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  • The Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain was subject to some reorganization on August 1, as 3,693 of its blocks were reorged in what was first thought to be a 51% attack. The reorganization caused a chain split, which saw one miner process all the blocks over a period of 12 hours. 

    First of all several figures associated with Ethereum Classic (ETC) informed the community of reorganization with the ETC blockchain. Among the first was Ethereum Foundation member Hudson Jameson who stated that: “Exchanges need to pause deposits and withdrawals.”

    The official Twitter page of ETC and James Wo, founder of Ethereum Classic Labs, both confirmed the issue. A Diagnosis report was soon released to explain that the offending miner was identified. The report said that miners should “Continue mining the chain as-is,” adding that any transactions issued during the previous 12-hour period were possibly not mined in the same order they were supposed to be, but they will be re-submitted back into the mempool.

    Another situation report that was released outlined that it was not an intentional reorg, and came about due to the miner using old software and going offline for the 12 hour period.

    As suggested by a mining solutions provider Bitfly, a network reorganisation of 3693 blocks has taken place at block 10904146. According to the message: “This caused all state pruned nodes to stop syncing.”

    That was first thought to be a 51% attack on the network, although his notion was later dismissed by the team behind ETC. At the start of 2019, a confirmed 51% attack on ETC took place, and rose concerns around the Proof-of-Work mining model.

    The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, announced it would suspend Ethereum Classic deposits and withdrawals on August 1 after it spotted a 3,693 block reorg. Binance speculated that ETC might have been under the stress of a 51% attack. 

    Despite the likeliness that ETC suffered some kind of unintended glitch on Saturday, its developers are not ruling out the possibility of foul play. Khoury, Johnson, and Roberts wrote: 

    “It also seems that the offending miner has uncled their own blocks by how fast they were mining. It doesn’t appear actively malicious. It might be a deliberate attack as well, but it doesn’t seem there was any major double-spend attack.” 

    The fact that nobody has yet attempted to double-spend ETC transactions suggests monetary profit was not the primary motive.  

    Despite the apparent instability on-chain, the ETC coin price remained unaffected by the day’s action, recording over 5% growth, according to CoinMarketCap. 

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