The recent 51% on Ethereum Classic (ETC) reminded the crypto community that even in a decentralized world, centralization can still be bought for the right price.
Indeed, according to independent data from Crypto51.app, the entire Ethereum Classic network can be controlled for an outlay of just $4,814 per hour. That level of insecurity might make one question how ETC ever made it to Coinbase, which in the past has been so eager to play it safe regarding its coin listings.
U.C Berkeley professor, and self-professed crypto skeptic, Nicholas Weaver recently said in The Verge that any coin with such a low attack cost should be considered too risky for public consumption:
“Any coin not burning $100,000 per hour should probably be considered insecure in the face of attackers, and should not be supported by any exchange. That Coinbase supported a coin that has just $5,000 per hour of protection is negligence.”
The Ethereum Classic heist eventually lead to the theft of over $1 million in coins. And now attention may be turning to other prominent cryptocurrencies which can be hijacked for even less than the $4,814 it took to control ETC.
Literally Buying Dash
According to the same statistics which display ETC’s vulnerabilities, over 51% of the Dash network can also be bought for just a few thousand dollars. It would currently require $3,014 per hour to control 74% of the the Dash network via Nicehash – a crypto cloud-mining marketplace.
Going back to Ethereum Classic, it’s interesting to note that Coinbase currently requires 50 confirmations for ETC transactions, which equals roughly ten minutes, based on 14 second block times.