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Can Delayed Proof-of-Work Effectively Counter 51% Attacks?

There have been numerous 51% attacks against smaller cryptocurrencies over the past few months. These problems have affected currencies such as Bitcoin Gold, Verge, Electroneum, and a fair few others. Protecting against such attacks is very difficult, although it seems delayed proof-of-work may help out a fair few currencies in this regard.

Delayed PoW vs 51% Attacks

Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts know how a 51% attack against any cryptocurrency can be performed. It requires malicious actors to control over half of a network’s mining capacity for an extended period of time. This can involve miners colluding, a mining pool acting up, or ASIC miners hitting the network in quick succession. Regardless of the exact scenario, a 51% attack puts a coin’s security at risk first and foremost.

Considering that a lot of the smaller-cap altcoins rely on proof-of-work mining to secure their networks, it is only natural that there will be attempts to attack individual networks. So far, there have been quite a few such incidents, although there will be a lot more unless something changes drastically. Fighting this attack vector is very difficult and will require a completely different approach.

It appears the Komodo team may have come up with a solution that will benefit a fair few altcoins moving forward. Its focus on dPoW, or Delayed Proof of Work, has been of great interest to a few small currencies already. While this concept is not new by any means, it seems there are very few projects which implement dPoW at this time.

Integrating this Komodo-oriented feature into existing altcoins can be done with relative ease. There is a fee to be paid for doing so, as it costs teams around 100 KMD to “purchase” this option. Protecting an altcoin from 51% attacks for under $250 is an option pretty much every self-respecting altcoin should consider. Even so, it remains to be seen if dPoW will be the solution that ends this attack vector once and for all.

There is another reason why Komodo may become of great importance. Given the project’s focus on atomic swaps, it is evident that altcoins can benefit from this additional liquidity rather than wait for centralized exchanges to integrate new markets. Considering that trading platforms commonly take weeks, if not months, to add new coins, having a decentralized solution in place may speed things up nicely.

Whether or not delayed proof-of-work can put an end to 51% attacks on altcoins remains to be determined. It is an interesting concept worth exploring, although there may be a need for other solutions as well. Any proof-of-work cryptocurrency with a low hashrate is still at risk of suffering a 51% attack these days, and it seems the frequency of such attacks will not decrease in the months to come.

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US Investor Files Lawsuit Against AT&T Over Cryptocurrency Theft

A U.S.-based cryptocurrency investor and entrepreneur has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against telecommunications firm AT&T. Michael Terpin believes that he became the victim of a theft in which a large amount of digital currency was taken from him due to the company’s negligence. Terpin Believes He Was the Victim of a SIM Swap Fraud Michael Terpin has brought legal action against the U.S. telecommunications provider AT&T. The investor and early cryptocurrency advocate filed a 69-page complaint with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. During the document, Terpin claims that a large number of digital coins and tokens were stolen from him on January 7, 2018. It goes on to state that AT&T are guilty of gross negligence and fraud, which resulted in the loss of a substantial amount of cryptocurrency. According to Reuters, AT&T responded via email to the complaint by stating: “We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court.” The filing claims that Terpin was the victim of a SIM swap fraud that was made possible by the negligence of AT&T. Such a scam involves fraudsters convincing a mobile phone provider to switch a user’s phone number to another SIM card which is under their control. Scammers can then use the number to reset login information for various accounts, allowing them to access them. Michael Terpin is the co-founder of BitAngels – an early angel group for Bitcoin investors. He also helped to set up the first digital currency fund, the BitAngels/Dapps fund in 2014. Today, Terpin is one of the Alphabit Fund’s top advisers. According to the court documents, a total of three million digital tokens were taken from Terpin. Back in January, these were worth around $23.8 million collectively. The filing also states that Terpin is seeking an additional $200 million in punitive damages. Whatever the outcome of Terpin’s court case, it illustrates the dangers of keeping large amounts of digital assets anywhere but in properly secured cold storage. The precise details of the storage of Terpin’s tokens are not currently known. However, any solution which could be comprised by SIM swap fraud is evidently not secure enough. Terpin’s missing funds join the other $1.2 billion plus of cryptos stolen from poorly secured storage solutions since 2017. The case also highlighted a need for adequate custody services in the cryptocurrency industry. This is seen by many as one of the most important steps to opening cryptocurrencies to a wider group of investors. Many do not have the technical knowledge required to set up totally secure paper wallets. Others simply shirk the responsibility of being the sole participant responsible for the safety of their digital wealth. The industry is responding, however. Already this year, NewsBTC has reported on efforts by Circle, Coinbase, and Blockchain to facilitate secure storage for large net-worth individuals and institutions. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post US Investor Files Lawsuit Against AT&T Over Cryptocurrency Theft appeared first on NewsBTC.

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