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Coinotron Puts Litecoin on the Verge of 51% attack

By Nitesh Bualang
In Litecoin
May 21st, 2014

Coinotron Now Controls 37% of the total Litecoin network hashrate

Coinotron, Mining Pool, LitecoinThe Litecoin mining network is currently experiencing cryptocurrency’s potential threat, the 51% attack. Coinotron miners currently around 37% of the toal ming Litecoin network hashrate, and which requires immediate intervention.

Coinotron has said that their biggest miners to help workout the situation, but the state of things remained the same for the past couple of days, with just 20 miners having uncomfortably large percentage of the LTC network hashrate. Though the mining network has no ill-motives, it yet to take drastic measures to avert the threat, which is now eminent.

In the event Coinotron Holds over 50% of the LTC Network

If the Coinotron mining pool holds more than half of the Litecoin mining network, it would jeopardise the digital currency’s longevity. Its pool operator could be able to reverse his transactions, prevent confirmation of transactions, prevent the other operators from generating more coins and could also double spend the coins in his possession.

Nevertheless, regardless of the percentage Coinotron holds, the pool operator cannot send coins owned by others, create coins none-existing coins, change the number of coins that are generated per block , reverse other people’s transactions, or prevent sending of transactions.

The Bitcoin Network’s 51% Attack Experience

Litecoin Network is going through what Bitcoin Network experienced early in January.   Ghash.io, the pool was uncomfortably holding large portion of the total Bitcoin Network hashrate.  However, due to Bitcoin’s subreddit activeness, a single message at the top of the front page was able to dilute the situation very fast. A large number of /r/Bitcoin users are online at any given time.  This enabled miners to spread the message across the community and encourage miners to withdraw from Ghash.io and use smaller pools for the love of bitcoin.

Later on, Ghash.io explained the situation which led to aggregation of mining power. The whole thing was due to reasonably attractive fee rate (0%).  Also Cex.io, which Ghash.io used, was the most popular cloudhashing service then. This follows that many cloudhashing miners were limited to using Ghash.io as their pool.

After the situation was contained, Ghash.io came out to explain the situation and assure the bitcoin community of their commitment to preventing 51% attack.

How to Avert the 51% Attack

Just like in the bitcoin’s case, the matter is now in the hands of individual miners. Those who care about Litecoin’s continued longevity, should stop using Coinotron pool and switch to a different one. Also, it is in the best interest of the currency’s future that miners should use P2Pools to prevent this kind of situations.

With miners in Coinotron splitting their hashrate to new accounts, at most 12 people are the ones controlling the pool. If only a couple of these individuals can switch to another pool, then the situation can be easily averted. As for now, the best we can do is to request every LTC miner to forego Coinotron pool to prevent the 51% attack and for the love of the second most valuable digital currency.

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