Private Cryptocurrency Firo Faces Doom Following a 51% Attack

News / 20.01.2021

Firo, the privacy-backed crypto formerly known as Zcoin, is under a 51% attack. On 20 January, it announced the attack on its protocol on Twitter while stating the nature of the error. Firo pleaded with owners to hold off any transactions while the firm addressed the issue.

A single miner took advantage of the attack and reorganized blocks on the network. Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, stated that the block rearrangement resulted in a rollback of over 300 blocks. Firo’s team realized the attack following complaints from users alerting them of the reversal of previously confirmed transactions.

Firo’s PoW Blockchain Follows the Problem Train

The attack on Firo continues to draw worries on how badly PoW blockchains are vulnerable to attacks. Its team reported that the breach came about when the project planned to deploy Chainlinks into their mainframe. Once the team knew about the attack, they worked with pools and exchanges for damage control.

Firo also reassured its users that the problem was not in any way a coding error. Nevertheless, the attack backs the statistics showing several PoW blockchains have a 51% vulnerability to attacks. For instance, the year 2018 saw cryptocurrency hackers sway $20 million their way after a 51% attack.

Small PoW blockchain projects are frequently hotspots for double-spending. Unfortunately for Firo, this was a common hurdle it was unable to overcome. The economic impact of the attack was genuinely felt despite the team claiming to have stopped it.

Reuben Yap, Firo’s COO, spoke about his reasonable suspicion of how the attack occurred. He added that his team is currently investigating how the incident occurred. “To pull a double spend of this magnitude, the attacker had also acquired significant amounts of Firo legitimately,” he expressed his perplexion.

Firo’s Woes and Damages

According to Firo’s COO, the attack happening close to deploying Chainlinks is raising eyebrows. His remarks were:

“The timing of the attack is also weird given that MTP has been live on our chain for a long time, and several months have passed since first halving.”

At the time of writing, $FIRO faces a downward price fall of 18% with a valuation of $4.81. It shows that the attack took a little out of the privacy coin’s momentum. Last year, ETC suffered the same fate on several accounts, which led to losses worth millions of dollars. 

Firo’s privacy coin gained its popularity because miners use GPU to acquire the coins. Nonetheless, the 51% attack did some damage, which Firo’s team should be primed to get the currency back to the bullish charts.

These projects like Firo seem to be a major target for hackers aided by hash-manipulative services like NiceHash. Such services give cybercriminals the ability to boost their mining capacity to take control of blockchains. Therefore, many PoW blockchains are treading on a fragile surface between protecting their digital assets and losing them instantly.

Bitcoin, the most secure network so far, is hardly shaken by 51% attacks, costing over $700,000 per hour for hackers. Hence, it would prove costly for hackers to attack the Bitcoin network compared to small projects like Firo.

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Kyle is a tech lover and a huge fan of Satoshi. He has a passion for cryptocurrency and the splendid technology behind it all - the blockchain. He could sound gullible, but he believes bitcoin will hit 100k before the next halving.