Earlier today, IOHK submitted its checkpoints proposal to the Ethereum Classic (ETC) community. This is intended to be a short-term solution to prevent 51% attacks in the future. In recent weeks, the network has been hit by a number of these attacks, which cast doubt on the future of ETC. One of these attacks cost OKEx $ 5.6 million. Due to these issues, many exchanges increased the time to verify ETC transactions.
As the name suggests, the solution involves inserting checkpoints that test the network. Thus, if the opponent regains the “shadow” net (as previous attackers did when they managed to spend twice on OKEx), this shadow network would not contain checkpoints. Therefore, while they may have more proof of work than the main network, they will not be accepted.
The checkpoint will be operated through an unspecified Ouroboros Byzantine Fault Tolerant System or OBFT, which is a network of checkpoints shared in the ETC by “trusted members”. Control points are inserted into the medium every third block.
The proposal does not specify who will be elected as trusted members, but if it is adopted, there will likely be a heated discussion about the committee. The OBFT consensus is also used by Cardano (ADA). We asked the presenters if it would be possible to use Cardano instead of creating a new network of checkpoints. They said it was possible and that Bitcoin (BTC) could also be used for this. Regarding the general question about the size of the roadblock network, they said:
It still has to be determined, but it is important to know how it works because the larger the union, the longer it takes for it to agree to two-thirds of them [required to reach an agreement].
Members of the ETC community made a number of suggestions aimed at addressing existential issues facing the network, from changing the hash algorithm to a tighter regulation of retail power markets. It is impossible to predict which path the ETC will use, but one thing appears to be clear – if something is not done soon, the network will eventually be canceled, if it is an “allowed code” mantra.