On 7th September, Horizen [ZEN] formally known as Zencash, a digital asset and technology platform announced on Twitter that they have improved the original Satoshi Consensus algorithm to prevent the network from 51% attacks. The enhanced consensus is said to penalize malicious users by creating a penalty mechanism. Horizen on their official blog stated:
“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.”
The Horizen team has confirmed that the coding is complete and has been tested internally within the team. The code is presently available on the platform’s public Testnet for testing and Horizen has urged the community to test it.
According to Horizen, 51% attacks have always threatened the security of Bitcoin and other digital assets that use the Proof of Work [PoW] consensus. But the longest chain rule, better known as the Satoshi Consensus, which allows miners on the network to compete against one another by attempting to solve puzzles to gain the right to add to the succeeding block on the chain has only worked well in the past.
Horizen believes that because the cryptocurrency ecosystem matured and mining resources became more concentrated, the prices to occupy hash power lowered. This resulted in malicious users being able to launch 51% attacks in an economically feasible manner on several projects that use the Proof of Work algorithm. Horizen stated:
“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.”
Horizen further maintains that since the existing Satoshi Consensus does not have a penalty for delayed block reporting, it allows opposing miners to drive a complete sequence of deceitful blocks onto the blockchain. An action such as this, drives unsuspecting users into confusion, resulting in the occurrence of a double spend attack.
A Twitter user named Officialheero commented:
Great job guys. One of the most stable cryptocurrencies I’ve seen is $ZEN.”
A Redditor named Place_of_refreshment stated:
“I think if this works, it could be something unique for this project, and really set it apart from other projects. Things will be interesting.”
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