BitMex Research Analyzes Recent Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Hard Fork: A Look at Three Interrelated Incidents


  • Hardforks provide malicious third-party agents with a direct opportunity to attack and create uncertainty within a particular alt-coin ecosystem.
  • When attacks of such a nature take place, it usually becomes quite difficult to know the intentions of what the project’s developers as well as the nature of the associated bugs.

Many of our regular readers may be aware of the recent Bitcoin Cash hard-fork (read this analysis first) that took place earlier this month. However, the entire process was not as smooth as one would imagine and there were three significant issues that seemed to have caused minor disruptions to the entire operation.

As per data acquired from BitMEX, the issues that were encountered were as follows:

A Closer Look at the Matter

According to a number of experts, Bitcoin ABC — one of the most prominent implementations of the BCH protocol — was infested with a bug which caused the currency’s memory pool to malfunction and operate outside of its existing consensus algorithm rules. To be even more elaborate, we can see that as soon as the above stated bug was encountered, a miscreant started to exploit it, thereby causing miners to incur failed block transactions.

Additionally, it should also be pointed out that the uncertainty surrounding the empty blocks resulted in the BCH mining community witnessing a “consensus chainsplit”.

  • It is being estimated that a total of 3,392 BCH may have been double spent by miscreants.
  • Independent investigators believe that the “only victim with respect to these double spent coins could have been the original “thief”.
  • The chain-split seems to have taken place just one block after the resolution of the bug.
  • The entire attack seems to have been carried out by hackers who were extremely sophisticated in their approach. Not only that, it is also possible that this attack may have been effective even without the aforementioned ‘empty block bug’.

Final Take

In closing out this piece, it should be made clear that if open communication channels had been used by the projects dev community with their backers, the situation could have been handled in a much better way. Hopefully, this episode will serve as a reminder of what not to do when such a situation arises.

Live Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Price:

1 BCH/USD =$510.2781 change ~ 2.46%

Coin Market Cap

$9.52 Billion

24 Hour Volume

$900.91 Million

24 Hour VWAP

$506

24 Hour Change

$12.55

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