Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian cryptocurrency developer credited with creating the Ethereum blockchain, is convinced that 51% attacks can be efficiently mitigates if the development community gets together to formulate the proper strategy. His comments were made in the wake of three attacks on the blockchain that supports the Ethereum Classic digital currency token.
Cryptocurrency exchange platform OKEX reportedly lost more than $5 million during the most recent 51% attack on the blockchain. What makes these attacks so daunting is that Ethereum Classic only takes up about 3% of the global Ethereum network, which supports quite a few other tokens and distributed ledger projects.
To understand how 51% blockchain attacks work, it is easier to think about the way attackers use the fork chain to create new tokens. All blockchains are theoretically vulnerable to 51% attacks. Perpetrators must either be able to create new tokens by mining a new chain of forks or use a network timestamp, which is similar to the timestamp of the block containing the fork transaction, as the proof of creation of new tokens. When the attacker is able to create a chain of forks, he can 51% of the network's computational capacity, just as if he had already created a new token by with a new chain of forks. In this way, the attacker can create an additional token by creating more chains, but can only create one in the new chain. This creates a 51% vector, and the attacker is rewarded 0.51% of the new tokens of the fork chain.
The problem with shoring up against 51% blockchain attacks is that they usually originate from within the Ethereum mining community, and miners are not always happy to see new security measures being implemented because they slow down their profit potential. The Bitcoin development community has previously clashed against miners in this regard, and this is why we have forks such as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold. Miners correctly claim that they are the ones working towards keeping the network functional, which is why it is not difficult to understand their opposition to additional cryptographic security measures.