Founded in 2017, the hard fork cryptocurrency Bitcoin Gold has suffered a “double-spending” hacking attack that reportedly allowed the unknown hijackers to take control of more than 51 percent of the BTG hashrate. The attack, which reportedly started on May 18, 2018, has managed to amass more than $18 million in Bitcoin Gold from various exchanges, including Bittrex.
Following the hack, the Bitcoin Gold team explained that the attacker was deploying the combination of a 51 percent and double-spend attack in order to defraud crypto exchanges. They noted that the hacker was targeting exchanges since they “accept large deposits automatically, allow the user to trade into a different coin quickly, and then withdraw automatically.”
Specifically, the attacker was making large BTG deposits on exchanges, at the same time sending the same funds to his own crypto wallet. By the time the exchanges realized that the transaction was invalid, the hacker had already withdrawn funds from the exchange and doubled his original funds.
According to the recent report, Bittrex has not specified the amounts of losses the cryptocurrency exchange has suffered as a result of the BTG attack. However, the major crypto exchange has reportedly requested more than 12,000 BTG (worth around $255,000) as a compensation from Bitcoin Gold.
While Bittrex has blamed BTG’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus as a factor that led to the double-spending attack, Bitcoin Gold claimed that their team “is not responsible for security policy within private entities like Bittrex,” adding that the exchanges “must manage the related risks and are ultimately responsible for their own security. With that, BTG developers acknowledged the risks taken by their own blockchain, subsequently posting an upcoming hard fork upgrade plan.
The $18 million hack is not the first successful attack associated with the Bitcoin Gold cryptocurrency. In late 2017, a fake BTG wallet stole private keys worth $3.3 million in crypto.
As for Bittrex, the crypto exchange has recently become one of the entrants to the “Virtual Commodity Association Working Group” — the self-regulatory association for digital commodities like cryptocurrencies. The organization is planning to develop industry standards and to “be a precursor to the formation” of self-regulatory activity for cryptocurrencies.