of a 51% attack against the opposing Bitcoin Cash implementation, backed by the Bitcoin ABC development team. The 51% attack would see Bitcoin Cash SV “choke” the ABC chain by mining empty blocks on it, effectively stopping transactions from going through.
Currently it seems only CoinGeek’s website was hit with the DDoS attack, which wouldn’t pose a threat to BCHSV’s operations. If its mining pool or BCHSV’s nodes were hit, however, things could’ve taken a turn to the worst as all of its hashpower could be knocked offline.
In fact, something similar happened in 2014. A mining pool called Ghash had managed to acquire 51% of the Bitcoin network’s hashrate, and was then hit with a DDoS attack that knocked it offline, and saw it slowly go bankrupt.
Coin.Dance data reveals only 8% of the network’s nodes support BCHSV, potentially making them a target. All of this means that while BCHSV’s side has been threatening a 51% attack, it could stop there as the other side appears to be threatening to fight back.
If BCHSV’s miners do attempt to “choke” the BCHABC blockchain after the split, there are various possibilities other than a DDoS attack. Some have speculated the ABC development team could change its proof-of-work algorithm to make their miners incompatible with the network, or it could simply wait out the attack, as mining empty blocks for long would drain their resources.
Notably, some speculate Bitmain – a BCHABC supporter – may pull resources from its Antpool mining pool to help fight the “hash wars” and survive an attack. Some miners, on the other hand, are still undecided, while BTC.top has revealed it will support the side with the most hashrate.