F2Pool co-founder reacts to allegations it’s cheating the Ethereum Bang system

F2Pool co-founder Chun Wang has taken care of immediately allegations that his mining pool continues to be manipulating Ethereum block timestamps to “obtain consistently greater mining rewards.”

The allegations originated from an August. 5 paper from researchers in the Hebrew College, claiming the mining pool continues to be participating in a “consensus-level” attack on Ethereum during the last 2 yrs to achieve an advantage over “honest” miners.  

However, Wang on Twitter responded by stating that “we respect the *consensus* as is”, implying that intentionally exploiting the system’s rules doesn’t always imply that rules happen to be damaged.

The 2009 week, they shared the things they claim continues to be the very first evidence of a “consensus-level attack” on Ethereum, by which miners for example F2Pool have discovered a method to manipulate block timestamps to consistently get greater mining rewards when compared with mining “honestly.”

The research paper was penned by cryptocurrency lecturer Aviv Yaish, software formula developer Gilad Stern, and computer researcher Aviv Zohar, alleging that Ethereum mining pool F2Pool continues to be among the miners which have been by using this timestamp manipulation strategy.

“Although most mining pools produce relatively off traffic-searching blocks, F2Pool blatantly disregards the guidelines and uses false timestamps because of its blocks,” stated Yaish, adding the mining pool continues to be executing the attack during the last 2 yrs.

Wang also made an appearance to admit to evidence presented by Yaish, suggestin the timestamp manipulation had been done intentionally. 

F2Pool is really a geographically distributed mining pool, which mostly mines blocks around the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin systems. 

The way the ‘attack’ works

Based on the researchers, Ethereum’s current proof-of-work (Bang) consensus laws and regulations incorporate a vulnerability that provides miners a “certain amount of freedom” when setting timestamps, meaning false timestamps could be produced.

“For example, a miner can begin mining a block now, but set the block’s timestamp to really be 5 seconds previously, or ten seconds later on. As lengthy because this timestamp is at a particular reasonable bound, the block it’s still considered valid, based on Ethereum’s consensus laws and regulations.”

The opportunity to create these false timestamps gives these miners an advantage inside a “tie-breaking” scenario like a miner can replace another miner’s blocks of the identical block height by looking into making the timestamp low enough to improve the block’s mining difficulty.

Related: Ethereum Merge: How can the PoS transition change up the ETH ecosystem?

However, they also noted the vulnerability might be solved after Ethereum transitions to proof-of-stake (POS) following the approaching Merge on Sep. 19, which relies on a different group of consensus rules.

“An apparent minimization technique that will solve both this attack and then any other Bang-related one, would be to migrate Ethereum’s consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake (PoS).”

“Other solutions which can be smaller sized in scope and therefore simpler to apply will be to adopt better fork-selecting rules, use reliable timestamps, or stay away from timestamps for difficulty adjustments altogether,” they added. 

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