Ethereum Classic’s hash rate has dropped dramatically since January and continues to decrease after two 51% attacks on the network earlier in August. In view of the vulnerability, Ethereum Classic Labs has presented the Network Security Plan to protect and reinforce ETC, the origin chain of Ethereum.
The multi-stage plan consists of several immediate actions and some long-term enhancements that could improve Ethereum Classic’s security.
As for short-term fixes, the system will initially adopt the defensive mining strategy. This will be done via cooperation with miners and mining pools to maintain a more stable hash rate and to adjust it accordingly if needed.
Next, ETC Labs will intensify network monitoring in order to identify unusual increases in hash and will have digital currency exchanges increase the confirmation time for ETC transactions.
Besides, an arbitration system “Permapoint” that ETC Labs is working on now should prevent chain reorganizations caused by 51% attacks.
Speaking about long-term proposals, they all require community consensus and are now in development, so implementing them will take more time. One of such measures is changing the proof-of-work mining algorithm. This could be achieved by implementing either Keccak-256 or RandomX through a hard fork in about 6 months in case testing is conducted successfully.
Then, such features as check-pointing or PirlGuard will serve as a means of enhancing 51% attack resistance. This could also be executed through a hard fork in 3 months after the specification is complete.
Finally, if community consensus is reached, ETC Labs will introduce a treasury system and will foster the application of measures with the help of MinerVote that allows miners to indicate their preferences.