The Vertcoin (VTC) network was successfully 51% attacked, and a large reorg happened that cost them more than $100,000. We have already seen weaker blockchain platforms like Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Verge (XVG), and ZenCash being hit with 51% attacks in the recent months.
Vertcoin (VTC) 51% Attacked
And now, we have the Vertcoin going through the same fate again. Moreover, an interesting part is that San Francisco-based crypto exchange, Coinbase has given an official statement on this attack, claiming that the Bitcoin-like networks (or forks of BTC) are weaker and less secure.
This may be why Coinbase did not list Vertcoin, whereas, competing exchanges including Binance and Bittrex have listed it.
Vertcoin 51% Attacked
A 51% attack was performed on the Vertcoin blockchain on 2nd of December, and double spending happened, costing the network to lose more than $100,000.
It was reported that a large amount of ASIC hash was rented to orchestrate this attack. Successive reorg on the blockchain was performed. Vertcoin went through repeated reorg going as deep as 307 blocks.
Vertcoin Against ASICs Proving to Be Insecure
The Vertcoin algorithm is designed to be ASIC-resistant – in order to make the mining more decentralized. So anyone with a graphics card can easily mine Vertcoin. The drawback of this, however, is that such a network can be attacked by anyone having a standard graphicss card, unlike other ASIC coins such as bitcoin (BTC) – which require ASIC mining equipment to perform 51% attacks successfully (even though it may be practically impossible to do so on the BTC blockchain).
Coinbase Making Use of this Opportunity
Coinbase came out with a detailed article about this attack in an official blog post, criticizing the Bitcoin-like Networks that are clearly vulnerable to attacks.
Coinbase was targeting its competitors who have listed Vertcoin. The US-exchange may have taken advantage of the situation to inform people about other exchanges that have listed insecure coins.
Advice to Investors
Experts have always advised investors to be cautious and keep away from low cap coins, as they are vulnerable to 51% attacks. But investors go after those coins for making quick money. These coins, if invested in without prior research, can lead to a loss of funds.
Therefore, it is better to invest in a more secure and reliable blockchain network like Bitcoin (BTC) – which is the most secure network in the entire blockchain ecosystem. Millions of dollars and electricity are required to attack the Bitcoin network, and it is also logistically highly infeasible.