Verge (XVG) 51% Attack: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Blocks Affected

News / 16.02.2021

The privacy blockchain Verge (XVG) suffered a 51% attack in the late hours of Monday, February 15. The attack affected more than 560,000 blocks containing XVG transactions and led to a massive drop in the price of XVG. 

Verge Suffers 51% Attack.

Antoine Le Calvez, operations manager of analytical firm CoinMetrics, was the first to report the attack. Calvez noticed Verge’s blockchain reorganization, often identified as a sign of a 51% attack. He explained that the CoinMetrics node had diverged from its previous chain to a new chain recorded in July 2020.

CoinMetrics co-founder Lucas Nuzzi stated the scope of the attack. According to Nuzzi, the history of transactions on the Verge blockchain in the last 200 days had disappeared. He further stated that Verge’s episode was one of the most significant reorganizations of blocks for a top 100 cryptocurrency. 

How Did The Attack Occur

The initial analysis was that the Verge blockchain attack was likely a “double-spending attack.” This is a process that allows the attacker to rewrite a blockchain to appropriate funds. However, the Verge team confirmed that it was indeed a 51% attack that took place on the blockchain. 

The attacker would have been mining on a sidechain for months. Once he had sufficient power, he would have used daemons to take over 51% of all network nodes. This allowed the blockchain to be rebuilt on the sidechain. The consequence was that investors saw their XVG disappear from their portfolios. 

This sounds like a scary prospect but is easy to turn around, as a Twitter user casually pointed out. All that is required is for the remaining nodes on the Verge blockchain to reject the attacker’s chain and restore the old chain. 

The Verge team also published an update inviting all users to check the compliance of their transactions. They are also working on a patch to prevent an attack of this magnitude from occurring again. 

Verge (XVG) Price Plummets After Attack

Unsurprisingly, the price of XVG plunged after reports of the attack. The cryptocurrency lost -22% in the space of 3 hours. This antagonistic movement resulted in the coin dropping out of the top 100 coins based on market cap. This is not the first time the blockchain experienced this attack, and confidence in the project could erode further.

Olowoporoku Adeniyi is a blockchain enthusiast and crypto evangelist. Currently he loves all things crypto and covers happenings within the blockchain space.