Horizen is working hard to secure our network and prevent 51% attacks. Our engineering team has improved the original Satoshi Consensus algorithm by creating a penalty mechanism to punish malicious miners. We hope this can be a long-term solution that will protect all proof-of-work coins that use the Bitcoin consensus. Now we need your help testing the code.
51% attacks have always been a looming threat for BTC and other PoW coins. The longest chain rule, or Satoshi Consensus, worked well in the relatively decentralized environment of 2009. As the industry matured, mining resources concentrated and prices to lease hashing power dropped. As we’ve seen with many projects, it has become economically feasible for malicious actors to launch a 51% attack.
This vulnerability is a result of Satoshi’s longest chain rule. There is currently no penalty for delayed block reporting, allowing an adversarial miner to push an entire sequence of privately mined blocks onto the blockchain. This creates an opportunity to confuse people or conduct a double spend attack.
To combat fraud, we’ve created a penalty mechanism for delayed block reporting. The penalty affects actors who try to mine blocks in private and later inject them into the chain. Malicious actors will be penalized based on block height. It is an elegant solution designed by our very own engineering team.
The code is complete and tested internally, and now we’re starting a testing phase on public testnet. We need the community to help us test it!
In order for us to move forward we need a majority of nodes on testnet to update to the code from the DELAYPENALTY BRANCH.
We encourage everyone who can set up a testnet node to do so. The more eyes we have on the code, the better.
To set up a node on testnet:
- clone the https://github.com/HorizenOfficial/zen repository
- checkout the delaypenalty branch
- build zend following the instructions in README.md
- start zend with the -testnet switch or add “testnet” to zen.conf
Let’s build something that will benefit the entire crypto community!
For a more complete analysis of our proposal to modify the Satoshi Consensus, please read our new whitepaper