Mining Pool Threatens Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, and Bitcoin Private With Annihilation

Cryptocurrency mining pool ‘SharkPool’ has recently threatened to annihilate “alts who dare bearing the Bitcoin name.” The pool was launched by a prominent bitcoin cash startup that created it to attack altcoins that it believes doesn’t fulfill Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision.

The mining pool has revealed through a tweet it’ll attack altcoins by “exclusively” mining empty blocks on their networks and selling the proceeds for BCH. Its attacks will come as “all alts, including forks and splits are acts of war against Bitcoin and are going to be treated as such.”

The mining pool is being operated by BCH startup CashPay Solutions,  which according to some backed the Satoshi’s Vision (SV) side of the recent Bitcoin Cash hard fork, which was also backed by self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto Craig Wright. The firm runs various BCH-related services, including e-commerce platform Cryptonize.It.

As CryptoGlobe covered, Wright implied the BCHSV side would attack the opposing side – Bitcoin Cash ABC – with superior hashrate to mine empty blocks on the network and stop transactions from being processed. It wasn’t able to pull off its attack, as ABC currently has superior hashrate.

According to a recent tweet, SharkPool’s first targets are Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Private (BTCP), and Bitcoin Interest (BCI). Per its tweet, these chains “are unsafe and will cease to exist.”

The BCH startup’s CEO, Ari Kuqi, has via Twitter also claimed that “all alts, including forks and splits” are being considered acts of war against Bitcoin. The mining pool manages to attack different cryptocurrencies as it attracts miners with hashpower in different algorithms with its plan.

Notably, SharkPool’s tweet mentions the sharks “want to sharpen their teeth” and that they are “hunting for appetizers.” This implies that these blockchains are being the first ones to be targeted as it builds up hashrate to attack larger ones – potentially Bitcoin Cash ABC.

SharkPool’s Annihilation Plan

To take down the cryptocurrencies mentioned above, SharkPool’s annihilation plan will see it dominate the hashrate in them to first off start mining empty blocks. Mining empty blocks will stop transactions from going through on their networks.

Over a long period of time, this would create a transaction backlog that would make the cryptocurrency’s network virtually useless. The second part of its plan sees it sell the rewards it gets from mining empty blocks for BCH.

This not only supports BCH by creating demand and potentially driving up its price, but it also creates selling pressure on the attacked cryptocurrency. If all newly created coins are dumped on the market, and existing coins can’t move, the cryptocurrency’s price can plummet and see users abandon it.

At press time, it appears none of the threatened blockchains has reacted. CryptoGlobe has reached out to SharkPool for comment.

Update: SharkPool responded to CryptoGlobe's request for comment:

This week is sharkweek, expect to see the first empty blocks to be mined on an altcoin within 24 hours. It’ll be one of the ‘bitcoins’ (gold, diamond, platinum etc).

The Monero Hard Fork – Did it Help GPU Miners?

Monero, the open-source altcoin created to provide fungibility, privacy and decentralization, successfully underwent a hard fork on 9th March, 2019, resulting in a hash rate plummet of over 80% and a purge of ASIC miners from the network. This is the latest development in Monero’s ongoing war against ASICs, which is designed to prevent too much centralisation of mining hash power. But what exactly does it mean for GPU miners?

The War with ASICs

Monero performed its first anti-ASIC hard fork in April 2018 to counter ASIC machines such as the Antminer X3. The Monero Core Team vocalized specific concerns over government manipulation or imposed regulation of the network and has consequently committed further to increasing ASIC resistance, building its strategy on making scheduled hard forks to prohibiting ASICs from engaging with the network.

In deliberately excluding ASIC mining, Monero is committed to CPU and GPU miners, and resisting centralisation. Preventing potential 51% attacks is doubly important for a privacy coin like Monero, and as mining farms grow in size and the number of hash-power-for-hire marketplaces increases, it’s important to remain committed to this path. The recent Ethereum Classic attack in January shows that it is possible to carry out a 51% attack, even on an altcoin with a fairly high market capitalization.   

The one danger is that over time, Monero’s commitment to its six-monthly hard forks may be unsustainable. This is because community consensus becomes increasingly harder to achieve – the last fork spawned four Monero spin-off projects.

 The Implication for GPU Miners

Monero’s introduction of the anti-ASIC Proof of Work protocol saw hash rates plummet by 83%, boosting profitability for GPU miners who typically mine other more profitable coins. However, the hash rate is already beginning to climb, recovering to 313.75 Mh/s from 95 Mh/s.

The drop in hash rate made Monero one of the most profitable coins to mine for a time, but through the laws of supply and demand, the hash rate is already equalizing. The market didn’t rally in response to the hard fork as one might have expected, the sluggish response may be because most mining farms and GPU mining rigs require too much manual effort to change mining algorithms – although software is becoming more sophisticated.

Monero Network Hashrate

Monero’s upgrade has also introduced further security-oriented changes to the dynamic block algorithm to help mitigate potential ‘big bang’ attacks. Sticking to its privacy coin roots, the upgrade further introduced a dummy encrypted payment ID, improving the homogeneity of each transaction.

The latest hard fork is therefore a significant improvement on Monero’s founding principles of privacy, security and decentralisation which should be welcomed. Plus, it’s a boon to GPU miners, and demonstrates that if you’re agile, there’s still money to be made through GPU mining.

Matt Hawkins, CEO at Cudo Ventures

Matt Hawkins is a distributed computing expert and entrepreneur. He founded and sold a data centre business and is now applying his knowledge, network and his enthusiasm for crypto market and technology developments in Cudo Miner. Matt believes decentralised computing is better for the environment, and Cudo’s vision is to help make computing more ethical and sustainable – whether its reducing waste or creating innovative ways to support good causes.