Reports & Analysis

The possibility of a majority attack; Weaknesses for the stock proof mechanism in Ethereum 2.0


Jelurida co-founder Lior Yaffe claims a low participation rate could allow whales to penetrate the network. He in an essay Published on the Decript website, explains this issue; But an Ethereum developer says such an attack would be costly.

Liver Jaffa, co-founder of Jelorida and major developer of the Ardor and Nxt folds, claims to have discovered weaknesses in the Ethereum 2.0 approach. Currently, this Blockchaink is in the experimental phase and on the Medalla Testnet to investigate its problems.

Jaffa considers a situation in which the network participation rate is low and some whales use multiple accounts silently. Since the minimum participation rate in this network is 66%, if a whale suddenly leaves the network and brings the network below this threshold, it will probably cause problems. If a large amount of money is not invested, this unpleasant event will be surprisingly possible.

In this regard, Yafeh says:

Let’s assume that Ethereum is now 10% owned and the network participation rate is 75%, which is about the same as we see in the experimental network now. In such a case, control of only 0.9% of the circulating Ethereums is sufficient for a 9% drop in the participation rate, which leads to the termination of the chain. A large whale or a medium-sized exchange can do this.

He also noted:

What you need to do to prevent the network from shutting down is to maintain the difference between the current participation level and the 66% participation level.

In this blockchain, users can not share more than 32 Ethereums in each account; But according to Jaffa, there is no obstacle in the way of a user dividing large volumes of coins into 32 categories of Ethereum and placing them in different accounts. This allows the user to participate in multiple networks on the network. A situation that Yafeh had previously observed in the block generators of the Medal experimental network.

The possibility of a majority attack;  Weaknesses for the stock proof mechanism in Ethereum 2.0
Ether price chart in recent weeks

So if the participation rate is low, whales can have a much greater impact. Yafe says:

Bainance exchanges, Kevin Bass, or individuals such as Vitalik Butrin, who currently hold more than 16 percent of Ethereum tokens, have the ability to shut down the network at any time.

Matthew Tan, CEO and founder of the Etherscan blockchain browser Etherscan, acknowledges that such a thing could happen. He says:

I have not done any calculations to confirm this; But if the participation falls below 66%, the chain becomes unhealthy and there are issues that we saw in the previous Medal test network and went through a difficult period.

However, the assumption that the network may have a low participation rate may be unfounded.

“The Ethereum Protocol (GO) developer, who is working on the Ethereum protocol, says:”

There will be more than 16,384 validators in the main network, and I predict this number may reach 25,000 validators at launch. Therefore, network manipulation requires more power.

As a result, the attack will be very expensive. Jordan says the participation rate should be around 99 percent, which means that an attacker needs about 33 percent of the 25,000 credentials. Such an attack would require $ 100 million, which would result in the loss of the assets of everyone, including the attacker himself.

Jordan goes on to say:

The attacker must be willing to spend a lot of money in order to be able to disable the network very likely. But this is not in the best interest of the attacker, unless he wants to lose a lot of money.

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